Say Hello to Google My Business – Quick Start Guide

As a small business owner, you understand the importance of establishing an online presence. Without a well-built website and a presence on social media, your potential customers end up at your competitors. But how can you be sure that you are reaching a local audience? That’s where Google My Business comes into play.

So What Is It?

Google My Business is a new tool for small business owners. All of Google’s tools come in one, easy to use location. Even better, the service is free. This means that you now have a way to control your business in the virtual world at absolutely no cost to you. Here is what you can do with Google My Business:

  • Google+ – Maintain your presence on the social media site Google+. You can update your status, share messages, link to other sites, and post media all from your business page.
  • Reviews – You can manage your page ranking and reviews from one main page.
  • Maps – Take control of your business’s location and contact information as it appears to your customers on Google Maps.
  • Hangouts – If you choose, you can hold video chats with colleagues or customers.

These are just a handful of the things that you can do with Google My Business. But more than what you can do, what is important is how it helps you.

What It Does For You

With Google My Business, you can respond to negative reviews about your company. You can use Hangouts to provide customer service and resolve issues. You can even see what effect these negative reviews have on web traffic.

You can combine your brand page, social media marketing campaigns, reviews, information, and maps on one platform. This allows you certainty you aren’t forgetting to keep up with any aspect of your virtual presence.

As a small business owner on Google My Business, you can locate where your customers are and what their needs are. You can use this information to design a better ad campaign. You can control your ad campaign on Google or from your mobile device.

Learning Curve

The nice thing about Google My Business is that you probably already use many of its individual components. This means that there is virtually no learning curve. You can get started with the platform almost immediately. As a small business owner, you will find the platform not only a benefit to your business, but you will find it an extreme time saver.

To sign up with Google My Business, simply navigate to the platform and click Get on Google. The site will take you through the registration process. Follow all of the prompts, enter the required information, and your Google My Business account is up and running. It really is that simple.

If you want to increase your company’s presence online, signing up with Google My Business is a no brainer. Get started today for free. It will be the best money you’ve never spent!

Tips for Using Google My Business Right Now

As you have read, Google My Business is not a difficult platform to use. The key is this: You have to use it! So what four things can you do, right from the comfort of your desk? These:

  1. Set Up Your Profile

Take the time, while you are thinking about it, to set up your small business profile. Claim your space on Google by simply clicking on the “Start Now” button on the https://www.google.com/business/ site.

  1. Add Images

Add images to your profile. The images you choose should showcase your business. Be sure to include keyword-optimized filenames to boost search results. Not sure what to include? Try any of these images: the inside of your store, you and your team, before-and-after photos, or your staff on the job.

  1. Manage Reviews

You can monitor and manage your reviews right from your Google My Business dashboard. One of the coolest things about this platform is the ability it gives the small business owner to manage reviews found across the web. You can see how many reviews you have, and you can respond to any that you choose.

  1. Leverage Insights

Look at the insights section. You will discover how people are finding you on the web and how often they are clicking on your site’s link from a Google search. You will also see the amount of activity on your Google+ page and the demographic details of your audience.

What Local Search Experts Have to Say – Do You Agree?

As with anything, everyone has an opinion. Now that Google My Business has had time to sink in to the minds of the masses, local search experts are offering their opinions. Here is how some of the experts are weighing in:

Street Fight: According to Street Fight, GMB is a step forward, but more dedication to simplicity is necessary.

SIM Partners: Google has shown a commitment to the local business space. A bulk upload process would be helpful, but Google has shown its interest in serving the needs of the small business owner. http://www.simpartners.com/google-my-business/

Mike Blumenthal: While Google My Business is a strong step forward in the service of the SMB, users maybe left wishing for specific upgrades.

The Benefits of Google My Business Are Too Good to Ignore

Think you can’t carve out 10 minutes a day to keep your GMB account updated? Think again. The benefits of utilizing the platform are too good to ignore:

  • Growth
  • Authorship
  • Search Engine Recognition
  • Flexibility

There are more than 500 million users registered with Google+. If you choose to ignore Google My Business, consider how many potential customers will be lost to your competition that has chosen to utilize the platform. With its ease of use and incredible flexibility, Google My Business is a platform that every small business owner needs to make the most of.

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Byron Coke
 

I'm a lead generation and conversion consultant. My background is in IT having got my first computer in 83 where I started writing games. Since then I've progressed to building and managing IT systems for the likes of Reuters, IBM, and Metro Bank. I got started online with my own projects in 2006 trying a number of things before deciding on the Local space and lead generation.

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