Google My Business is a top tool for managing your business and growing an online reputation. Without it, getting the word of your services out is a struggle.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a tool that can boost your company’s online presence and visibility.
If you want to make your business as easy to find as possible, it’s in your best interest to set up a GMB page. Without one, it can be very tricky to get the word out, especially when other businesses near you might have a robust online presence.
Fortunately, GMB is absolutely free; all you have to do to set your business up with a page is claim it first on Google. Once you’ve done that, you can add information about your company so customers can easily find it locally and then optimize it with photos and strategic keyword placement.
How and why to use Google my Business for local marketing?
We firmly believe that every company should make the most of Google My Business. It’s a free tool that offers an incredible amount of value, particularly for spreading the word about your business locally and helping you climb SEO rankings.
Here are the top three most compelling reasons to consider setting up a Google My Business account today:
1. A Google My Business account raises discoverability
You want customers to stumble upon your business through Google’s search engine, right?
If so, you’re doing your business a disservice if you don’t have a GMB account.
The number one reason to claim your business through Google and establish a GMB page is to boost your online presence. It’s one of the easiest ways to increase the visibility of your business locally and online without spending a dime.
When you’re up and running with a GMB account, customers will be much more likely to come across your business when they conduct a search on Google. What’s more, they’ll be able to see what other customers have to say about you through Google reviews, which is one of the best ways to build loyalty and draw in more business.
2. A Google My Business account makes a great connection with customers
If you’ve ever tried to do some research on a product or business before and struggled to find any results online, you’ll know how frustrating this can be.
Without a GMB account, how are prospective customers going to find out more about who you are and what services your business offers?
Through the GMB page, customers will be able to interact with your business by way of leaving reviews, as well as navigating straight to your website or social media pages. This not only strengthens your relationship with potential customers and allows you to direct them to places where you can convert the interest into sales.
3. A Google My Business account gives more credibility to the company
With a GMB account, you can enhance the credibility of your company, which can make it much easier for potential customers to choose you over the competition.
Think about it: would you rather buy a product from the company with a lackluster online presence and just a couple of reviews, or from the one which has a GMB page, a website, and a wealth of customer reviews?
Many people choose to read reviews and pay attention to star ratings before they make a purchase decision. As such, you should do your best to give them every reason to go with you over the competition. You can increase your chances of success by outshining the company with a solid online reputation backed up by Google reviews.
4. Local SEO
With Google My Business, you can stand to gain much more than just an online presence for your company.
It isn’t enough to just be available online to your customers.
If you want to drive growth, then you need to organically reach as many new customers as possible.
So, how can Google My Business help you do that?
Well, in short, by boosting your company’s local SEO rating which essentially means you will show up more prominently in the popular search engine. As a result, when prospective customers are looking for a business like yours online, your company should be one of the first they come across.
However, just signing up for a Google My Business account doesn’t guarantee you a solid local SEO ranking. You have to do some of the heavy lifting, too.
Specifically, you need to optimize your website in a way that search engines recognize. That means you have to try and stand out from your competition by putting out high-quality content and building backlinks that cement your place as an authoritative brand in the industry.
Another huge contributing factor to your local SEO ranking is Google reviews. You’ll want to develop strategies for collecting as many as possible as they can help you climb the rankings and boost your online visibility.
Don’t make the mistake that so many other business owners have in not claiming their GMB listing. You will effectively be disregarding a powerful free marketing tool if you don’t claim your listing, so we highly recommend you do so if you haven’t already.
Step by step guide: how to set up a Google My Business account?
Setting up a GMB account doesn’t have to be a complex, time-consuming affair. In fact, it’s a lot simpler than many people think.
It’s completely free to register your company for a Google My Business account, and the benefits are numerous, so follow our step-by-step guide to boost your online presence today.
Here are the steps you’ll need to take to set up a Google My Business account for your company:
1. First, to set up a GMB account for your business, you’ll need to ‘claim’ your business. If your business is already listed online, simply type in your business name on the GMB website, and then you can follow the process for claiming it as yours. If your business doesn’t already have an online presence, then you’ll need to select ‘add your business to Google.’
