Google My Business (GMB) is just one of the many online tools you can and should take advantage of to help promote your business or brand on the web. Did we mention that Google My Business is a free service? Well, it is.
If you’re not too familiar with GMB and how it can boost your online profile, read on!
First of all, what is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free web tool Google offers to businesses that allows them to showcase their services, location, hours, and other essential information.
The ultimate goal of GMB is to empower potential customers to find your business more easily.
GMB is a service available to any business that has a physical location. Google’s expectation is that customers will come to your office, shop, restaurant, service center, etc. in order to buy your goods or take advantage of your service offerings.
Even if you offer a mobile business that has you traveling to meet customers, you can still have a Google My Business profile provided that your business has an actual physical location. Examples of these types of businesses include plumbers and exterminators, among others.
I already have a website, so why do I need a GMB profile?
Your company’s GMB page serves to enhance and complement your existing online presence. This (presumably) includes your business website, your business-related social media profiles, and all of the reviews you’ve (hopefully) been encouraging satisfied customers to post.
Having a Google My Business profile makes it easier for Google to present information about your business to searchers. And you definitely want Google to do that.
In fact, the information that you, as the business owner, place in your GMB page is what Google presents to users when you appear in search results, as shown by the screenshots below.
First, here is what the “Info” screen looks like on the Triple Canopy Media GMB page, as we here at TCM see it, (with the most relevant portion circled in red just for this post):
With that in mind, check out what Google shows a user who brings up Triple Canopy Media in a search (again, the red serves to highlight this text for illustration purposes here):
Just in case you can’t quite make it out, it’s the same copy! In other words, Google will describe your business to searchers using the words from your GMB page. The power to promote yourself to the public in your own words actually does lie with you!
Google My Business can be especially helpful when it comes to the all-important local search, (when users, for instance, type “search engine optimization near me”). More on this in the “Location” section below.
In case TCM has to actually spell this out, Google dominates the search engine marketplace. In the first quarter of 2019, there were more than 150 billion searches conducted using Google’s search engine. (Those are numbers for just the U.S. Google page, so obviously the global numbers are higher. You can track Google searches in real time here.) More than 90% of all search engine traffic worldwide goes through Google.
Bottom line: Most people are finding what they want to find through Google. And GMB gives you a chance to tell those people all about your business and what it does.
Keep the content flowing!
TCM isn’t going to stop blogging about the value of content anytime soon. That’s because content is the lifeblood of your company’s online presence. This is just as true for Google My Business as it is for your business website.
First of all, make sure that you have a well-written, concise, and engaging description of what your business is and does in the “Info” section of GMB. (Check out the words circled in red in the screenshots above.) Be sure to use relevant keywords, but make your description readable prose. Don’t just list a string of keywords!
Look at your GMB page as yet another opportunity to post content that will give your business online authority.
Write content for the “Posts” section. This is a good place to keep your customers apprised of upcoming events related to your business or special deals you plan to offer in the near future. You can also upload images and videos to enhance your GMB profile. Show your customers more of who you are!
Product and service offerings for the win
Next, take advantage of all of the opportunities that Google My Business gives you to spell out your company’s product and service offerings. You can list them on the “Info” page and then again, but with more detail, on the “Services” page.
The “Services” page gives you a chance to write a much longer narrative about all of the things your business can do to solve your customers’ problems for them! You can create “sections” and add “items” underneath them. TCM strongly encourages you to do this. Google will then tie your keywords all together and link them to the name of your business, which is exactly what you want a search engine to do.
For instance, in the screenshot below, you can see that the section is entitled “Reputation Management,” which is one of the main services that TCM provides. Underneath that main offering is a list of items that comprise it, along with a narrative about each one. These include vital components of reputation management such as branding and positioning, public relations, website development, content strategy, printing & graphic design, and social media.
You can write up to 1,000 characters for each item. That should be more than enough to tell your customers (and Google) what you can do for them.
Location, location, location!
Remember when we said that local search plays a big role in helping Google find and recommend relevant businesses? Well, it does. Fortunately, GMB gives you several opportunities to showcase your company’s location, making sure that both Google and potential customers take notice.
Going back to the “Info” page, there is a subheading where you can list service areas for your business. You can indicate the names of cities, townships, counties, or ZIP Codes. Just be sure that you actually do service an area if you tell Google that you do.
While we’re on the all-important subject of location, this is a great time to stress how vital it is for your business to ensure that your NAP is consistent everywhere you’re listed online. In this instance, “NAP” stands for “name, address, phone number.” (Make sure that you properly list the website address for your business on its GMB page as well. Think “NAPW,” if that helps.)
GMB has you list the location and contact information for your business, of course. It is absolutely essential that the information you list here not only matches up exactly with what is listed on your website but is also perfectly in line with all of the other sites that list this information. This includes social media sites—your business Facebook page, LinkedIn page, and so on—as well as other places where you’re listed online such as the BBB site.
If your business doesn’t have a Google My Business page, create one now. It’s a free service that will put you, in your own words, in front of searchers using the most-used search engine on earth. Be sure that all of the information you put on your GMB page is accurate and up to date. Use the platform to write content, post pictures, and inform your audience about what’s going on with your company right now.
And, if you need some help creating an outstanding GMB page, reach out to Triple Canopy Media!