How to capitalize on this fact to give your local business a boost using Google My Business
My goal is to bring the appropriate internet tools to the attention of local business owners that could benefit from them. Tools that, if they (the business owners) choose to take the time to learn, can work with on their own - for FREE! (Read that - NOT having to pay me or someone like me for assistance). Google My Business is one of those tools.
If you are a local business owner that doesn’t have a ton of money to shell out for marketing (yet), please read on! I will give a brief but thorough overview of Google My Business.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a platform given to business owners by the generous folks at Google, which allows them to create a listing for their local business. Owners can list the pertinent details about their business such as the address, phone number, website url etc. as well a few other (moderately sexy - but not really) bells and whistles - including the ability to post pictures of your staff, products, services, building etc.
Patrons of a business can also leave reviews on GMB.
The entire platform is fairly standard and simple garden variety stuff. In fact, when compared to other platforms provided for businesses (even other free platforms) it’s fairly limp, flaccid and otherwise unexciting!
Except for one thing
(Pay attention because the next few sentences are the CRUX of this entire post!)
It’s a Google product!
In other words, if you want to give the world’s most GINORMOUS search engine another avenue to notice your business then... USE IT, DUMMY! ;). Google is kind of like a huge narcissist; it LOVES to pay attention to itself!
Mmmmmkay, so now that that is out of the way, here are...
A Few Things You Should Know About Google My Business
First of all, yes - you ARE familiar with it.
Google My Business (GMB) listings are what you see in what is sometimes referred to as the “Map Pack” or the “3 pack” at the top of a search results page. Generally the 3 businesses that Google sees as the most relevant result based on what the person just searched for are the 3 that show in that map pack area - with more listings available by clicking the “more places” link underneath.
Second of all, even if you consider yourself technically challenged, you can set this up. It is very easy to do and it is ABSOLUTELY worth your time as a small business owner to do so.
Did I mention that it’s a freakin’ Google product? I did? Ok then.
I am not going to walk you through the steps of how to create your listing because - well….because this is meant to be an informative article, not a tutorial. Plus, Google does a good job of walking you through the process.
To get started, simply go to: google.com/business
If you run into snags along the way (things such as your business is already listed or claimed by someone else, here is a helpful little video by Google explaining the whole process.
A few things to keep in mind
When you set up your listing, be thorough! Every piece of information you can fill in...fill it in. Utilize EVERY tool within the platform that Google provides. Take pictures of your business or create relevant pictures. Do everything at 100% capacity.
Remember, just because you’ve created your listing doesn’t mean it’s going to show up in the top 3 next week! There are a LOT of factors that tie in to how well your GMB listing does.
How much competition there is for your type of business in your area. For example, it will be a LOT easier to get your business in the top 3 listings if you own a Tow Truck service in a town with a population of 4,000 people and there is only one other Towing service for 200 miles than it will be to rank your Tow Truck service in Chicago where there are likely HUNDREDS of towing businesses.
How well your actual website is optimized (SEO). Specifically, if you own that same Tow Truck business and you ARE in a place like Chicago, then one huge factor in how well your GMB listing will do is how much effort you put into your website. That is a whole different topic and way too large to discuss here. Suffice it to say that your overall web presence works hand-in-hand and how much effort you put into one area affects all the others.
The number of places all over the web that your business is noticed by Google (or “cited”). More specifically, how many times Google sees - in and on REPUTABLE sources - your business name, address and phone number.
I truly hope you found this article informative and useful. I especially hope so if YOU are the small business owner that could benefit from the informaton but also if you are in the business of helping others.
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