IMPORTANCE OF USING GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
Google My Business is a Google-managed platform where businesses can completely manage their online presence. After creating a GMB account, the company can add all of its key information, such as product categories, work schedules, contact information, Website, etc., while accessing more Google platforms. This means that the company will not just get more visibility in the search results, but also get reviews, maps and locations.
The bottom line is that the number one reason to get on Google maps is not only will you get noticed by your local potential customers, BUT IT IS GREAT FOR YOUR WEBSITE'S SEO! Here are some key benefits of Google My Business and how it can be used to attract local leads:
The Google's virtual tours have become increasingly popular over the years since 2010. A 360-degree virtual tour is integrated to Google My Business and Google Street View, provides a 360-degree view of your company's location and surroundings using the Google Street View's mapping technology. A virtual tour is designed to help your customers and prospective cusomers get an overview of your business and it location. This means that your business will get maximum exposure.
Post was introduced to Google My Business in 2017, They appear in your listing and are a great way to attract the attention of your customers with events, news, and offerings.
Post can help in increasing your online presence and visibility. However, monitoring daily performance, tracking changes and analyzing keywords can be a challenge in the changing digital landscape.
There are some valuable information statistics and analytical data about your business that you can check on a monthly basis. The stat may be simpler when compared to Google Analytics, but they give you an idea of how customers search for your business online. Google My Business Insights, can be found by clicking on the blue insight box at the top of your dashboard.
Hangout with customers:
Whether you have typical conversations with your customers or answering their most urgent questions, Google Hangouts is another great platform for communicating with your customers.
With Google Hangouts, you can communicate with 10 to 15 customers simultaneously. It's a great way to engage customers and promote relationships with them. You can also use Google Hangouts to create live content that you can share across multiple channels.
Today, Hangout is easier than ever, just navigate to the bottom of the Google My Business control panel and click Hangout.
Access to customer insight:
Google Insights tab provide access to Visibility, Engagement and Audience. The visibility section indicates the number of views generated by your posts, photos and profile.
The Engagement section shows audience interactions with your posts While the Audience section shows a complete breakdown of your followers.
These statistics can help improve your sales and engagement.
Tracking Audience and Website traffic:
You can use the Google Analytics tool in Google My Business to get traffic and audience statistics for your website. Google Analytics is the key to all analytics issues. Although Insights displays the traffic you've earned in your Google My Business account, Analytics provides a more detailed description of your website traffic.
How to set up your Google My Business Account
Step 1: Create a Google Account
Use your custom email address that is linked to your domain account to create a Google account (e.g., info@yourdomain .com). Hence, a Gmail account will work just fine if you do not have one.
Step 2: Set up the Google My Company account
Visit www.business.google.com With this account, you can access the control panel at any time and anywhere with your mobile app.
Step 3: Enter your company name
Enter your company’s name. If you have multiple names, use the one that is mostly recognized by your customers.
Step 4: Provide your location and delivery
Enter the address where your business is located.
Step 5: Provide your Service Area
If you have a physical location and only serve within a particular place, choose “Distance around your business location” then enter the miles or kilometer.
If your business is Service-based without a specific location, select "Specific areas" and enter the regions you serve.
Step 6: Choose the category that fits your business bestType in the type of business you do or render, Category options pop-up as you begin to type.
Type in the category that’s is the best fit for your business if you have more than one, this can be updated anytime you wish to.
Step 7: Provide your contact details
Though it is optional, it is better for you to provide your best Phone number and website URL to help customers contact you by giving this info in your listing.
Step 8: Finish and verify your Business
Google will take you through a verification process for you to claim and have permission for the listing.
What verification offers you:
• It gives you visibility on google search and Maps, and new customers will be able to find you
• Your business can now be promoted with photos and videos
• You will be able to monitor your business analytics, know and understand your customers better
• You will be able to interact with customers and respond to their reviews
How to Verify Your Google My Business Account
Your GMB listing can be verified by either by Postcard, email, Phone, Instant verification or Bulk verification.
Step 1: Log in to your GMB account If you aren't already,
Step 2: Type in your name and Click "Mail." The postcard would take five business days.
However, do not edit your Business name, address or details as this might delay its arrival.
Step 4: When the postcard arrives, log in to you GMB select your location and Select "Verify now."
Step 5: Enter the five-digit verification code on your postcard In the Code field. Click "Submit."
You can use "Request another code" option if lose your postcard, or it never arrived.
Step 1: login to Google My Business.
Step 2: Choose "Verify by email."
Step 3: Check the inbox of the mail you're provided for your Google My Business and click the verification link provided in the email.
Some business is given the edge of verifying their location via phone. The "Verify by phone" option will appear when the verification process is initiated.
Step 1: login to Google My Business.
Step 2: Ensure you have the correct phone number, choose "Verify by phone."
Step 3: Enter the verification code you received on your phone via text.
If you use and already verified your business on the Google Search Console (A tool for managing website search, health and performance). It might give you the advantage off an instant verification of your Google My Business.
Step 1: Login into Google My Business with the same account used to verify your business with Google Search Console.
Bulk verification is for Business with over ten locations. Do the following to verify if you qualify for a bulk verification.
Step 1: login to Google My Business. Click "Get verified."
Step 2: Click "Chain."
Step 3: Fill and complete the verification
Step 4: Submit the form. This can take up to one week.
OTHER TOP FREE PLACES TO LIST YOUR BUSINESS
Are you looking for a way to increase your overall website traffic or share local search to improve your domain authority? The websites provided below offers paid adverts but also have free options which can also be of great benefit to your business
Yelp is the most popular social site focused on finding local businesses with about 18 million visits per month. The review site does better than most directory website regarding attracting a younger and social audience.
Facebook Fan Page
Facebook is the most visited website on the Internet, with more than 1.5 million fan pages 20 million subscribers to fan pages.
You need to own an account and logged in to create a page. People who follow your page will see information and post and promotions from you.
In addition to Facebook functionality, you can check in to locations, and it has its version of places Page. Bottom line is that it is essential to have a Facebook Marketing Strategy.
With about 17 million visits in a month, and over sixty directories including online listings, maps, search engines, voice-activated search and lots more.
Yahoo Local offers a top-rated service, so be sure to be on the list.
Microsoft owned Bing Places offers free Bing service to enable your businesses to add listings to Bing. With about 654 million visits per month, Bing Places can help your business with local consumers in a fast and effective way by just listing your business with the search engine.
AT&T owned Yellowpages.com was rebranded as YP.com in 2013. YellowPages currently offers a wide range of marketing and online tools with more content and social features to help your business display ads, have an online presence, direct marketing, and local search.