Starting a business has its own share of difficulties, and owners must be capable of overcoming them smartly. What is the ultimate goal of every business? It is to attract more and more customers and witness steady growth every year. Over the years, marketing has been used as an effective tool to reach out to more audiences and make them aware of your products. But what if you are operating locally and don’t have enough funds to advertise your business on television? Well, many local businesses are now harnessing the power of digital marketing, which requires a comparatively lower budget than traditional marketing to reach their target audience.

Digital marketing, basically, refers to the use of digital media channels to promote any service or product. Such digital channels are accessible on your smartphones and computers like email, mobile applications, search engines, websites, social media platforms, and more. Digital marketing is a broad field and incorporates various aspects like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and affiliate marketing. An organization may focus on any of these aspects and launch its online marketing campaigns. All of these efforts take some time to establish a company’s online presence and provide the desired results.

Many would recommend you to first create a website to establish an online presence. But local businesses may not invest in creating a website directly. There is another way to instantly help customers find your business, known as Google My Business or GMB. What’s more interesting for business owners is that the tool is free of cost.

But, why GMB? These stats speak for themselves:

  • 77% of consumers report using Google Maps when searching for nearby businesses.
  • 56% of consumers say they are likely to visit a business in person after searching, and 54% say they are likely to visit right away or on the same day.
  • 74% of consumers conduct local searches at least once a week.

Excited to know what GMB is all about? We will give you a complete overview of it and also let you know how to utilize Google My Business for SEO as well.

What is Google My Business, Anyway?

Google My Business is an easy-to-use tool for businesses to maintain their online presence across Google, which includes Search and Maps. Businesses need to add complete information and tell their story so as to help customers find their store. It is an effective way to help people know where your store is located, what products you offer, where they can contact you, and what your operating hours are. Moreover, it allows you to interact with your customers and respond to their reviews. There is a lot more you can do with Google My Business.

You can also post images that depict your products as business profiles that add photos regularly receive around 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t. So, it is important to complete your GMB listing correctly and optimize all the details in the tool. Eventually, it gives your business a public identity and presence with a Google listing and helps increase traffic to your already-existing website.

Here are some of the best practices you can follow when listing your business on GMB:

  • Fill in all the details asked in the form clearly and include keywords that people usually use in their search query that match your product.
  • Next, verify your business by selecting a suitable mode from the options available. It may take around 2 to 3 weeks for your listing to appear on Google.
  • Respond to customer reviews promptly and address any issues they face. Customers are more likely to come back if they get a positive response from the owner.
  • Keep posting on GMB regularly regarding any events or discounts you are about to offer or any new products you have started selling. These posts help in engaging with your audience and keep your business profile fresh.
  • Add a logo and cover photo to help the audience recognize your business. Posting photos regularly, like a product catalog, can drive sales and encourage visits to your physical store.

Does Google My Business Help in SEO?

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is all about increasing the organic traffic to a website. By organic, we mean the non-paid efforts that are implemented on a website so that a search engine ranks it higher on SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) when a user enters the relevant keywords. As people tend to search for any product or service locally, Google came up with local search results by adding the phrase ‘near me’ after the product name you want. This is how Local SEO evolved where businesses started competing for a product at a particular location.

Now, Google My Business is the best way to promote local SEO strategies for your business. It can help your website rank higher as Google gets a social signal of your business’ presence with GMB. Google’s local search results are based on your proximity to the user (distance), the relevance of your offering as per the user’s query, and the prominence of your business. If you have created a good reputation online, the customer reviews are positive, and your store location is near to the customer, then Google will obviously put your brand name in the top results. Thus, your website will get increased organic traffic and the purpose of SEO gets fulfilled.

As businesses can use Google Analytics to check the impact of their SEO strategies and the amount of traffic and clicks they get, the same insights can be obtained for Google My Business. If a business uses Google Analytics to gain insights from GMB, it can further improve its profile and gain more audience exposure. For example, they can track how many consumers search your brand name, look for your store direction, call you, or which photos are most liked by people. All these trends help you get an idea of what posts to give in the future, how to reply to reviews, and thus optimize your profile accordingly. So, if you already own a business and want to see more customers at your store, register on Google My Business today.