Google My Business – How To Use It And Why It’s Important
A Google My Business profile (GMB profile) is the card of information about a company which is displayed at the top of a Google search results page when a user searches for that company or their services. If you search for a business which is local to you, you’ll probably see one of these cards appear.
What Information Do Google My Business Profiles Have?
A fully optimised Google My Business profile will normally have the following information on it:
- Company name
- Contact telephone number
- A link to the company’s website
- The company’s postal address (if it has a physical premises)
- Opening hours
- A list of services offered
- Customer reviews
How Do I Make or Claim a Google My Business Profile?
You can create a GMB profile by visiting https://www.google.com/business/ but if you run a business, Google has most likely already generated a Google My Business listing for you by scraping data from your website and local business directories. If this is the case, you just need to claim the profile. To do this, you will need a Google account. If you haven’t set up a Google account for your business yet, now would be a good time to do so.
Once you are signed in to Google, search for your business, then navigate to your Google My Business profile and click on “Own this business?”.
To have full control of your profile you will need to prove that you are the owner of the business, the best way to do this is to have Google send you a physical postcard to the location you are trying to verify with a code on it. This normally takes 3 to 5 days. Once the postcard with the code arrives, enter the code on the GMB admin page and you will be the designated owner of that premises. You can still customise other parts of your GMB profile while you wait for the card to arrive.
What Are The Benefits Of A Google My Business Profile?
- It shows potential customers that you are a real business
- It helps people find the physical location of your business
- It displays your opening times
- It is a place to showcase your reviews
- Your business will show up when people search for your services locally (e.g. “Plumbers near me”)
- Companies with Google My Business profiles receive more phone enquiries
- You can have one even if you don’t have a website, so it’s an easy and free way to have an online presence for a brick-and-mortar store.
How Can I Improve My Google My Business Profile?
Once you have set up or claimed your Google My Business Profile, you can start optimising it. Firstly, you should ensure that all the information that Google has scraped from the web and auto-filled into your profile already is correct. Check that the email address, phone number, website, and opening hours are all correct. Once you have done this, look over the other options for customisation.
You can list the services that your business offers, and you can add images of the inside of your premises, your storefront, your logo, and anything else that you think a customer would find enticing. For example, if you run a restaurant, you might want to upload some appealing photos of the food you serve.
One great way to make your GMB profile stand out from the competition is to have better reviews than your competitors and more of them. Google My Business can generate a custom review link, you can then send this to satisfied customers and ask them to leave you a review, or you could link this to a QR code and have it displayed in your business. The users leaving reviews will also need to have their own Google/Gmail accounts.
Having reviews will give you a number and star rating next to your business in the search page listings. This is particularly useful when a potential customer has searched for a service rather than specifically for your business. For example, if they searched “plumbers near me” the Google search results page (SERP) would normally show them business cards for up to five different local plumbers. If your business has a higher star rating, that will translate into more potential customers clicking on your business rather than your competitors.
Hardly any companies take the time to claim to their Google My Business profile (many don’t even know it exists). So, you will be at an immediate advantage if you take the time to optimise yours.
Can Carden Digital Help With Setting Up My Google My Business Profile?
Yes, as part of both our PPC and SEO services, we always make sure to optimise your Google My Business profile. We check that all the information is correct and up to date, upload images in the right size and resolution, link your contact details, and connect the GMB account to your Google Ads account.
You can get started optimising your Google My Business profile yourself at https://www.google.com/intl/en_gb/business/ or if you are interested in having a professional digital marketing team optimise it for you as part of an SEO or PPC campaign, speak to our team today.