A year after Google released its Pigeon algorithm update and launched Google My Business – a marketing opportunity for local businesses to connect with their customers on search, Maps and Google Plus – business owners continue to ignore its potential.
If you previously used Google Places for Business, Google Maps or Google+ Pages Dashboard to manage your business information, your account was automatically upgraded to GMB when it was released last summer.
This, together with the Pigeon algorithm update, took the importance of local search to a new level.
Location-based results are now more crucial in search than ever before.
If you type Estate Agent, for example, into the search bar of a mobile device, you will get the results closest to your current location.
But the majority of business owners have failed to ever update the information they first supplied to Google Places. This means they are missing an invaluable trick when it comes to telling Google about their location.
And if Google is in the dark about your business’s location, it will not be able to put you on the map in its search results.
Why should I care?
The majority of mobile searches are looking for a local business.
And if your company does not rely on local customers, research points out that most customers prefer to do business with a company based near them.
There is, however, a relatively simple fix. Go to Google My Business page. In the top right, click Sign In if you have a Google account or the Get on Google button to create an account.
The card-based interface provides a visual guide to the various areas that’s easy to understand for even a novice user.
Once signed in, click the button that says Get Your Page. After you’ve updated your business info (address, phone number, category), Google will ask you to verify that you can manage the business on Google.
Why verify? Google will use your business information in local search results and give you the ability to read and respond to customer reviews and get insights on how your customers are searching and from where.
And don’t forget to update info about your business, such as your opening hours or even the description of your business. From GMB, you can edit your contact information, business description, hours, website URL and more.
Handy advice: Don’t forget to keep the images of your business up to date, either. The Google Street View image of your business might have looked great when it first appeared, but the likelihood is that your business, or the premises surrounding it now look a little different.
But Google Street View isn’t the only source of images for your GMB page. The interface allows you to upload any image you choose, If, for example, the premises next door has altered from a from a professional services firm with a dark blue door to a nail bar with a range of bright colours in the window, upload a new photos onto your GMB page. Remember: 83% of the stuff humans learn is visual!
Click here for more information about changing the photos that appear on your GMB page.
But GMB is not a passive tool.
The first is an overview on what it can do for your business – and includes a reminder about making your business name, address and phone number consistent for every directory listing you have…
The next video will inspire you to take your GMB entry to a higher level. The platform allows page owners to create custom Google maps that can educate and inform your customers…
And finally, take a look at how this business gained a financial advantage from using GMB…