Google offers many tools to help users do everything from finding places to translating sentences. But if you’re a local business owner, Google My Business will stand out as a unique tool that can help you reach more customers and improve your SEO. If you’re a business owner and you don’t yet know what Google My business is, you should definitely learn about the tool.

What makes GMB stand out as a good tool for businesses that operate in a local area is that it helps them get listed in local search results. By providing Google with some important information about your business, you’ll get listed in local search results that target your products and services. After all, there’s no use for a local business to show up in search results that aren’t local. Search results that aren’t targeted to show up in local results could just as well be people on the opposite side of the world. Obviously that won’t help if you only operate locally.

Google My Business Useful Features

Google My Business is an amazing tool that can help you gain a considerable amount of traffic from the world’s most popular search engine. The tool is useful for any business, but it’s particularly good for businesses that operate locally. Here are some of the things Google My Business will allow you to do:

  • Update business information: Add a short description about your company and easily change information about your operating hours, contact information or location.
  • Add some photos: Add a picture of the building where you operate, or your office. There are a lot of fakes online, so showing that you’re real will instantly build trust.
  • Keep track of reviews: Google My Business allows you to easily keep track of your Google reviews and respond to them. Connecting with customers is one of the main advantages of online marketing, so any tool that makes it easier is gladly welcomed.
  • SEM marketing feedback: You’ll be able to trace back how new customers find you and measure the ROI of marketing campaigns more efficiently.

Filling Out Your GMB Information

The information provide GMB will be valid across all the Google services that you use, like YouTube or Google+. This means that you can update information – like a change of address, for instance – on one central dashboard.

Add as much information about your business as possible. This will give Google more to work with when searching, which will improve the SEO of your business listing. Local businesses should always add their location in the form of an address. Don’t forget contact information and business hours, so that customers will know when they’ll be able to get hold of you. A photo of your staff, office or building will make your listing more interesting to look at and assure customers that your business is real.

To get the most out of the information you provide, the phone number you use should be local and match the number on your website and landing pages. The business categories you choose should be accurate and your listing must use your actual business name.

It’s important that you regularly check up on your GMB information to ensure it’s still up to date and that nothing has been changed without your knowledge.

GMB Optimization

GMB is a very useful tool, but it isn’t like a social media platform, using it it rather straightforward. But you should definitely encourage your happy customers to leave reviews. Good reviews have a big influence on customers’ buying decisions. Your business’s star rating will also be displayed on SERPs (search engine results pages), so a positive star rating can increase your click through rate from your listing.

The key is to encourage positive reviews. You probably wouldn’t click through to a website with a star rating of less than three. To have mostly bad reviews will make your business look terrible. Unfortunately people can be rather harsh, only bothering to leave a review whenever they weren’t satisfied with your business. The good news is that happy customers are usually willing to leave a positive review when you ask them politely over email or in person.

GMB is one of the best tools for local businesses to use. Most digital marketers see it as an absolute must for small to medium sized local businesses. Optimizing your GMB information for both Google and customers is what you should be aiming to do. By using the tool right, your Google listing should be easy to find and attract a high click through rate to your website.

Does all this sound like too much? Are you tired of trying to keep up with managing your online presence?

Anyone who’s ever tried to maintain an online presence knows it isn’t an easy task. Digital marketing is very technical, entire blogs are dedicated to getting better search engine rankings, measuring ROI and improving your digital marketing efforts. The field is also dynamic and requires constant learning. Many busy business owners just can’t keep up the pace. It can easily become full-time work.

But because digital marketing is largely taking over more traditional mediums, many local businesses are turning to professional online marketing companies to help them get good results from their online marketing efforts. A professional online marketer can help you design a professional website, get ranked in local search results and maintain your online presence on social media.

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