Google My Business is a free tool provided by Google that allows business owners and marketers like you to take control of how your business is displayed on Google Search and Maps. By creating a Google My Business local listing, you can play an essential role in your search engine results placement, online reviews, and engagement with your prospective customers.

If you’re curious on how to create a Google My Business local listing, take a look at this video, courtesy of the Bigger Better Biz channel.

If you’re still not a believer in Google My Business, take a look at these benefits of getting your business online with Google.

5 Reasons to Create Your Google My Business Local Listing

Google My Business Makes You Visible

Simply put, using Google My Business improves your business’s visibility on Google Search and Google Maps. Many third-party sites (also known as local search directories or data aggregators) rely on Google for your business information. By completing your business profile, you increase your chances of being featured on those sites. You’re also feeding invaluable information about your business directly to Google, which makes you more relevant when someone searches.

Google My Business Ensures Consistency

Again, you’re inputting information about your business directly into Google, which is the world’s #1 search engine, so updating your local listing in Google My Business guarantees the accuracy of your business information in Google. In essence, you hold the keys to the Google kingdom. If you ever move your business to a new location or change phone numbers, you can update your info in just a few keystrokes, ensuring that your current and prospective customers can find you when they most need your products or services.

Using Google My Business also allows you to update your business hours, which has become increasingly important over the years. Consumers want instant gratification, and a critical piece of that is knowing that you’re open for business. The worst thing you can do is show that you’re open online when you’re actually closed. It’s the easiest way to alienate, confuse, and lose customers.

Overall, this informational consistency is invaluable to make sure customers are contacting you at the right times to satisfy their needs in the moment.

Google My Business Provides a First Impression

Google coined the term “Micro-Moment” which signifies a moment where a consumer needs to know, go, do, or buy. The consumer has a need and will ignore brand or company loyalty to satisfy that brand as quickly as possible. Your Google My Business local listing sets a first impression that can make or break the buying experience.

By uploading photos and videos into your Google My Business profile, you set the stage for consumers, and, if you’ve uploaded the proper content, give them a reason to buy from you. Consider uploading photos and videos of:

– Your products and or services being performed
– Your team
– Your place of business (if you have a physical location)
– Your service fleet (if you provide services)
– Customer testimonials and more

This content will definitely help you to create that first impression you need to get the sale. As a rule of thumb, you should have at least 5-10 photos and videos to start and continue adding 3-5 photos or videos each month. The more interactive content you have, the better.

Google My Business Takes Up Valuable Real Estate

In the world of search, there is no more valuable space than the search engine results page (SERP.) If you have a fully optimized Google My Business profile, then you have a great chance of taking up an amazing amount of space on the SERP.

For instance, look at our Google My Business local listing when someone searches for “Web Designer” in and around the Greater Boston area. Someone searching will see our latest photos or videos, our outstanding reviews, and more information and ways to contact us to get started with their web design project. By being there in that micro-moment, we have a great chance of winning business. Funny enough, just a few days ago, we received a call for that very reason.

Google My Business Helps Your Digital Reputation

In a world where consumers make split-second decisions based on your ability to satisfy their need, you need positive online reviews. Google My Business allows your customers to leave you Google reviews that will show up in a search. If you provide a quality customer experience, then these reviews should be positive with four or five stars attached. In fact, 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as they do a recommendation from a friend or family member. Reviews are just that powerful! Many business owners are worried, though, because they feel asking for reviews will open up Pandora’s Box and invite negative reviewers.

What business owners don’t understand is that negative reviews still provide an opportunity to showcase your professionalism and positive attitude toward improving your customer experience. The big thing here is to reply to each and every review, whether positive or negative. To keep track of your reviews on Google and other sites around the web, consider a tool like MyReviewDashboard.

Get Started with Google My Business

So there you have it. Google My Business is a powerful, value-add platform for your small business. From increasing your visibility to making a powerful first impression to helping you manage your digital reputation, you can’t deny the value that a Google My Business profile adds to your digital marketing. To get started, go to http://www.google.com/business.

If you need help along the way, tune into the Bigger Better Biz channel’s Google My Business playlist for helpful hints and tips.

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About the Author

Bryan Caplan helps businesses elevate their digital presence. A national speaker for Grow with Google, award-winning CEO of Bryan Caplan Marketing and host of the Bigger Better Biz channel on YouTube, Bryan travels the country, presenting on a wide range of digital marketing topics to help small businesses grow and succeed.

Bryan has provided digital marketing strategy to well over 1,000 businesses since 2010 and is a guest lecturer at Suffolk University School of Business. He is also a contributing columnist to several publications including GoDaddy, WorldPay, BlueHost, Constant Contact, BusinessTown, and the Boston Business Journal.

Book Bryan to speak at your next event at www.BryanSpeaks.com.