Love it or loathe it, ignore Google at your peril – it’s by far the most influential and most used of the search engines. Stats from March 2016 suggest that over 2 million searches are carried out on Google PER SECOND, so if you’re in business, optimising your presence in Google searches is an absolute must. Search Engine Optimisation is a priority, of course. However, a Google My Business profile will make it significantly easier for customers to find you through Google search, Maps, and on Google+.
Not another social profile?!
Well, yes, another online profile, but this is a Google profile, so well worth the time and effort (if it can be called that) involved in setting it up. It’s specifically designed for businesses, too, with features such as reviews which can help build confidence in your brand and business. If you are interested in the opportunities Google+ offers as a network, or are already using it, especially in the UK where it remains less popular than Facebook, a Google My Business profile will improve user experience.
Isn’t this just Google Places?
Google My Business essentially replaces and extends Google Places. It’s a significantly improved service and is part of Google’s drive to streamline its offering to business. As such, Google My Business is closely linked to services such as Ad Words and Insights as well as Maps and Search as we’ve already mentioned.
The benefits of Google My Business
- Better search visibility – your business will appear in the high visibility panel on the right hand side of the screen when search results are listed
- A place on Maps – Google Maps remains a hugely popular mapping app despite strong competition from Apple. Once your business has been verified (we’ll talk about that in Part 2 of this blog, next week), it will show up on Google Maps making your business more visible
- More information to more people …– A listing on Google My Business allows you to display more relevant information to more people. Business description, opening times – and a ‘call now’ button which is great for mobile users.
- …and another way to communicate with them you may feel a bit overwhelmed with the number of channels available to communicate with your customers, but with the far-reaching influence of Google, it’s worth serious consideration.
Getting started on Google My Business is a pretty straightforward affair. Join us next week when we’ll take you through the steps to set up your account and optimise it so that you can get the best from this influential channel.