What is Google My Business and why is it so important in 2021?
Updated: Feb 17, 2021
You know how when you search for “Nail salon near me” or “Computer Repair Lakeland” that little map pops up? Those listings that you see there are the businesses Google My Business listing. It’s a “snapshot” of a local business. Displaying reviews, photos, customer photos, hours of operation, etc. Obviously, if your business services a local area then this is very important to set up. While it may seem obvious, most small businesses have no idea what it is or how to use it. In fact, according to an article by Local Marketing Institute, less than half of these listings are claimed by the owner!
Google My Business combined with a good number of 5-star reviews may be the most powerful and free marketing tool for a small business.
Think about what you do when you are looking to purchase local. You search in Google, Bing, etc and you look at the sites displayed. You look at some reviews and see if they are close. Well, getting to organically rank on the first page of Google is not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination. However, if you have a claimed Google My Business listing and you happen to be relatively close to the individual inquiring then you will most likely show up! So you get to “skip the line” if that makes sense.
Here is a great example, I just started my website a few weeks ago (at the time of publishing this blog). It’s going to take me a LONG time to rank for “Videographer Lakeland”, “Video Marketing Lakeland”, “Marketing Lakeland”, etc. However, if someone in South Lakeland searches videographer Lakeland I have a chance of showing up and getting a lead. Even though I technically just started my business! I made sure to claim my listing and have been steadily building 5-star reviews from my real customers.
Okay, you get it at this point. Your Lakeland business needs a Google My Business, Bing Places (Bing equivalent), and the Apple equivalent. So the question is: “what now?”
This is pretty straightforward actually. Go to Google.com/business and claim or create your business listing. They will ship a postcard with a pin to your office or home address so you can prove you are who you say you are. Once the pin is entered you officially own your listing!
Now that you can manage your listing, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:
Make sure your business information is correct. Add your address, contact information, services, and any photos/videos that you have.
Make sure to respond to any reviews or questions. Individuals may have been leaving reviews and commenting on your unclaimed listing. It’s important to respond to these right away, good or bad.
Post on this page regularly. You should treat this as another social media platform. Post updates, specials, and content on your listing to increase engagement.
Get this going and you’ll already be ahead of half the other businesses around you!
Look, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a beast. It’s complicated and difficult to achieve. Companies hire and outsource SEO and still struggle to get on the first page. However, you’re going up against local businesses. Most small businesses do not put a ton of effort into SEO. So, claiming your listings and creating great content will get you noticed by your city and Google!
If you found this helpful, check out our blog on Social Proof and how you can use it to market your business!
Thank you for reading!