2. Next, enter your business name and business category.
3. If you have a store or an office that customers can go to in person, select ‘yes’, if not then choose ‘no’.
4. Now, enter the address of your business including the postal code, city, and country.
5. You should then be prompted to add a marker on the map to indicate exactly where your business is located.
6. If you serve customers outside of the location indicated, you should choose ‘yes, I also serve them outside my location’ on the following page.
7. Now enter any contact details you’d like for customers to know. This includes a website and a phone number. We strongly recommend you don’t skip this section, since it’s hugely important to provide your customers with a few ways to reach out to you if they have any queries. This can also build customer trust and loyalty.
8. Finally, you’ll have to choose which method of verification works best for you. Once you complete the verification process, your business will be fully registered with GMB, and you’ll be able to start managing your online presence.
How to verify your business on Google?
After you’ve gone through the process of setting up your business with a GMB page, you’ll be prompted to verify your business (see above).
This is one of the most important parts of the whole process, as, without verification, you cannot manage your business online with Google.
Fortunately, it’s simple to verify your business on Google, and the company provides several options so you can pick whatever is most convenient for you.
Here are the steps for verifying your business and the three different methods for doing so:
- Verifying your business through Google via postcard is one of the most popular options, and once you request it, you should receive the postcard within 14 days. To do so, search for your business on the GMB website (as seen in the above screenshot) and request a postcard.
- To keep things online, you can request for a verification code to arrive in your email inbox. Go to GMB and find your business, click ‘verify,’ and then select the ‘email’ option and follow the instructions.
- To receive the verification code by phone, click on your phone number on the verification screen, and then wait for an incoming call.
How to claim your business on Google?
Claiming a business on Google is incredibly simple.
Either it already exists online, in which case you can go through the process of claiming ownership, or, you can manually enter the details of your business and sign it up for the first time.
With either method, you’re going to have to go to the GMB website or app, and from there, you’ll be able to find your business or enter the details for the first time.
Once you’ve gone through the process of claiming your business, you’ll then need to verify it, and you can do so following the guide provided above.
How to optimize your Google My Business account, why is it worth to do?
There are a whole host of ways you can optimize your Google My Business account and an equal number of reasons to do so.
By making the effort to optimize your GMB account, you give off a great first impression to your customers and make it easy for them to make a purchase decision.
You can also climb the local SEO rankings if you take the time to optimize your GMB account, which can dramatically boost your visibility and online reputation.
Here are some of the best ways to optimize your GMB account:
Fill Out Everything
The simplest way to optimize your GMB listing is to make sure all of the information is filled out, to make it easy for the customer to find you.
- Sign into your GMB page
- Click on the ‘Info’ tab and click on the pencil icon next to the fields you haven’t yet filled out.
Google posts is a feature that allows you to create a blog-style post to highlight a new product, share an update, or generally keep your customer base informed of any changes with your business.
You can attach Call-to-action buttons to your multimedia posts to encourage customers to take action and engage with your business in some way. As such, the more posts you make, the better.
By optimizing your GMB account, you can attract customers in novel ways. Instead of going the old-fashioned route and using a photo of your restaurant’s front entrance as the profile picture, why not pick out a flattering photo that a customer took of one of your dishes?
That way, you give potential customers a taste of what they can expect at the restaurant. If all you do is fill out the basic information for your business on GMB and nothing more, you might give off the impression that you aren’t a customer-friendly business. Instead, take the opportunity to integrate customer feedback and photos into your profile, and show that you care about the overall customer experience.
Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews
Often, customers will be willing to leave a review when they’ve had an outstanding experience with a business. Yet this doesn’t mean they always will.
Unfortunately, you can’t sit back and rely on the good faith of your customer base if you want to accumulate reviews. You have to adopt an active approach, and solicit reviews from your customers.
This can be as simple as adding a link to an email or giving out a card with your business’ website URL on it so customers know where to leave a review and how much it means to you.
Respond to Reviews
You should do your best to respond to reviews as promptly and politely as possible.
