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The complete guide to Google My Business

Nearly 9 billion Google searches happen every single day – and with a strong online presence, your business can quickly turn those clicks into cash. Navigating Google is easier than ever with Google My Business, a free tool built for brands of every size. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about creating, maintaining, and optimizing your Google Business Profile. By following the tips and strategies outlined in this guide, you'll be able to stand out from the competition, show up on the first page of Google, and attract more customers to your business.

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In this guide, you’ll learn:

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  • Set up your Google My Business account and claim your business listing
  • Optimize your Business Profile with accurate and up-to-date information, photos, and videos
  • Create posts to engage with your audience and promote your business
  • Respond to customer reviews and manage your online reputation
  • Use insights to track your performance and improve your online presence
  • And much more
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Introduction 

Google has become the front door to local businesses. It’s where that initial search for a business starts — “best podiatrist,” “pizza restaurant near me,” and so on. Organic Google listings are incredibly powerful.


In Fact:


+90% of consumers say they use Google to find businesses

+61% of consumers only select from the first 3 businesses that show up in a Google search


As a result, the Google My Business – also known as Google Business Profile – is important for every business to get discovered in search results and be chosen by potential customers.


In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover how to create, maintain and optimize your Business Profile to help you stand out from the competition and show up on the first page of Google.


Chapter 1: Getting started with Google My Business

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business is a free, easy-to-use Business Profile for companies to manage their online presence on the world’s largest search engine. The profile controls how your company appears in Google search and Google Maps results. In 2021, as Google moved its efforts to bring the company profile management out of the Google My Business app and directly into Google Search and Maps apps, it renamed ‘Google My Business’ to ‘Google Business Profile.

The search giant currently has millions of Google My Business accounts across nearly 4,000 business categories. Mastering this Google feature can help businesses reach customers and build a stronger online reputation


Why you need a Google My Business account

Billions of Google searches are made each month. Most of these searches are from potential customers looking for the best product, validation of a product/service based on reviews, and finding deals. 


Having a Google My Business can help you become visible in those searches and drive growth for your company. However, if you’re looking to improve your bottom line, you’ll need to be visible where your customers are looking. 


“Over two-thirds of U.S. consumers feel it is important to support local businesses, and they are using online sources of information such as Google to know more about these companies before interacting with them.”

 — Clair Mudd, Senior Director of Marketing at Google


The bottom line: If you want potential customers looking for local businesses to spot you, the first step is to have a Google My Business account.


The top benefits of having a Google My Business Profile

You have the power to transform a simple business listing into one of the most effective digital marketing tools for your business. 


Here is a list of the top six benefits of Google My Business that you can leverage: 


1. Get discovered on Google

A major benefit of having a Google Business Profile is search engine optimization (SEO). According to the marketing website Moz, your Google Business page is one of the most important factors when it comes to ranking higher in Google’s local search results. That means without a Business Profile, it’s going to be really difficult for your company to rank higher than the competition when it comes to local SEO. 


Most existing companies already have a Google Business Profile. However, only 44% of companies have claimed their Profile. This means the majority of companies are making it harder for potential customers to find them online


2. Engage with prospects

Your Google My Business account is a great way to engage with prospects and existing customers. Here are a few of the ways you can drive engagement on your Business Profile.


Share accurate business information

When a customer searches online for a business, the search results often show duplicate directory listings with conflicting information. Updating multiple sources with accurate business information is difficult, but you can ensure customers find the right information by managing your Google My Business from the start. 


Pro tip: Be sure to list all the products and services you offer on your profile to make it the one true source of your business information. 


3. Chat with consumers on Google

Make it easy for potential customers to communicate directly from your Google Business Profile by enabling Google Business Messages. When you turn on the business chat feature, customers can message your business directly from Search and ask questions about store hours, product offerings, and so much more. You can even set up automated replies or assign a team member to handle the messages. 


Allow prospective customers to book appointments from Google Search

Customers searching on Google for service providers have a high purchase intent. By integrating appointment booking solutions with your Google My Business account, you can avoid waiting around for your customers to call and confirm appointments with a click. This especially comes in handy for healthcare, legal, and restaurant businesses, where it is important for customers to book appointments quickly and with ease. 


4. Promote products and events via posts

Do you have a new product launch for sale coming up? Updating this information on your Google My Business account can help you share this news with people who make local searches every day.  In just a few clicks, you can create content, post updates, share images, answer FAQs, create events, and so much more.


Google displays these updates prominently under the Updates section and “From the Owner” section. Businesses can generate a lot of views for their content by promoting them via Google Posts. 


5. Gain credibility with reviews

Studies show that good ratings are trustworthy only when they come along with a high number of reviews. Google reviews are universally trusted and are one of the first few things a consumer looks at while making a purchase decision. 


An active Google My Business account makes it easy for businesses to generate and respond to customer reviews. When a business consistently generates reviews and responds to them promptly, it shows customers that they care about the feedback and its online reputation. Customers are likely to trust such businesses over businesses without any social proof on the internet.


6. Get a free Google knowledge panel

The Google knowledge panel makes businesses look reputable and establishes more credibility on the Internet. Getting a Google knowledge panel to appear for your business can be tough and involve a lot of steps. However, the easiest way to do so is to set up a Google My Business account and claim it.

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