I will show you through this beginners’ article everything you need to know about Google My Business. Why it is important, it’s characteristics, where and how appears in Google Search and Google Maps
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a Free tool from Google for Local Businesses to add and manage their business profiles on Google Properties, in special Google Search and Google Maps.
It already had a few names, it was once known as Google Places for Business, Google Listings and Google+ Business Pages, but in June 2014, Google launched the tool under Google My Business’ name.
Why did Google release it?
Google wants to be the frontpage, the first port call when you are online. Now we can access Google Search, Google Maps, Google Docs, Gmail, Android, etc so whatever is your need Google has the solution or can help you search for one.
The longer you spend on Google or are dependent on Google the better for them because they will have more opportunities to show you ads and the main source of revenues for them is ads. And nearly 50% of ALL online searches are for businesses located nearby (“near me searches”) (Uberall.com).
What is a Google My Business profile?
Your Google My Business Profile is your business’ homepage on Google, but many prefer to call it a listing.
When users use Google Search or Google Maps to search for local businesses like yours near them or even your business, your profile may appear for them.
How and where your business may appear across Google
Knowledge Panel On Direct Searches
Direct searches are those that customers search for your business. Example: “My Business Name “ or “My Business Name in Bristol”. So Google will bring the Business Knowledge Panel with your business profile information:
Knowledge Panel Examples- Mobile(left) and Desktop (Right)
Google Local Pack
If customers look in Google Search for services/products offered by local businesses, a local search feature appears, nicknamed Google Local Pack, with a small Map and 3 local businesses listings. There used to be 10 listings and they cut to 7 then down to 3.
Google Local Pack Examples- Mobile(left) and Desktop (Right)
Google Local Finder
When you press “More places” at the Google Local Pack, the Local Finder opens and shows a list of Local Business on the left and the local map on the right on desktop or shows a list of business listings with the profiles’ photos on mobile searches.
Google Local Finder Examples- Mobile(left) and Desktop (Right)
Google Map Finder
When you search for businesses on Google Maps on desktop, you have a similar setup as the Local Finder but they are not the same.
On mobile searches the map finder shows a map with place labels related to your search, you can press on a place label and that business profile pop-ups.
At the bottom of the touchscreen, you can press “Show list” and a list with business profiles is shown.
What are the benefits to be on Google Search and Google Maps?
We all know it is very important for your business to show up on Google whenever someone searches for your business, one of your products or services in Google search or Google Maps.
We can even say Google is almost omnipresent when it comes to online searches, in fact, 9 in 10 people uses Google to search for something. Also, nowadays no one looks at yellow pages for businesses, they “google” it. Even when someone recommends a place or business, most of the time you check it online before a visit or a contact.
I am just going through some quick facts to reinforce the importance of adding your business to it:
– Google holds 92% of the Worldwide search engine market share, and a 93% and 96% market share in UK and Ireland, respectively (StatCounter)
– 85% of people look online for products and services in their local area every month (globalwebindex.com)
– Nearly 50% of ALL online searches are for businesses / services located nearby (“near me searches”) (Uberall.com)
– 76% of consumers who did a local Google search visited a local business. (HubSpot Marketing Statistics)
– 96% of customers are more likely to visit a local business that has business hours on the Google Search or Maps page (IPSOS)
– 90% of customers are more likely to visit a company with a phone number in their Google My Business profile (IPSOS)
– Google My Business profiles have more comments and ratings than Facebook and Yelp combined (searchengineland.com)
– Companies were found through unbranded searches 70% of the time versus 30% through branded research. In other words, most of the traffic comes from consumers who are still not sure which company to choose (Google Insights)
What can you do with a Google My Business profile?
– Write a compelling business description
– Add and change contact information, address, business hours, website
– Add photos and videos to your listing
– Request and reply to Reviews
– Reply to Google My Business Q&As left by customers
– Create Google My Business Posts to showcase updates, offers, events and promotions
– Add services, food menus and product collections
– Add appointment links or delivery partners links
– Encourage your most loyal clients to ‘Follow’ you on Google Maps
– Use the message feature for customers to contact you for reservation or quotes
– Use search Insights, to learn things like:
> How many people visit your website
> How many people searched for driving directions
> How many people called you
> How many people viewed photos of your business
Your business must be on Google. I will show you all the techniques and how to manage the profile for you to get at the top through my GMB Empower Initiative and through articles, videos you can find on the Knowledge Hub. You should start here: How to add a business to Google and Google Maps.