By Katherine Gifford of Moraware
Google My Business is the modern Yellow Pages.
In years past, when someone needed a product or service, they’d flip through the local phone book. Today, the first place people go is… drumroll, please… Google!
Yes, people use other search engines like Bing or DuckDuckGo, but Google still dominates the search engine space with a market share of over 73%.
Say you’re renovating your kitchen and need new countertops. Most people are going to hop on their smartphone, open their web browser, and type in something like “countertops near me.”
What happens next could dictate whether your shop gets their business.
What Is Google My Business?
Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool for businesses to manage their online Google presence. It’s a great tool, particularly for businesses that serve a local market. When someone types your business name in Google’s search engine, ideally, your GMB listing would show up in the top right-hand corner.
There, potential customers can call you, request directions, read Google reviews, and even visit your website all from one convenient place.
You’ve probably interacted with a Google My Business profile before, perhaps without realizing it. Let’s pick on the folks up at Precision Countertops in Portland and check out their GMB listing.
Does this look pretty familiar? This is a Google My Business listing. At the top, we can see quick links to get to the website, request directions, and save the business. We see the address, Google reviews, hours of operation, and the phone number.
The rest of the GMB listing houses more important information, such as the products you offer, questions and answers from customers, your company story, and more.
Anyone can suggest edits, and if you don’t currently have access to your own listing, you’d click “Manage this listing.”
That’s right – it’s possible that even if you’ve never heard of Google My Business, your business may already have a listing.
Google aggregates information from third parties, but that doesn’t mean the information they have is correct. If you don’t manage your listing, you’re missing out on a massive marketing opportunity that costs you virtually nothing.
Do I really need a Google My Business listing?
As a locally-owned countertop operation, the customers in your city are likely Googling you or what you do as the first step of the research process. The top results that show up on Google are likely going to set the precedent for the company they choose for countertop installation.
A great listing is often their first impression of your business. In fact, “businesses that verify their information with Google My Business are twice as likely to be considered reputable by consumers”.
In addition, businesses that add photos to their Business Profiles receive 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps, and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t.
Verifying your GMB information and adding a few photos takes less than an hour, and your listing is free.
Google explains there are four main things a GMB listing can do for your business:
- Attract new potential customers – for free
- Learn more about how people interact with your profile
- Communicate with your audience
- Build brand loyalty
Simply having a GMB listing is a great first step, and if you can dedicate a little bit of time to making it great, you have a wonderful marketing tool at your fingertips.
Manage Your Google My Business Listing
As we previously mentioned, if a listing already exists and you want to manage it, claim it! If someone else happens to own it, you’ll need to request ownership.
If no listing exists, create a Business Profile on Google’s Business platform. From there, you’d sign into your Google account and get started.
To read more about using the tools within Google My Business, click here to visit Moraware’s blog.