Blog / Google My Business24 April 2019

What is Google My Business and why it is important for your company

Google My Business (GMB) is a tool that allows you to manage company information in a search engine and Google Maps. In simple terms, this is a personal profile of your business. Service registration is free, and it has a lot of advantages. Let's find out how to use this powerful tool for business development and what Google My Business account gives to your company.

Where information about your company is displayed

After registering in Google My Business, information about the company and its affiliates will be presented in the form of a "personal card" with full information about the organization. This information can be displayed:

  1. in the Knowledge Panel – on the right side of the search results;
  2. in Local Pack – above or under search results;
  3. in Google Maps.

To find your company, users can:

  • make a direct request (by brand or a company name), so they will see your card on Knowledge Panel or on Maps;
  • search by keyword (name of a product or service), so the list of several nearby companies matching his request will appear.

As the Google support team notes, the display of information in these blocks depends on a large number of factors, including user location, company popularity and relevance to the search query.

Company card in Google: Knowledge Panel

Company card in Google: Local Pack

Examples of company card in Google: Knowledge Panel (top picture) and Local Pack (bottom picture)

The rating in Local Pack or Maps cannot be raised with money. The search engine uses special ranking algorithms to create equal conditions for all. But if you connect Google Ads account to GMG, you will be able to advertise on Google Maps and to show at the top with the appropriate mark.

Your business listing in Google is a kind of online showcase. It includes:

  • complete company information;
  • contact details with location binding on Google Maps;
  • pictures, videos, Posts on Google;
  • customer reviews, questions and owner's answers.

Why do you need Google My Business for your company?

Google My business has a number of important advantages, the main of which is the search promotion of your company. Combined with the right SEO strategy, it makes it possible to always be at the top of search results.

The service also allows to:

  • engage targeted traffic to the site for free;
  • create a "mini-website" – if you have not got your own web resource yet, than a card with detailed and structured information, as well as high-quality photos or video materials, can act as business card and familiarize customers with your brand;
  • promptly update company information and track competitors' actions;
  • increase the credibility of your brand and strengthen the reputation thanks to the interesting posts and real customer reviews;
  • set up communication and give fast feedback. Working with reviews increases customer loyalty;
  • analyze user behavior: where they come from to the site and how they search for information. This allows you to optimize your marketing strategy: reduce costs and make it as efficient as possible.

If you are not already in Google My Business, you risk becoming invisible among competitors.

Want to reach more customers with Google My Business?

We at Arto Web Agency held a wonderful two-hour workshop on how to use GMB to effectively promote local business. In addition, we made an equally magnificent video of the event, which today you can buy at an affordable price. Be the first in your niche and learn how to discover the potential of your company with GMB!

Start working with Google My Business

Getting started in GMB is easy: you need to create a company profile on My Business page, fill it in and confirm it in any of the possible ways. Step-by-step filling algorithm and clear interface make it possible for anyone without special knowledge.

Proof of ownership in Google My Business

The final stage of Google My Business registration is confirmation of ownership. Ways can differ for different companies

You should be very careful about filling out the card: the more information you give, the more targeted queries you can rank for; also you increase the chance that the client finds out what he searches for.

After registering, add photos, work schedule and other useful content, track reviews from time to time and respond to them. Try to use all the possible functions: that's how you can overtake your competitors.

Constant development of the service

According to the latest trends, GMB has an important place in Google. The company pays attention to local search, so it invests in the development of this tool and introduces new features.

Only in last 2 years, Google My Business has significantly expanded business opportunities:

  • there is now a function of setting up work in the offseason. You can mark a business as "temporarily closed" for the time among seasons. How to use this novelty, we wrote in our blog;
  • a new solution for sending messages about fraud was implemented;
  • now you can add a short description of the company;
  • you can add up to 10 useful offers (promotions, discounts, etc.) in the separate section;
  • the ability was added to create a short link to your company profile to help people quickly find you (we also wrote about this in our blog);
  • there is a new Goods section where you can add products from your site;
  • for the service sector, there is an ability to add a menu with a list of services and prices;
  • you can add posts from social networks or blogs and announcements of events (we wrote about these posts in more detail in another article);
  • you can communicate with visitors using text messages after turning this function on;
  • also Google allows you to search for a product or service using emoji and sign up for services directly through My Business card.

