YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Google My Business is an important tool your business should take advantage of because it is a free component offered by Google, which dominates information and search on the Internet.
iSynergy, a Canfield-based digital marketing and SEO agency, conducted a webinar Sept. 14 that outlined how to use this tool. The webinar is posted at BusinessJournalDaily.com/webinars. It was led by two of iSynergy’s experts – Dan Reash, digital marketing specialist, and Anthony Cornejo, market research analyst. What follows are key points.
What is GMB?
Google My Business is a free tool to manage your online presence across Google’s various platforms for both organic search results and Google Maps. Google My Business sets the foundation for search engine optimization (SEO) for your business.
Ensuring the accuracy and consistency of your profile is essential to success on search. The best part about your GMB account is that it allows you to control the information about your business and take control of your online presence.
The main components of a GMB profile are:
• NAP (Name, Address, Phone)
• Business description.
• Information panel.
• Listing in Google maps.
• Local map pack.
To optimize for success, your business should be listed in as many places as possible: Google, Bing, Yelp, all the different directories online. Be sure that your information is listed accurately and consistently. It not only gives you credibility in the customer’s eyes, it also gives you more credibility in Google’s eyes.
When you establish credibility for your business, its listing will be more likely to rank higher when Google is serving peoples search results.
As much as Google sometimes makes frustrating changes, the platform has stayed consistent in one key goal: to serve users the most relevant results when they use the Google search engine.
The Value of GMB
Data can tell a powerful story about the value of business tools – specifically, Google Search. Here’s why:
• Google captures 95% of the mobile search engine market in the United States (Statista).
• Roughly a third of all mobile Google searches are related to location (Blue Corona).
GMB provides credibility to the customer and to Google itself by getting customer reviews and replying to them, and updating business information and photos of your business to display the customer experience.
By optimizing your GMB listing, your business will gain improved organic visibility and receive placement across multiple locations on Google.
If you are a bricks-and-mortar business, you can increase storefront traffic by 70%, as well as increase purchase intent by up to 50%, according to studies.
The “local pack” is what displays when a search shows local intent right after the Search ads and before the organic search results. This goes back to the relevance of search that Google wants to serve customers.
For example, if a customer searches dog groomers, it is likely he is searching for a local dog groomer. So the “local pack” would show up. If he searched dog supplies, this “local pack” would likely not show up. From there, you can click on a listing to see more information on a business. The business profile will come up.
On a mobile device, there are additional capabilities on the business profile, including an option to directly call the business, directions to the business prominent pictures of the business, and featured items such as a sale or menu item.
Creating Your Listing
Accuracy and consistency are key in presenting your information and creating your GMB business profile.
Once your listing is created, there is a short verification process in which Google will mail a postcard with a verification code to your listed business address to legitimize your listing.
This process needs to be completed accurately from the start so that there is no holdup with your business verification.
Using Your Listing
When it comes to using your business listing, updating your business information is always the first thing you should do. Managing customer reviews also is important because anyone can see those reviews on your business listing.
Google also provides real-time analytics on how your GMB listing is performing. Looking at those on a consistent basis will help you understand your business’s performance and provide insight to what you can do better.
To get the deep dive into how to create and manage your GMB listing, view iSynergy’s webinar. Go to BusinessJournalDaily.com/webinars and scroll to Recent Webinars.