What is Google My Business and How Does it Work? Google My Business (GMB) is a free way to list your business.
It’s especially beneficial for local businesses who want to manage their presence on Google’s search results. Unlike other business directories like Yelp, GMB listings can be found directly on Google as well as Google Maps.
More than just being a simple business listing, it has numerous other features and functions that improve online visibility for local businesses.
Google describes Google My Business as…
“A free and easy-to-use tool to manage a business’s online presence across Google—including both search results and maps. Through GMB, customers can discover your business and other info that can help them locate or contact you.”
What is Google My Business and How Does it Work? How consumers use Google My Business
Customers use Google My Business for a wide range of reasons, such as to:
- Find out a business’s operating hours
- Find a business address or get directions to it
- Contact a business without having to visit their website
- Write and read reviews on a specific business
- Check photos of a business as well as its products/services
- Visit a local business website
- Make online bookings
- Ask and answer questions about a business or its offerings
How to Create a Google My Business listing?
To create a GMB listing, you have to have a business with a physical location that prospective customers can visit.
Google, however, doesn’t require a physical location for service-area businesses or SABs. Examples of such businesses are pest control companies, plumbers, cleaners, and other similar service providers that provide home services.
Instead, service-area businesses are able to identify the areas where they serve customers. For instance, a cleaning service might offer their services within a 6-mile radius.
Why is Google My Business Important?
A GMB listing is one of the most, if not the most, important aspects of local SEO. It provides many benefits—not just to your business but also to searchers trying to find businesses online.
Google My Business is important because it allows you to list your business location on Google Maps as well as on local search results. Through it, you can display important details about your business that potential customers may find useful including opening/closing times, phone number, or your website.
Top Ways Google My Business Benefits Customers
As the main factor of local SEO, your GMB listing is one of the first resources that prospects will see if they search for a keyword that’s related to your business. Here are seven ways your GMB listing can benefit your customers:
1. Makes it easier to find important details
A GMB profile allows potential customers to source info about your business such as its phone number, address, or operating times. Having these details available online can make it more convenient for a prospect to patronize your business.
2. Quick and easier comparisons
Having a GMB listing allows users to make fast and more convenient comparisons as opposed to having to switch to multiple websites.
When you provide potential customers with enough info about your business to make a purchase decision, they’re more likely to choose your business over competitors. That’s why it’s important to claim your GMB profile so you can add photos, posts, as well as your business offerings.
When you help inform searchers, prospects are sure to be grateful for making it convenient for them to access the info that they’re looking for.
Providing complete details can also save you time, too. Because if searchers can immediately find what they’re looking for, they’re less likely to come to you for the answers.
You can do this either by writing an extensive product description or encouraging reviews that provide more info about your business offering.
3. Makes bookings and appointments easier
Google My Business listing also has a “Book an Appointment” feature. This is especially handy for any business that requires appointments to run such as spas, salons, dentists, and other service-based businesses.
Simplifying the whole customer journey by utilizing such features can lead to happier customers, which in turn means more business for you!
4. Gives consumers a way to provide feedback
Google My Business allows users to give their own feedback to businesses via the app. This way, customers can validate the opinions left by others for a more accurate overview of the business.
Features such as the “Suggest an Edit” or “Provide Feedback” options ensure that any details shown on GMB profiles are up-to-date. Other features that contribute to this goal like the Q&A, reviews, and photos section.
All of the above present a simplified way to search for and pinpoint relevant local businesses in one’s area.
Why Google My Business is the number one local ranking factor
Now that we’ve established the importance of Google My Business to users, it’s now time to discuss the benefits of the platform to local businesses.
As the number one local ranking factor, it currently has the biggest impact when it comes to your business appearing in Google’s local search results.
Aside from being a top-ranking factor, optimizing your GMB profile is also one of the most effective ways to increase your visibility on maps and local search engines.
That’s why if you want to be competitive and rank better for related local search terms, claiming and optimizing your GMB listing is the way to go.
Be part of a zero-click search through Google My Business
Zero-click search is defined as users being able to find what they’re looking for without having to click a link or go to a website.
This means that actions such as a sale or purchase are happening within just the search results. Nowadays, more and more users don’t even need to visit a business’s website since they can find what they need on the search results page itself.
A good example of this is a Google My Business listing where potential customers can already find all the info they need.
As zero-click searches become the norm, being able to provide accessibility and convenience to prospects should be at the forefront of your local SEO goals. Without a GMB listing, you could miss out on attracting customers as they search for a business such as yours.
Why You Should Get on Google My Business Now
Google My Business offers a multitude of features and functions that any local business will surely find helpful.
From links that make it easy to contact your business, get directions, or book appointments—you can virtually do anything from your GMB profile. When you make it easy for searchers to get the details they need without needing to visit your website, you’re making it easier for them to convert as customers as well.