If you’ve even heard of it in the first place, you’re probably wondering why it is important to optimize your Google My Business (GMB) profile.
Update: Google recently announced a name change to Google My Business. It is now called Google Business Profile (GBP). While this may get confusing for some, whether you use GMB or GBP, most of us will understand what you mean. For simplicity, we’ll keep referencing to it as the GMB throughout this post.
The simplest answer is that it could mean the difference in getting hundreds of additional customers a month. I figured you wouldn’t want to miss out on that.
We’re going to discuss what exactly is GMB, why your small business needs a GMB profile, and how you can optimize it to get more customers. After all, we all want more customers, right?
Lets dive in!
What is Google My Business (GMB)?
Go to Google, search for a local business such as landscaping or a bakery. Are you there yet? Good, because you’re looking at GMB profiles or GMB listings. At least I’m fairly confident you are.
GMB listings are verified local businesses and they’re often the first results shown on Google.
These results matter to you as the business owner because they’re only shown when someone is searching specifically for a certain type of business and when they’re actively looking in your area.
If you think about it, that is a highly targeted customer! That’s what you want!
Google is all about presenting the best, most relevant, and most useful information to it’s search users. GMB does all of that.
GMB profiles depicts a business’s location, rating, hours of operation, contact information, and so much more. You can control most of this as the business owner.
Think of yourself as a customer. You want to run to a store, but not sure if it’s open. You do a quick Google search, get the hours, and you’re on your way!
Do I need a GMB profile?
Absolutely. Yes. Of course!
It is so necessary, I often recommend a GMB profile to businesses before developing a website. Oddly enough, most don’t know this is a thing.
A GMB profile is the quickest way for a small business like yours to get to the top of the search engine result pages. As mentioned, GMB profiles display well before regular search results.
When you’re at the top of the search engine result pages (SERPs) you’re more likely to get more visitors to your website. More visitors means more potential customers.
Optimizing your profile is important
Google is serious about being at the top of their SERPs, so to get there you need to have your Google My Business profile optimized.
This means having the most up to date information published such as your contact information, hours of operation, and business description.
Other key areas to keep updated is posts, offers, photos of your business, and any products or services you provide.
Another area to place emphasis on is review responses. When a customer places a review, take the time to respond to it. Your response is an indicator to Google that you’re an active business and active businesses get listed at the top.
Since Google is in the business of providing the best experience for their search users, they’re going to show them the results that fall into that category.
Small Businesses use Local SEO
You’re probably familiar with search engine optimization (SEO), but might not be as familiar with local SEO. Your GMB listing is a critical component of local SEO efforts because it will be prominently displayed with a local search.
Local SEO is traditional SEO with a location-based twist, focusing efforts on locality in addition to keywords. Small businesses almost exclusively focus on local SEO because face-to-face interaction is so important to their business. Obviously, a bakery is not selling cupcakes on the other side of the world.
Think about a time where you needed a local service, let’s say it’s pest control. Naturally, You’re going to look for pest control services near you. Your searches may include “pest control near me” or “exterminators in _____” (insert your city).
Local SEO is targeting those local or location-specific searches and getting your small business to the top of the search results. In this case, your business would be targeting “pest control” and your city (or cities around you).
It’s easy to see why a Google My Business profile is important for any small business.
You can still rise to the top of the search results with a bit of local SEO, but why not have the extra visibility of a GMB profile?
All of this may seem daunting and you might feel overwhelmed, that’s okay. Most business owners are, but that’s because you’re good at your business. We’re here to help, so feel free to reach out to us with your questions.
You focus on your business and let us focus on your GMB profile, get it looking great, and get you more customers.