Google My Business (GMB) is a result of Google’s continued effort to help local businesses have more visibility. So, whether you’re a small business owner or a big company, having a verified GMB helps you reach more customers.
GMB is a tool that lets you create a Business Profile on google with a map, website, phone number, and address. When someone searches for your business on Google, your business profile will appear on the site on the Google Search Results Page (SERP). The best thing about this tool is that you can also add more photos for your business, including a 360 view so customers can have a virtual tour on Google. Here is an example from Wall Street Marketing’s business profile.
Creating a Business Profile is just like adding a place to Google Maps – that means you can easily do it by yourself. Once you’ve added your business, you can verify it via phone call or by allowing Google to mail the verification code to your business address.
GMB can bring a lot of advantages to your business.
In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of having a GMB, including whether or not it has a price and our recommendations for the business.
It allows you to appear in Maps and Google Local Pack Listings
GMB is very beneficial to local businesses because it includes a map that customers can view. They can use the street view and walk or drive virtually to see the business location. Moreover, your business can appear on the map, together with the rest of the other businesses in that certain location. It makes your business highly visible and accessible.
GMB lets people leave reviews
You must never underestimate the power of customer reviews especially when it comes to local rankings. Another advantage of listing your business in GMB is allowing people to leave reviews. This is a great avenue to hear feedback from people. But at the same time, the reviews could be a great reference for potential customers. When prospects see how good your business is performing through positive reviews, it will serve as free advertising for you.
GMB provides valuable insight that gives you helpful information
On the dashboard, you can see Insights which lets you look closely into how your business is going. It shows you how many have viewed your business over the past few weeks, and whether your traffic is increasing. This powerful feature helps you review the health of your business.
GMB is free to use
Fortunately, listing your business on GMB is entirely free. Regardless of how helpful a product is, you cannot maximize its potential if its cost makes it impractical to keep up. But you need to treat GMB differently. Since it’s free, creating and verifying your profile will only work to your advantage.
Once you are done, you are ready to rock your Google Profile. Consider it free advertising for your business.
GMB offers a free space to engage with your customer
Just like Instagram and Facebook, GMB allows you to post an update. It’s not just a good business profile for your business. But it’s also a good platform to engage your clients and capture more traffic. You can post about sales, events, and other promotions. You can also inform your customers if you have a new blog and link your customers to your website post.
You could get negative feedback
One of the many reasons why other business doesn’t risk putting their business on Google is that people can give negative feedback on it. Unless you are very confident about your business, you wouldn’t want to see your stars go down from five to two. For example, if you own a restaurant and some people have had a bad experience dining in your resto, they can place one star and post negative pictures, which can affect your whole Google reputation. To bring back your five-star reputation, you need to wait for more people to give you more stars.
Nevertheless, you can take this as an opportunity to grow. Find out why people are giving you only one or two stars. Can you validate their feedback?
If yes, what is your next course of action to make your business better?
Address verification may take too long
Address verification allows Google to mail the verification code to your address, which can take about 1-2 weeks. But sometimes, the letter will never really be the address for some reason so you will have to request it again. A quicker way to verify your GMB account is via phone call, where the operator will dictate or send the code. Then you can enter it on the platform but for some reason, this is not available all the time.
Not very beneficial for businesses without a physical location
Although you can still enlist your business on GMB even if you don’t have a physical location, you won’t be able to leverage its full potential. With only a virtual business, you can redirect prospects to your website. Note, however, that GMB will still require you to put an address. So if you enter just any address or your home, it will confuse customers who would try to visit your company.
Does it have a cost?
Using GMB is entirely free. Creating a profile and verifying your address on Google My business doesn’t involve any cost. That is why, if you have a local business, you should take advantage of this opportunity. Unless you want to run a sponsored post on Google, you may need to put up a budget for it.
Recommendations for small business
Setting up a GMB account doesn’t take an hour and once your profile is up, it doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. All you need is a business email – or you can use your email to register your business. Since it is free, we recommend small businesses with physical locations create their profile.
If you are short on time, you could find a marketing partner to help you build an attractive business profile on GMB. Either way, we know it is a must-have asset for your marketing plan.
Google’s search results are becoming more and more aggressive, with answer boxes, related questions, and even results with a dropdown menu. The advantage of GMB for local businesses is definitely increasing. You could grab this opportunity to create a beautiful profile now or lose your time.