What makes Google My Business such a valuable tool for local businesses?

If you run a local company and are not already using Google My Business, you should probably make it your New Year’s Resolution to do so.

If you haven’t heard of it before, this free, user-friendly tool allows you to manage the way your business appears on Google Search and the recently redesigned Google Maps, as well as Google+.

Verifying and editing your company information using Google My Business will not only allow customers to find you more easily, but it lets you tell them your business’s story, whether they’re existing clients or using you for the first time.

Google My Business in the search results.

It’s also a great place to get cracking if you’re relatively new to local SEO.

By the time people are looking for a service or product near them, they’re usually fairly close to deciding to buy something. (Research has found that around half of those conducting a local search will visit a shop that same day.)

So it’s important that the information that’s displayed when people find you on Google is as accurate, optimised and complete as possible.

Here are some of the further benefits of using Google My Business:

  • You can manage the information that Google users find and see when they look for your business. Research has shown that if you verify your information with Google My Business, customers are twice as likely to consider your organisation to be reputable. And you can incorporate information including opening times, contact details, website link, product categories and so on.
  • You can also read and respond to customer reviews and post photos showing what you do.
  • Adding photos to listings leads to a 42% increase in driving directions requests via Google Maps and more than a third more click-throughs to the relevant websites.
  • Gain insights with monthly stats offering a snapshot of how people look for your business. This is fairly simple information compared with data provided by, say, Google Analytics, but it allows you to see how customers search for your business, where they’re coming from, where they view it on Google, and the actions they take afterwards.
  • A single virtual roof: Using Google My Business means that everything a prospective customer needs to evaluate your offering, from contact details to company description and reviews, can be found on one platform.

In addition, updates in 2017 added two more ways to interact with existing and potential customers. Via Posts you can promote news, offers, events, announcements and product updates, while thanks to Messaging you can chat directly to customers who’ve found your profile on the search results page. It means you can help people and answerquestions promptly.

In a world where we all expect to find information about local businesses instantaneously, you can’t afford to ignore Google My Business. Get started today– there’s also an app if you prefer to manage everything via a mobile device. Talk to us if you have any queries.