GMB new functions in Knowledge Panel: offersGMB new functions in Knowledge Panel: goods

Examples of My Business new functions display on Knowledge Panel: block with promotional offers and the catalog of goods

Impact on local SEO

An important strategic direction for the development of Google in 2019 will be the emphasis on local search. Today, the smartphone plays the role of a pocket guide and a store in one device. Users can build a route or call the company just by clicking a button in the Google card. So it's foolish not to use the possibilities of local search.

There is a tendency of close interaction between local SEO and GMB. The position of the company in the organic local search is influenced by the same factors as entering Local Pack:

  • names of goods and services, keywords in the text on pages;
  • authority of the site domain;
  • the geographical relevance of keywords and the physical location of the enterprise;
  • completeness of GMB profile and company site.

So, if you want to rank high on Maps, you should pay attention not only to your GMB listing, but to your site's SEO, and vice versa: to get to the top of organic local search, don't forget about My Business profile.

Google My Business is not the owner's monopoly

GMB card, unlike the site, is not your property. Customers or competitors can also make changes, leave feedback, ask questions that will be visible to everyone.

How can unfair competitors affect your profile in My Business?

  • Negative reviews. Despite the fact that Google earnestly asks you to leave only real comments, you are uninsured from dishonest techniques. If you receive a fake negative review, contact the support service of Google My Business and provide evidence that this is a fake. If you follow all the rules, technical support specialists can delete a review.
  • Unauthorized changes. In the beginning of 2019, a lot of objects in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus underwent a massive change in Google Maps. Some users changed their names; also photos, reviews and other information partially disappeared. For example, the Kharkiv airport was given the name of a singer Egor Letov. And in Russia, a large-scale attack on various institutions took place – many of them were given the name of Brazilian stripper Ricardo Milos.

The result of unathorized company name change

The result of unathorized change of company name by users

What can customers change in your company listing?

  • Attributes of the company. In the knowledge panel, Google invites users to share information by answering the question: "Do you know this place?". To ask clients to use this function is a good way to improve rankings, because the search engine evaluates this data as unbiased information. For example, the user can answer if there is a service for disabled people in your building, or mark the payment methods that you can receive. But it can play a cruel joke with the profile: incompetent visitors or competitors can share incorrect information.
  • Questions and answers. It is very important for the owner to track and answer customer questions on time. Otherwise, this can be done by other users (they also have such an opportunity) who are not aware of the real state of things. And if the question remains unanswered at all, then the rating of the card may decrease.
  • Reviews. We have already mentioned them. We also note the importance of working with negative comments: be sure to give a constructive feedback. Don't underestimate the importance of reviews. Buyers are guided by them before making a decision, and one unanswered negative comment can level ten positive ones.

Example answer for a negative review on Google

Unfolded and reasoned answer to a negative review will help to keep clients' trust and loyalty

What can the owner do to optimize the profile?

  • Give the most detailed information about the business. Do not leave gaps in the card – the more data, the higher customer confidence. Specify services, hours of operation, payment methods and even the availability of parking. For some people it may be the deciding factor.
  • Add attractive photos. A photo of the building or product, corporate design, logos, team, video about the service or product demonstration in action – all of these are great ways to attract attention.
  • Add links to landing pages of your site, if possible. For example, go to the service entry page directly from the card.
  • Update content regularly. Add information about promotions or new products via Posts, update data and photos/videos. Publish from blog or social networks.
  • Interact with customers by answering questions, responding to reviews and motivating them to leave positive comments. The more "alive" your Google My Business profile will be, the better it will be ranked and the more targeted traffic will bring.

Is this service worth the effort? The answer is yes. With minimal cost, you get an effective promotion tool. Potential customers can get the most reliable information about your business, and a well-designed card will help you to stand out among competitors. Convenient and simple service will allow you to increase brand awareness and get the first clients even without creating a website.

Iryna Tyschenko
Marketer, Copywriter

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