What Exactly is a GMB Listing?
Google My Business (often abbreviated as GMB), is a free tool that allows small businesses to create and manage listings that display in Google search. One of the factors that make Google My Business different from other online business directories is that the listing is incredibly detailed. Google stores this information and displays it in several important places to ensure that you enjoy high online visibility. These include Google Knowledge Graph, Google Local Pack, and Google Maps.
Generally, Google My Business listings will include all the information that a customer requires to find your services, find your website, or visit your business location. Registering or claiming your Google local listing also allows you to respond to customer reviews, add images, and do much more. In this way, you can work to ensure that your business stands out from the competition. Google My Business plays a critical role in the world of online marketing, as an essential element of local search engine optimization. In short, if you want your business to compete in a local search, your local SEO campaign should start from Google My Business.
How Much Does Google My Business Cost?
Google My Business listings are free. Google’s main goal with Google My Business is to provide searchers with accurate, relevant information and the GMB listings do precisely that. By keeping Google listings free, Google ensures that every business owner has the opportunity to list their business online.
How Google My Business Works
It is important to understand how Google My business can benefit your business. When a user uses Google to search for localized keywords, the search engine will display local business results that are relevant to their search term. Today, users can find the information they need through Google app search, Google Chrome, or a search in a third-party browser, Google Maps, Google Maps app, Google Home voice search, and Google Assistant voice search. Since the search will surface businesses in the locality for every search with local intent, it means that setting up a GMB listing will widen the visibility you get. Today, Google My Business profiles are increasingly getting sophisticated, with more tools and features to ensure businesses realize maximum benefit.
Here are the features included with your Google My Business:
1. A complete listing with these elements:
- Business Name
- Phone Number
- Address (if applicable)
- Hours of operation
- Label (company description)
2. A Posts section
Google Posts is the GMB feature that allows you to make announcements and post photos, and videos. It’s kind of like a Facebook page or the old Google+.
3. Management of your business listing information
Your GMB dashboard is where you manage the Google account for your listing.
Google My Business provides you with view insights in your dashboard where you can see how your profile is being viewed. It also provides information on how and where customers find you on Google search and Google Maps.
5. Respond to reviews
Google makes it easy to manage your reputation by responding to customer reviews on your account page. We recommend you respond to all reviews, both good and bad.
6. Add services
This 2 GMB feature is just like it sounds. It’s where you can add a list and details of the services you provide.
7. Manage multiple locations
Google makes it simple for you to manage all of your business locations from a single dashboard.
8. A Google Website
If you don’t already have one, this is just a basic 1-page website.
9. Option to create paid ads
Google allows you to link your GMB and Google Ads accounts together for a more stream-lined brand experience.
Qualifying for a Google Local Listing and the Importance of a Website
For your business to qualify for a Google business listing, there has to be personal interaction with customers. The interaction should take place during the business hours that you have provided in the listing. Since your operations will depend on the nature of your business activities, you can work with your customers either at your business’ physical address or the customer’s location. Such flexibility ensures that Service Area Businesses such as plumbers, pest control experts, and house painters may also claim their GMB listings and define the area they serve.
Even after claiming your Google My Business listing, it will still be important to have a business website. While a GMB listing will help you enjoy visibility in terms of local searches, your website will be important when it comes to building a brand identity and creating brand awareness. Through the website, you can provide visitors with relevant information and provide examples of excellent customer experiences. Google will also use the information on your site in different ways, a factor that will affect your rankings among search engine results. As such, you must have a professional website that contains quality and relevant content.
As you work on both your Google My Business listing and your website, you should ensure that your information remains consistent across all platforms. Also, you should keep your website optimized and updated to attract more organic traffic. In the end, you should remember that customers will be able to find you if you have a Google listing without a website, but you cannot be sure of the same if you have a website but no Google listing.
How Can I Use My Listing to Grow My Brand?
While many people know that GMB listing offers numerous benefits, very few understand how they can use the listing to grow their business. Here are a number of things that you can do with this listing:
1. Take Control of Photos
Today, Google My Business has features that make it easy for you to have more control over your visual brand. The listing allows you to set your preferred profile cover photo, which is the main image displayed in the listing. You can also display your business logo prominently and show images uploaded by your business. Such control makes it easy to market your products and services as well as to show the personality of your business.
2. Attract New Customers
There is a GMB listing feature that allows businesses to share offers with new customers who follow the business on Google. The feature not only serves as an incentive for customers to follow the business but is also a great way for your business to track conversions from the listing. Google My Business allows registered businesses to respond to and keep track of questions and reviews.
3. Bring Customers to Your Profile
If you claim short names for your business, you will have another great way of connecting your customers to each of your locations on Google Maps. To make it easy for customers to learn more about your business and find you, include the link on your social media accounts, location pages, business cards, and any other place with your business contact information.
4. Update Your Business Information
Another benefit associated with Google My Business listing is that it allows you to update your business information. Whether you have moved your business to a new location, opened another branch, changed your opening hours, or changed your contact information, you can update and manage your information by logging in to your Google My Business account.
5. Extend Your Reviews Reach
There is also a new feature that generates content for your business based on Google review content, star ratings, and your opening hours. You can then share the content via social media or print them to be displayed in stores. This feature is likely to benefit businesses that have positive Google reviews as it will encourage more reviews, bookings, and follows.
6. Manage Multiple Listings at Once
If you have a number of listings, you will be able to manage all your listings from a single account. Managing them from a single account not only makes your work easy but also saves you time. Also, you will be in a position to monitor what people are saying about your business. This feedback allows you to maximize your strengths while working to improve on your areas of weakness.
There are many benefits that your business can enjoy if you use Google My Business listing correctly. BizIQ works with small businesses to help them market their products so they can explore the numerous opportunities available. Contact us today for an effective and affordable marketing solution for your business.
There are many benefits that your business can enjoy if you use Google My Business listing correctly. BizIQ works with small businesses to help them market their products so they can explore the numerous opportunities available. Contact us today to see how our Local SEO experts can provide you with an effective and affordable marketing solution for your business.
Google MyBusiness is an excellent tool that all business owners should be utilizing. It’s not just great because it’s free. It has so many features that are essential to being found in the Google Search Engine, the fact that it’s free is an added bonus.