Does your small business have a Google My Business account yet? If not, you could be missing out on a lot of potential customers, traffic, and exposure.
If you want your company to stay relevant and come up in Google search results, setting up a Google My Business page is a simple and effective way to do that.
Here are some important reasons why your business needs a Google My Business account.
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1. A GMB listing boosts your local SEO
SEO. That’s Search Engine Optimization if you’re new to the term. This simple, free tool is one of the best ways to improve your local SEO.
Have you ever done a google search for a business or service? Chances are you’ve seen the search bar auto-populate the words “near me” at the end of your search.
Google wants to help you find what you are searching for as close to your actual location as possible.
For example, let’s say your business specializes in lawn maintenance services. If someone in your area does a search for “grass cutting” or “lawn maintenance”, Google will automatically bring up the option to search near me and a couple of locations close to their location.
When I select the “near me” option, I get suggestions of companies close to where I live, which is great.
Only if your company doesn’t have a Google My Business listing, it’s not going to show up on this list.
Locals looking for lawn maintenance are not going to see your company name and contact info as a suggested business to contact.
2. It’s basically free advertising
It costs nothing to set up a Google My Business account. If you can show up in search results for something your business already specializes in, for free, why wouldn’t you take advantage of that?
3. It helps people find your physical location on a map
You provide Google with the actual location of your business to make it easy for potential customers to see exactly how to get there.
They’ll be able to select your location and automatically have Google Maps open on their phone to give them the quickest route to get there.
This is obviously important because if it’s easy to find you, the more likely it is you’ll see foot traffic as a result.
4. Collecting reviews
Google My Business makes it really easy for customers to leave a review of your product or service.
The more positive reviews you have, the higher in the list Google will rank your business in search results.
GMB provides you with a link to send to previous customers asking for a review. When all they have to do is click the link and click how many stars to give you, the more reviews you’ll get. Making it a quick and easy process will result in more reviews.
You also have the option to respond to the reviews and leave your client a message. This creates a dialogue with your customer and any new customers who view your listing can see firsthand just how you treat your clientele.
You can (and should) add photos to your account so potential customers can see examples of your product or work. I also find adding new photos on a regular basis really helps keep your listing coming up in search results.
Google bases where you fall in rankings based on location, reviews, and how active your listing is. Adding photos regularly keeps you ranking high in the list of results.
Check out this email I received for one of my clients whose GMB account I set up/manage.
Their photos have been viewed over 2000 times in one month! Proof that locals are visiting the listing and checking out the photos to see their work in action.
6. Up to Date info
Not only can you provide your address and contact info, making getting in touch quick and easy. But you can also list your hours of operation.
So anyone searching for a business like yours will be able to see in real-time, who is open or closed at the time of their search and if closed when that business will be opening again.
You can also update your hours as needed for various events and special occasions. People are often searching for what’s open on statutory holidays.
Keeping your listing updated with stat day hours will help them determine what businesses are available to them.
7. Insights and Reminders
Google sends you insights directly to your email so you can see what’s working and what’s not.
You’ll get emails with:
- stats regarding how you’re ranking in search results
- what photos are getting the most views
- notifying you on upcoming stat days & remind you to update your hours if needed
- suggestions to improve your listing
- notifications of new reviews
Basically, GMB is now a crucial part of your business’s online presence and is more often than not, the first place potential customers look for information about your company.
Much like content creators focus on SEO because it’s one of the most powerful ways to acquire organic traffic, local SEO for small businesses is equally important.
In fact, the majority of online experiences start with a search engine. If you need to know something, hire someone, solve a problem, who do you ask? Google!
So if you’ve got a product, a brick-and-mortar business, or a service you provide, you absolutely should make sure Google knows who you are.
How a Virtual Assistant Can Help With Your Local SEO
If you don’t have time to set up your Google My Business Account, that’s ok! A virtual assistant can help you do it, and do it right.
Personally, I offer GMB account setup and management. This can include optimizing descriptions with keywords relevant to your business, adding new photos as you provide them, creating a template email to send to old clients asking for reviews, emailing those clients for you, and more.
If you haven’t yet set up a GMB account for your small business what are you waiting for? If you don’t have time to learn how to do it yourself let me know. My clients see great results after my GMB account setup service does its thing.
Also, don’t ignore other areas your business could benefit from SEO, local or otherwise. Your entire website, social media accounts, Pinterest pins, Etsy listings, and more need the power of good SEO practices to get you optimal results.
If you are a DIY’er at heart, I highly recommend Easy On Page SEO, to learn effective techniques to improve your search engine traffic.
Otherwise, ask how I can help you and your business get discovered on many different platforms through the power of SEO.