A few negative reviews shouldn’t harm the reputation of your business, but if you try and sweep them under the carpet and ignore them, you might suffer as a result. An unsatisfied customer whose complaints seemingly go unnoticed isn’t someone you want to deal with.
To avoid this awkward situation and to boost your customer relations, try your best to stay on top of negative reviews with prompt responses and sincere apologies.
Display Reviews on Your Website
Another good idea would be to display Google reviews customers have left for your business on your web page. When someone stumbles upon your business listing through a Google search or Maps and follows a link to your website, you want them to see what an amazing time other customers have had dealing with you. It gives the impression that you deliver on your promises and that you make customer satisfaction a priority.
Add special features
There are a few extra features you might like to take advantage of, too.
Attributes are short statements that help customers find your business and reach the best decision as quickly as possible.
For example, if you’re looking for a wheelchair-friendly restaurant, you will know if the business has updated its attributes.
If your business is popular enough, you can even engage directly with your customers through a Q&A.
To do so, check your listing with a Google search and scroll down to ‘Questions & answers.’ If you see that there are some questions in this section, you can go ahead and answer them either with a text or video response.
This can become a form of FAQ to further inform future customers of the services you offer.
Google My Business: the Reviews
Google reviews are one of the main reasons to take the time to set up a GMB account in the first place.
Once you have a GMB page, it will be much easier for customers to leave reviews about your business and find all the information they need to know in one place.
There are so many reasons why you should get on the bandwagon and try to accumulate as many Google reviews as possible for your business. Not only is it free marketing, but reviews from a platform as established as Google can skyrocket your sales and boost your online credibility.
The more reviews you have for your business, the more trustworthy prospective future customers will perceive you to be. You might argue that the effect isn’t positive if you have a large number of negative reviews, but the exposure you get from having lots of reviews is much better than having just a small handful of good reviews and ratings.
The best thing about Google Reviews is that they do all the work.
Once you put in the effort on your end to get as many reviews as possible from your customers, all you have to do is keep tabs on the negative reviews that pop up and respond to them accordingly. Aside from that, the reviews will take on a life of their own and rapidly spread the word about your business without you having to spend so much as a dollar.
There aren’t many ways of marketing your services that offer such value absolutely free.
But how do you get reviews in the first place with GMB?
There are a couple of ways you can get reviews to show up on your business listing, as well as on your website, so we’ll take you through each of these processes now.
Embed Google Reviews
If you want to come across as a legitimate business, you can’t just go copying and pasting reviews onto your website. Even if they are 100% real reviews left by previous customers, nobody will take them seriously because it will appear as if you wrote them yourself. Not to mention the content usage rights issues that can crop up as a result of doing this.
As such, if you want to display Google reviews on your website, you’re going to have to go through the process of embedding them.
An easy way to do this is to download a Google review widget.
With the widget, you’ll be able to filter and manage Google reviews for your business and proudly display them on your website.
Here’s how you can do that for your business using the Trustindex widget:
1. Go to the WordPress website, and track down the Trustindex Google review widget. Trustindex has a free Google review widget and a premium one. Simply enter ‘Trustindex’ into the search box, and you can find it. It should be the first widget that shows up.
2. Next, click the ‘Download’ button and you can gain access to the free widget for your WordPress website.
3. Finally, log in to your WordPress page and select the ‘plugin’ tab. When you find the Google review widget, click on the ‘install now’ button to begin the installation process. After you’ve installed the widget, you’ll be able to modify it anyway you want – though the features and functionality are limited with the free version.
- What is it, why do you need it?
Google My Business, commonly abbreviated to GMB, offers a simple way of listing your business on Google.
If you register your business for a GMB page, you will be able to reach more potential customers and increase your visibility by enhancing your local SEO ranking.
- How to get one? How to optimize the account?
GMB is completely free, and to set up a page you just need to claim your business.
Once you’ve claimed it through Google, you can optimize the account by adding all relevant information about your business and using pertinent keywords and photos.
- How to get Reviews with it? Why is it good?
To get more GMB reviews, you’ll want to set up a short Google link that will take customers directly to the page so they can leave their own review.
It’s worth having a GMB page because it can boost your online reputation and credibility.