Google My Business – The Center of the Universe for Local Search
The center of the Local Business Universe now resides at the corner of NEED Lane and SEARCH Street. Yes, that device that’s in your hand that is hard to let go of, you know, your phone…
We teach businesses how to use the Google My Business page to get more traffic, more searches, more visibility on Google Maps and really how to capture page one on Google. You can do it yourself or you can hire a knowledgeable person or company to do it for you.
What I can do on my Google My Business page:
- You can garner reviews which goes a long way in establishing your reputation.
- You can post articles about what’s new.
- Let your readers know about events concerning your business or industry.
- Tell your audience about special sales and promotions.
- You can post images of your office inside and out
- You can post videos to bring your business to life in search results.
- Every bit of information is stored by Google and let’s Google know how and where to rank you.
- If you are not in the Google Maps 3 pack and your competitors are, then their phones are ringing, not yours
- Linked to a book an appointment calendar
- Get a free auxiliary website on Google’s servers
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Who Else Wants Free Prospects and Leads?
Today, the first and most vital place to start improving your local area online presence is with your Google My Business (GMB) listing. Without having a GMB listing
Google Maps search results come from Google My Business listings.
If you’re uncertain what this is, here are some graphics from local searches for ‘post office’. The Google My Business listing is what shows up in (1) the maps area of search results. And the Google My Business listing is also responsible for the (2) information panel of individual locations.
At a quick glance searches can see your basic business information such as address, hours of operation and phone number. Further than that, potential customers can interact with your GMB listing in meaningful ways such as:
Get directions to your location
Click to call from mobile devices
Link to your website
Read and leave reviews for businesses
View photos of the outside and within your business
In many cases, see what times are the busiest …depending upon business category– for instance restaurants can add a ‘find a table’ feature for making reservations…
Google continues to add value for local businesses by adding new features to this entity…
Some of the recent additions are
- The ability for consumers to ask and answer questions about your business
- Business owners can create ‘posts’ that are included for 7 days in their knowledge panel
- Business owner can add a short explanation about their business
- Claim & Optimize
- As the owner of your listing, you will have access to insights as to how people are finding your business listing and how they are engaging with it.
All of these capabilities can be of terrific benefit to local businesses trying to be found on the internet. But there is a catch. These features can only benefit you if you
Take these Steps:
Claim or Submit for a GMB listing
Verify and claim that you are the owner for that GMB posting
Optimize the listing for prospects
Monitor and update your listing frequently
We can assist you with all four of these steps. But lets briefly discuss why each step is important.
Hopefully, we’ve proven why you have to have a GMB listing. You can visit Google My Business online to start the process. If there is already a listing for your business on Google, you’ll be notified as you work through the process.
Q. Why do I need to claim it as the business owner?
A. The easy answer is without claiming it, you have no access to the content or it’s features. You own your business, and you also need to ‘own’ your GMB listing. You should also have some influence as to what is displayed there. Here’s a link to claim your Google My Business listing.
Now, the enjoyable part is getting creative and maximizing your listing. The goal of this step is to make it more attractive and useful to searchers and researchers, thereby motivating more interaction, engagement and business.
For instance, among the features listed above was images of your business inside and out. In order for those to be of assistance to people searching for you, the images must exist and be included in your GMB profile. There are several areas that require your focus, a number of which will be topics of future blog articles on this online site.
I am here to help you make the best of this highly effective tool.
Lastly, unlike a phone book listing, you can not just create it and then never pay attention to it again. Why not?
Because the world wide web is effervescent and ever changing, and the listing is designed for consumer interaction. Google urges users who have been to your geographic location to leave comments, add their own pictures, ask or answer questions, and even suggest an edit to your information. With all this potential for the public to interact and even affect the look of your listing, you’ll need to assess it regularly and make sure the user-generated content reflects a proper image for your company.
Use the My Business app on your phone to easily stay up-to-date with many GMB features…
Check Back Often
Although you do not have control over all the content, how you interact or not can influence your online credibility. For example, if you receive a negative review, will you respond in a helpful or a unhelpful manner or, worse yet, not answer at all?
Are questions posed to your business left unanswered, or even worse yet, answered incorrectly by the public? Regularly checking out, updating and evaluating your GMB listing ensures the best ongoing results for your business.
Call Garey Simmons, DM Certified – 443-852-1000
Google changes their algorithms several times every week! Major changes come a few times a year. But keeping up with the mission of Google to help people seeking answers is the Number 1 Goal!