Are you a businessman or self-employed professional? Are you looking for a smart way to increase your sales and income? Would you like to know how you can do it for free?
Welcome to Google My Business!
Google My Business is a free tool from Google which can help you achieve all this and more. Let us find out what it is and how it can help your business.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business (GMB) is a type of online directory. An ‘online directory’ is a collection or database of names and addresses of businesses. To access the database, customers can simply go to Google Search and key in their requirements. They will get the names and addresses of local businesses that match the search criteria.
Here is an example of GMB listings for the query, “jewellery shops in Lajpat Nagar”. As you can see, GMB results occupy a prominent position on the page. This makes it impossible for your customers to miss the business listing.
Who Can Use GMB?
Any business can get registered on GMB. All you need to do is ensure that you fulfil Google’s eligibility criteria. GMB is particularly useful for small businesses like retail stores, plumbers, electricians, spas, hotels, doctors, small manufacturers etc.
It is a powerful digital marketing tool that works best when combined with an advanced business website.
GMB contains many useful features. These features make it superior to standard online directories like Justdial and Sulekha. The main features of GMB are listed below:
- Business name, address and phone number listings for customers to contact you.
- Business category listing.
- Business description.
- Business hours.
- Ratings and reviews by customers.
- Directions on Google Maps.
- Photos and videos of your business/products/services.
- An ‘Attributes’ section to highlight special features (e.g., ‘pet-friendly’, ‘outdoor seating’ etc.).
- ‘Google Posts’ to announce discounts, new launches, loyalty programmes etc.
- A question-and-answer section to engage with your customers.
- References to your business in online articles and reports.
- GMB analytics to help you review page performance and take steps for its improvement.
Equipped with powerful features, the main purpose of GMB is to give small businesses a platform to communicate with their customers and increase their sales.
Benefits of Using GMB
GMB is one of the most effective digital marketing tools which small businesses have, to reach out to their customers. And the best thing is that the service is absolutely free! All you need to do is to dedicate a few minutes every day to maintain your GMB account.
The key benefits of GMB are listed below.
- Increasing sales and profits: GMB has helped millions of small businesses like retail stores, plumbers and car mechanics increase their sales and profits. By displaying your information online, GMB enables more customers to reach out to you.
- Improving brand reputation and credibility: A GMB page is seen as a sign of the reliability of your shop/workshop/enterprise. It offers several tools like ratings, reviews and a picture gallery to showcase your business credibility. The greater the credibility of your business, the better your GMB ranking. This will lead to an increase in your sales.
- Customer communication: You can communicate with your customers through Google Posts to keep them updated about sales, discounts, new arrivals etc. You can also respond to reviews and questions and answers from your customers. It will help you build a reputation as a business that is professional and takes customer feedback seriously.
- Cost-effective method: You can create and maintain your GMB page for free, making it ideal for small businesses. GMB’s high-returns, the no-investment model makes it one of the most effective digital marketing tools which businesses can benefit from.
How to Improve Your GMB Ranking
A GMB page is the easiest way for small businesses to get listed on the internet. However, the page must be well-optimised to get the desired results. Here are all the steps you need to take to optimise your GMB page.
- Enter complete business details. Leaving the basic fields empty lowers your GMB ranking and prevents you from enjoying its full benefits.
Essential business details which must be filled include:
- Business name.
- Phone number.
- Business hours.
- Business category.
- Business description.
Users must ensure that the information on GMB is accurate and updated. Any change in your address, phone number, business hours etc. should be immediately updated on your GMB page. This will protect your customers from time wastage and inconvenience.
- Verify your Google Maps location so that customers can easily find your business.
- Include keywords in the business description. This will help your business listing show up when the customer searches for products and services.
- Add photos of your business. Research indicates that businesses with photos are 35% more likely to get customer traffic to their website, directed from their GMB page.
- Customer ratings and reviews are crucial for a good GMB ranking. Don’t hesitate to ask your customers to write a review if they are happy with your business. You can make it easier for them by creating a link.
Where customers give bad reviews, it is good business strategy to apologise for the negative experience they have had, and promise them a better experience next time.
How GMB Rankings are Determined
There are three key factors which are fundamental to your GMB rankings—relevance, distance and prominence. They are explained below:
- Relevance—how closely your GMB page matches the customer’s search query.
- Distance—is important because GMB promotes businesses that are closer to the customer’s location.
- Prominence—refers to how well a business is known. It includes ratings, reviews and online references to the business.
The exact parameters that influence GMB rankings are kept confidential by Google. This is done to avoid dishonest marketers from using unfair means to promote their business.
As far as your business is concerned, it is enough to focus on the measures listed above. It can help you increase your ranking significantly and get more from your GMB page.
Managing GMB with Boost 360
With Boost 360, there is no need to separately manage your GMB page. Just connect the two platforms and everything will be taken care of! Details like contact information, work hours, business description etc. are updated automatically from your website.
Upgrade your digital marketing strategy by combining the best of both website and GMB to give your business the edge.