Over the last 18 months, Google has been pushing most businesses into using Google My Business in one form or another. In fact, the number of tools and applications that fall under the Google My Business umbrella has increased to the point where many business administrators have used it and not realized it.
So what is Google My Business exactly?
Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. By verifying and editing your business information, you can both help customers find you and tell them the story of your business.Google
Should I use Google My Business?
Do you like potential customers and clients finding your business and being able to easily find basic information about what you do? If you answered “Yes!” then Google My Business is one of the most important tools Google can offer you.
Why is GMB Important?
Other than the mains reason we listed above, Google My Business allows information about your business to show up in rich formatting in every Google service. That means maps and searches, which are what people are often looking for, to begin with. Google My Business information gets preferential placement so people can see your information all across Google’s ecosystem.
So that means the information you provide to your GMB profile may be the first experience people have with your business!
What all does GMB do?
Google My Business has tons of features that are helpful to businesses getting their information out there in an accurate form. Beyond just the basic information about yoru business, GMB can help facilitate the following:
- What services you provide and what industry you are in
- Product lists
- Hours of operation (and holidays)
- Payments accepted
- Pictures of your office, staff, and practice
- Coupons or special offers
- Recent news about your business
It also comes with tools that business owners will find sexier than just basic information about their businesses:
- Analytics about searches, emails, calls and map direction requests
- Map data about where people are asking for directions from
- The number of people who have used your listing to call your office
- The ability to view and respond to Google reviews
- The ability to add Chat directly to your Google listings
But What About SEO?
Ah, SEO… the magic three letter word that everyone is terrified of and no one seems to know how to talk about (See our article How Should You Think About SEO?).
The quick answer is that yes, your Google My Business profiles have an impact on your SEO rankings. The long answer is that, with everything Google, we don’t know exactly how and in what proportion your profile plays into search results. One of the things we always remind our clients is that SEO is about more than just keyword ranking! Google My Business doesn’t influence your SEO as much as it is a big part of your SEO.
We do know some of the factors Google uses in its search algorithm that are influenced by GMB:
- Relevance – The more truthful, extensive, and clear about who you are and what you do in your profiles, the more likely you are to show up on the kinds of search results you want to be found in.
- Location – Where you list your physical address will have an impact on your search results. A lawyer in Chicago won’t show up for local results in Dallas. This is an area where many businesses try to trick Google to their own disservice (See why)
- Activity – While this is somewhat cyclical, the activity your GMB page generates will inform Google as to the relevance of a person searching for a specific business. Updated profiles, new pictures, new posts, and relevant hours all play into how Google values a businesses listings.
Claim your business and update your profiles with accurate, truthful, relevant information. Fake information will only hurt you.
Here’s a quick list of things you should pay attention to:
- Update your listing with your actual business name.
- Make sure your business category is as accurate and relevant as possible!
- Completely fill out your profile…every…last…question!
- Make sure your business hours are accurate. Everyone has a mobile phone and Google will know if you’re closed!
- Keep your data up-to-date by regularly adding posts and pictures
If you’re a Clear Partnering Group client, we’ve been updating this information since day one!