What is Google My Business?

​Google My Business (GMB) is a free digital billboard that allows users to find you via Google search. Google My Business will enable people searching for a particular product or service to find you and connect with you. They can know your location, your business hours, your services, and access your online reviews. GMB also allows you to communicate with your customers and learn what they are looking for. 

To learn how to create your Google My Business account, what features are available, and some best practices to follow, read on.

Why should I be on it?

GMB is free. We should say that again. GMB is free! As the number one search engine globally, Google helps more people find you. Creating an optimized Google My Business profile literally puts you on Google Maps! GMB is straightforward, simple to set up, easy to use, and is very low maintenance though the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it.

How do I set it up? 

To set this up for your business, go to Google.com/business. It will walk you through the steps to get you started. Google will then send you a postcard with a code. Once you get that code, you can activate your account. GMB allows you to describe your business in 750 words or fewer. Only the first 250 words will pop on search, so be strategic, specific, and accurate when writing your description.

#TeamStrategyTip: Make sure your business hours and locations are up-to-date and use an updated photo whenever possible. Add as many details as possible such as social media handles, websites, and more. 

What do I do once it’s all ready?

Once you have claimed your business on Google and have added all the appropriate information and photos, you will want to start posting! Think of this as another social media platform with really fantastic search engine optimization (SEO). You can post updates, upcoming events, new offers, sales and promotions, and more. Posts can live on your account for 7 to 14 days. Viewers can find old posts by clicking on the post tab on your account. 

 The Many Features of Google My Business

GMB offers many features. Some of the most popular and effective features are managing your Google reviews and the ability to create a website. Online reviews are critical for growth and reaching new customers. Ask your current customers if they would be willing to write a review for you. You can even draft the review for them and send them a link to your Google review form, so all they have to do is copy, paste, and hit submit. 

#TeamStrategyTip: If you do not have the means or skills to create a WordPress website or any type of website, GMB allows you to use their platform as your website. It is very intuitive to implement and looks good. 

4 Best Practices for Optimizing Your Google My Business

  • Keep basic business information up to date. If you are closing early, update GMB. If you are having a sale, let people know. 
  • Plan on posting to GMB two to three times each week with product and services updates or even a behind-the-scenes photo. 
  • Track your GMB metrics to see how much of your web traffic is coming from Google. 
  • Ask for online reviews. The more 5-star reviews you have, the better. Be sure to respond to all reviews on your profile, good or bad!

These tips should help you get started with Google My Business, but if you still have questions or need help, contact us today. We would love to help! 

This article first appeared on the Arlington Chamber of Commerce Blog.

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