What is it?
Formerly known as Google Places, Google + local, Google+ (yep they just love changing the name) Google My Business is the new streamlined local business directory by Google.
It provides small businesses the opportunity to increase their online visibility & provides a platform to engage with customers, making it an important part of any SEO checklist.
You could call it an all in one solution – local listings functionality of places, social options of G+ and discoverability features of Google maps.
Why use it?
It’s FREE and Easy To Use
Always a bonus for businesses with limited marketing budgets and better things to do than work out a complicated interface a computer science degree student from Cambridge would struggle with.
Show Up In Local Search Results
Whenever someone searches a word or term that Google deems to have local intent Eg “Plumber in London” or “Italian Restaurant Leeds” Google will normally display 3 local listings above the standard results.
Within the 3 results are direct links to company websites, directions to the business address, opening & closing times and a summary of reviews.
Instant Customer Interaction
Clicking on a listing will bring up further information including the business telephone number, which provides click to call functionality.
Not only does this make your business information more searchable, but allows customers to make an informed decision to contact your business without even having the need to visit your website.
Enhance Your Search Listing
Knowledge graph and social proof features on Google My Business provide you with the ability to make your search listing stand out from the crowd. Showing things like physical location, follower count and customer reviews within search results is likely to increase your click through rate (CTR).
Undertaking a new ad campaign
Google My Business integrates with Adwords Express allowing for the creation and tracking of campaigns from the intuitive dashboard.
Showcase your products & services
You can really set your brand apart by adding videos, virtual tours and displaying top reviews.
Engage With Your Customers
The platform allows business owners to not only respond to both positive and negative reviews and share valuable content but to engage directly with customers via the Hangouts on Air feature.
Become a community leader
The communities feature provides the opportunity for any business to be an influential leader in their industry. There are thousands of interest based communities to share expert knowledge and become active in, making it likely there is one suited to your business.
Integrate Social Media Accounts
Google My Business allows for easy integration of other social media accounts. The integration allows Google My business posts to be embedded on Facebook and Twitter, helping you build additional connections.
Easy to update & manage
Your business information can be updated as frequently as you like. From your business account you can update descriptions/contact numbers/business website URL etc.
Access From Any Device
The platform can be accessed via the Android and IOS apps available on Google play, providing you the handy option of accessing your dashboard via mobile device.
Ready to get started?
Create a profile on Google My Business or start optimising your current listing in order to start reaching local customers.