This month’s topic isn’t directly about SEO but it will help put you right in front of people searching for a business like yours, in your area.
What is Google My Business?
Google used to have a product called Google Places, created to compete with FourSquare, an app where you could check into local businesses. It was renamed a few years ago and combined with Google Plus Local to form Google My Business.
It’s all about ‘local search’. For example if you search for “plumber in Droylesden” you’ll see a map with a number of plumbers marked on it. Short listings of these plumbers will feature below the map.
Some of the listings have been placed there by Google searching the web themselves. But the ones that will be highest will probably be those with full Google My Business entries.
If you’ve ever create a Google Plus page for a business then the chances are a Google My Business page exists too. Many pages were created by Google converting Google Plus pages when the rebranding to Google My Business happened.
Finding your page
If you go to business.google.com you’ll be asked to type in your business name. If it doesn’t exist you’ll be offered the chance to create it.
Either way you’ll be taken through a series of screens where you can add all the information about your business. This can be exhaustive and frustrating, particularly if Google doesn’t offer options that quite fit your business, but it’s worth doing.
It is crucial to add photos as this makes the listing more vibrant and gives it more credibility.
For a long time business have been displayed on Google Maps and a fully-fleshed out Google My Business page will make your entry look more professional.
Google says that more and more people are searching via Maps rather than through the web, particularly when they are wandering around with their mobiles.
People can also leave reviews for your business on your Google My Business page, just like Facebook, TripAdvisor or Amazon reviews. Unfortunately fraudulent reviews can be left as well, and Google aren’t that helpful when it comes to removing them.
If you can maintain highly-rated reviews then Google will push your business higher up on the listings feature on the map.
Is it worth doing?
Playing the Google game isn’t just about working the search results. There are some people who think that Google My Business listings may eventually replace business websites. That might be going a bit far, especially if you are engaging in ecommerce.
But it’s definitely worth spending time enhancing your Google My Business page right now.