Google My Business: What it is, and Why it is a Necessity

Image showing VanD Web Marketing is number 1 in Google search locally.

What is Google My Business?

What is the quickest way to find an answer? While back in the day it would have been a chore to fact check a friend or colleague by heading to a library, today all of Earth’s known information is in most people’s pockets. This is true for fact checking, entertainment, and commerce. The internet is quickly becoming more utilized for commerce than brick and mortar stores. Knowing this, it would be beneficial to you to learn the ins and outs of all electronic means of commerce, if you want to build a lucrative business.

Google has been everyone’s friend since its release in 1998, granting anyone whom asks almost instantaneous answers at a click of a button. Since its release, Google has been gathering data on every webpage and bit of data online. Complex algorithms and web page crawls developed over time, and Google quickly became the number one source of information in the world.

Businesses caught wind of Googles capabilities, and In an effort to gain more visibility on Google, many businesses create a Google business listing, also known as a Business Profile. These profiles do not give full management over your Google Business Profile, so it is required to also create a free Google My Business account for that profile.

A Google My Business, or GMB, account is the main means by which you can guarantee responsibility for Business Profile, achieve the privileges and authorities to it, and open extra free capabilities to expand your visibility on Google.

Google’s term for your Google business listing is your Business Profile. Business Profiles appear in Google Maps and in the local results of Google Search.

Business Profiles on Google Search look like this:

Different Aspects of a Business Profile

Business Profiles on Google Maps look like this:

Example of a Business Profiles on Google Maps

Making a Business Profile is exactly the same thing as adding a location to Google Maps — which is something that anybody (including untrusted or an automatic post generator) can do. All that Google requires is the business name, location, and category the business falls under. When Google confirms the business’ authenticity, they will make the Business Profile for that area. The Business Profile is then open to customers to leave surveys, add photographs, get clarification on some pressing issues, and even respond to questions. The Business Profile may also get populated with data that Google pulls in from across the web.

This means, a Business Profile can exist all alone, aside from a Google My Business account. Just realize that regardless of whether you made your own Business Profile, you will not be able to interact with the data it gathers and collects.

That is where GMB comes in. By making a Google My Business account, will be able to edit, monitor, interact, and improve your Business Profile on Google, all still free of charge.

Creating a GMB

To get a Google My Business account, go to google.com/business and snap “Manage now,” which will walk you through creating an account. Keep in mind, a Google My Business Account doesn’t consequently make a Business Profile — it allows you to access add more to it. So you’ll want to make sure you have an existing Business Profile to access.

Additionally, remember that making a GMB account doesn’t give you automatic admittance to your Business Profile. When you make and are signed into your GMB account, you will then have to find your different Business Profile on Google Maps and afterward select the “Own this business?” or “Claim this business” interface seen right on the profile. When you complete that interaction, your Google My Business record will then, at that point, be associated with your Business Profile and under your management.

Maximize GMB Efficiency

Maximize GMB Efficiency

Now that you officially have a GMB, it is time to maximize use of this free platform. GMB grants its management to engage with customers, highlight their business’, gain insight into search performance, and ensure local SEO is done properly.

You can respond to reviews, answer questions, enable direct messaging, and set up associated alerts. You can even use Google My Business to publish posts to your Business Profile, much like you would with Facebook and other social media platforms.

A Business Profile alone contains limited information about your business. But through your Google My Business account dashboard, you can provide hours, a link to your website, products and pricing, attributes, and other details that make your business unique. You will also use your Google My Business to make edits and updates as needed.

You can use the Google My Business dashboard to gain key insights on your audience and local search performance. In the analytics tab of the platform, you can see the queries customers are using to find your Business Profile, whether they found you on Google Maps or Google Search, a breakdown of actions taken on your listing, and how your photos are performing compared to other profiles in your category. Note also that there are ways to track clicks from a Business Profile via UTM parameters and Google Analytics.

Just as Google has algorithms for ranking its ads and websites, it also has one for ranking Business Profiles. Through your Google My Business dashboard, you can incorporate keywords into your Business Profile and perform other optimizations to help it rank in local results, which we’re going to cover next.

GMB and SEO

Google Business Profiles are dynamic. They change per platform presented upon, and Google will prioritize words, phrases, and even emboldened text. The header settings on your posts will also let Google know those words and phrases are important, assisting your pages to be found by keywords that are commonly looked for, keeping your page relevant. But there needs to be information to prioritize and keywords to embolden in your profile in the first place. How do you use Google My Business for local SEO? Well, since optimizing for Google is essentially optimizing for searchers, it all comes down to the same three things: targeting, quality of information, and trust.

SEO is important for any business, but particularly for small businesses that can use local targeting to compete against large competitors on the search engine results page. Google is making local SEO even easier with its robust Business Profiles, so a Google My Business account is essential for any business trying to maximize visibility in their local market.

With a clear understanding of exactly what Google My Business is, how it works, and how to use it, you can now see that using this free tool isn’t just a good idea for local marketing, but it is a must. Get your Google My Business account up and running now so your Business Profile can outshine your competitors and attract more customers on the world’s most popular search engine.

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