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Google My Business 101
Does your business serve in-person customers during regular business hours? Then you definitely need to make sure you’re maximizing the benefits of a free Google My Business (GMB) listing.
Here’s a quick primer—direct from Google—on how to optimize the SEO benefits of this free platform to increase your business.
HOW CAN GMB HELP YOUR BUSINESS?
If you run a business that serves customers at a particular location or serves customers within a designated service area, your GMB profile can help potential customers discover the products and services you provide, as well as find your location and contact you. In addition, according to Google, verified businesses are twice as likely to be considered reputable as those that are unverified.
HOW CAN I MANAGE THE WAY MY BUSINESS APPEARS ONLINE?
Your GMB profile allows you to manage how your local business appears across Google products (e.g., Maps, Search) and can influence your visibility
among search results in three key ways:
- Search engine optimization (SEO), which is how results appear when someone uses a search engine like Google. These are known as organic search results. You can’t pay to change how and where organic search results appear; they’re determined by a number of factors, like how relevant they are to the original search.
- Search engine marketing (SEM), which is when you buy ads to appear in search results like Google’s online advertising program, Google Ads. If you want to make your business even more visible on Google, you can use Smart campaigns in Google Ads, a paid option.
- Location searches, which provide results tailored to help users find nearby businesses in a particular geographic area. Your GMB profile can help you show up in local results in both Google Maps and Google Search.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF KEEPING MY GMB PROFILE CURRENT?
There are three benefits to keeping your GMB profile up to date:
- You’ll always have accurate information about your business online. Your hours, website, phone number and location (e.g., street address, service area or place marker, depending on your business) help your business appear correctly and more frequently in search results.
- You can easily interact with both existing customers and new customers who find you online. You can post photos of your business and your products and services, as well as collect and (if needed) quickly respond to customer reviews.
- You’ll improve how your business appears in online searches, so new customers can easily find you. Make a point of directing customers to your website.
This brief summary should be enough to get you started with GMB if you haven’t already set up and verified your profile. You may want to engage the assistance of an online marketing professional to help you integrate GMB into an overall digital marketing strategy for your business.