In the digital age, a solid online presence is no longer a luxury but a necessity for businesses. With consumers increasingly turning to the internet to find products and services, your business's online visibility can directly impact your reach, reputation, and revenue1. One invaluable tool that can significantly enhance your online presence is Google My Business (GMB).
Google My Business is a free, user-friendly tool provided by Google that helps business owners manage their online presence across the search engine. Introduced in June 2014, GMB allows businesses to create a listing that appears when people search for their business or businesses like theirs on Google Search and Maps.
The core features of GMB include the ability to post updates, respond to reviews, add photos, and provide critical business details like hours of operation, contact information, and location. It also offers insightful analytics to understand how customers interact with your business listing.
Setting up a GMB account is straightforward:
Sign in to the Google Account you want to associate with your business (or create one if you still need one).
Go to google.com/business and select "Start now" in the top right-hand corner.
Enter your business name.
Enter your business address.
If you go to your customers' locations, rather than them coming to you, check the box "I deliver goods and services to my customers."
Choose your business category. Try to choose the most accurate category possible -you're telling Google which type of customers should see your business listing.
Add your business phone number or website.
Choose a verification option.
Once you've set up your account, remember to optimise it by adding business hours, more categories, attributes, a business description, and photos. Regularly updating your account keeps your customers informed and helps your listing's performance.
A well-optimized GMB listing enhances local search results, making your business more visible to potential customers in your area. It is a free advertising tool, especially beneficial for small businesses aiming to attract local clientele3.
Businesses that use GMB effectively have reported significant benefits. For instance, companies that add photos to their listings receive 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps and 35% more click-throughs to their websites than businesses that don't.
In conclusion, Google My Business is invaluable for enhancing your online presence and local SEO. By setting up and optimizing your GMB listing, you can increase your visibility, engage with customers, and drive more traffic to your business—all for free.
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