What is Google My Business?

Introduction: Google My Business is a free business listing feature. Local businesses can use GMB to manage their presence on Google Maps and Google Search. Unlike other online business listings and directories (e.g., Yelp), GMB profiles of businesses can be discovered directly on Google. Hence, users don’t have to visit third-party sites to access the website of a local business.

Updated on: 2022-04-16

Name: Google My Business

Referred to as: GMB, Google Business Profile

Category: Local SEO Tool

Correct Use: n/a

Description:

GMB is a free tool that any organization can use to manage its presence on Google Search and Maps. GMB gives business owners multiple options to improve their visibility across all Google platforms. Since most new-age consumers use Google to discover local businesses, GMB is a critical tool for local businesses. Unless a business has a claimed and optimized business listing on Google, it will fail to attract new customers.

Updated On: In November 2021, Google launched major upgrades to the GMB platform. Firstly, Google My Business is now officially known as “Google Business Profile.” The GMB app has also been retired. Website or business managers can now access their business profiles directly via Google Search or Google Maps. The company will release more details about the changes in the GMB platform later this year.

Google My Business
GMB = Google My Business

Our take:

This free tool is one of the most vital components of a comprehensive business website management strategy. Let’s say you run a local car repair shop. When your potential customers look up “car repairs near me” on Google, the search engine shows them a list of GMB profiles.

If you have a well-designed and SEO-optimized GMB profile, your business listing will show up on top of the search results. Creating a GMB profile is just like adding your business location to Google Maps. You can create a GMB listing for your business.

Or, you can claim an existing Business Profile. A random site aggregating tool may automatically list your business on GMB. Google only needs the business name, location, and business category to create a Business Profile.

Create a profile or claim ownership of an existing profile. Once Google confirms your profile, you can add photos, ask/answer customer questions, and allow consumers to leave reviews on your profile.

When the profile shows up on search results, your target customers can instantly assess key information about your business. They can directly call or email your business via the Business Profile.

Why GMB Profiles Matter

There are three locations where Google My Business listings show up when users look up relevant search terms.  

·   Google Knowledge Panel: Info about your GMB listing will show up in Google’s Knowledge Panel when relevant searches are performed. In this section, Google presents your business’s information via concise and easy-to-read snippets. Appearing in this section of Google Search gives businesses visibility and credibility. 

·   Google Local Pack: Your GMB profile may even appear in Google’s Local Pack. It’s a block of business listings that show when users perform Google searches with local intent. Since Google Local Pack results appear right on top of Google’s search results, appearing in this block is very advantageous. Users will think your business is reliable and trustworthy if it is shown on Google Local Pack’s top three results.

·   Google Maps: GMB listings also show up on Google Maps results (both the app and website). Google Maps will provide directions to customers looking up your business locations. 

Appearing in any of these three sections can do wonders for a business website. It basically certifies your business’s credibility. You can even optimize your Google My Business profile to make it more engaging.

Using GMB for Marketing a Local Business

Local business operators can promote their brands by making the most of their GMB profiles. They can –

·   Engage with customers by responding to reviews, answering questions, etc.

·   Publish public posts on the Business Profile, informing customers about deals, offers, etc. Provide short but detailed snapshots of your business via these posts

·   Provide detailed information about your business, including – available hours, links to your company websites, product details, etc. Edit your GMB profile to ensure it’s informative.

·   Use the analytics tab of the GMB platform to gain key insights into your website’s local search performance.

Using GMB For Local Search

Just like Google ranks websites, it also ranks Google Business Profiles. The same SEO rules apply to GMB profiles. Admins should incorporate relevant keywords into their GMB profiles to tell Google what search phrases they’re trying to rank for.

They can include these keywords in the business description sections of their profiles. Of course, all information in your GMB profile needs to be up-to-date and accurate.

Extra reading

Do:

Keep updating your GMB profile as your business evolves. Encourage customers to share reviews on your GMB listing. Respond to them. Regularly upload business-related photos to give Google the impression that your account is active.

Don’t:

Take GMB lightly. Having a GMB profile is just as important as having a well-designed business website. If you can’t handle your company’s Google Business Profile, hire professionals.

Tip:

GMB is free. Business leaders make the most of it to outshine their competitors and attract more customers from Google.

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