Google seems to have always had an intense focus on providing local and small businesses with a boost in the business world. Although Google offers many options for small and local business owners to promote their business, the process hasn't always been crystal clear.
With so many choices like, Google+, Maps, and Google Search, business owners previously had to manage multiple profiles to reach their customers. As a solution to this problem, Google My Business combines all these apps into one convenient all-in-one business solution. Here are a few key features of Google My Business and why it is important to your business.
1. How Google My Business Works
Google effectively composes local business listings based on several different sources. These include user edits, third party providers, verified business owner information, and several other sources compiled into Google's business listings. When you create and make edits to your Google My Business profile, Google will ask you to verify your account by entering a PIN. The PIN can be either sent to the organization's physical address or phone number.
2. Benefits of Verifying Your Account
Once you enter the PIN and verify the local listing for your business, you are allowed to enhance your profile page to new heights. When you verify your business listing, you have the opportunity to greatly expand your brand reach and share much more information with Google and your prospective target audience. Specifically, verifying your account allows you to:
- Add personal business photos
- Write detailed business descriptions
- Create business reviews
- Post updated business hours and location information
- Upload videos to your profile
- Offer your audience and customers coupons
- Produce real-updates for your business, such as weekly specials.
3. Google My Business Dashboard
Google My Business is the newest and fastest way for businesses to effectively manage their line brand presence through an all-in-one Google interface. The Google My Business dashboard allows you to do the following:
- Effectively manage and easily up date your most recent and current business information on Google
- Increase your company's brand recognition through Google+ page.
- When your customers or audience members follow your business page, they can offer feedback, reviews, and even make posts to your business profile. In addition, your audience can use the +1 button to endorse your services and products, which will show their support on Google Search, Google +, Google Maps, and on advertisements.
- Track your organization's insights and engagement for Google+ posts and pages
- Manage and review metrics and information from your businesses' YouTube channels and Google Analytics account&
- Seamlessly start and manage the performance of your Google AdWords Express campaigns.
4. Additional Local Business
While Google My Business can benefit any organization regardless of its size or location. Businesses that service specific geographic regions or businesses with a physical location are afforded even more benefits. However, to take advantage of these benefits, it's essential you go through Google's verification process. Once you do, Google My Business will offer your business the following benefits:
- Make your business more accessible and more easily found on Google. Google uses the information about your business to fill the local search results.
- More effectively read and respond to your customers' reviews
- Review metrics and analyze analytics about how your customers are searching for your business. In addition, you can learn the geographic region your customers originate.
5. Understand the Limitations
While taking advantage of all of the amazing benefits of Google My Business is exciting, you should make sure you understand the following keys to success.
Mailing Address is a Must
Each business must have a physical or mailing address where your business mail is sent. Home businesses or mobile only businesses must also first specify a physical address, which is usually a home address. After you provide a physical address, you can choose to hide the address later and simply specify your service area.
Free to Ride
Fortunately, riding the Google My Business express train to brand recognition is free. At the same time, Google doesn’t accept any type of payment to have your business included in natural search results or for particular listings. However, you should keep in mind that Google does offer a locally targeted AdWords program for paid advertising.
Adhere to Quality Guidelines
Before you begin updating your business, make sure you have a thorough understanding of Google's Quality Guidelines. Failure to adhere to these standards will prevent your business location from being approved and appearing on Google.
Know the Availability
Unfortunately, Google My Business is only available in certain countries. To determine whether your business is eligible to be listed, simply choose Add new listing when you sign into your Google My Business account. Then choose your country from the drop down menu.
Google My Business is a way for brick and mortar businesses to attract attention online from a local audience, using an all inclusive administrative dashboard.