Let’s say that you own a coffee shop in Miami. There are various potential ways that customers can use to discover your business location: they might walk past your shop, see your posts on your social media page, or get a referral from their friends or existing client.

But with the increasingly digital world, Google has been increasingly putting more effort into providing businesses with fantastic options to maximize their exposure through its platform. As a result, Google has created Google My Business, which has been improving the ability for businesses to be discovered online. Google My Business is particularly useful for small, local businesses. 

If you are interested in learning how you can use Google My Business to skyrocket your local buzz, then this post contains all the fundamental knowledge that you need to know. Keep reading.

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business, abbreviated as GMB, is a free, easy-to-use tool offered by Google, which helps small, local businesses to manage how they appear on the Google search engine. 

The benefits of Google My Business

Google My Business provides more ways for your business to attract and engage with customers searching for your services and products. It comes with three main benefits, including: 

  • Increased visibility in search engine
  • A better shopping experience for your buyers
  • More traffic to your website, social media platforms, and front door

So, how do you use Google My Business to Skyrocket your Business Locally?

Google My Business can make as much local ranking signals; hence helping to deliver more traffic to your business. This is a lot of authority that you could be missing out if you have not implemented this technique to your local buzz. That’s why if you haven’t done so yet, go to GMB and create your listing.

Setting up Google My Business profile

Every local business needs to have a fully optimized and up-to-date Google My Business profile. The very first step is to carefully conduct a Google search to ensure your business doesn’t already have a GMB listing. But if your company has been around for a while, the chances are high that it already has a GMB listing and what you just need to do is to claim it. Once successfully, you can continue managing the information just as if you previously started the GMB listing yourself.

Step by step guide

Here is a step-by-step guide you need to follow:

  1. Log into your business Google account or create one in case you don’t have.
  2. Go to Google My Business and click on “Start now” located at the top right-hand corner.
  3. Enter the name and address of your business.
  4. Check the relevant sections to indicate if you deliver goods and services, along with your business location.
  5. Choose your business category.
  6. Enter phone number and website of your business.
  7. Choose a verification option.

What is crucial at this point is to ensure your message is consistent across all your social media platforms. Don’t try to confuse your potential customers by indicating different opening hours on Google versus your website or any of your social media channels. You are also required to carefully re-check all the information you have provided on your Google My Business page and cross check it with what’s on your website and see whether they are in order.

Optimizing your GMB listing

Having all the essential information on your GMB page is incredible, but this is just the first step. If you want to stand out from your major competitors, then there is a need to maximumly optimize your Google My Business profile to a certain standard that will help Google and searchers understand more about your products and services. 

The following actionable checklist will help you accomplish this mission without any hassle:

Provide complete information about your business 

The business name, address, phone number, hours of operation, and business category of your local buzz should be up-to-date on. This information needs to be double checked to ensure that it reflects your business. For example, your hours of operation should not be within the range where someone will drive in only to find out that your business doors are closed. This will give a great advantage to your competitors whose time range are found to be true.

Provide a compelling business description

Google has recently provided an option on Google My Business listing, where you can include your business description. You need to ensure that your business description is put in a way that; important information, keywords, and your location are at the start of the description. Google will review your business description before it’s finally published, so stick to the rules laid out in its Google Business Description Guidelines page.

Choose and upload high-quality photos and videos that show off your business

Google My Business gives you an option to designate a profile image, a cover image and preferred photos of your business which will be displayed on the Search engines and Google Maps, along with any additional photos that might be beneficial to your customers.

It is crucial to take advantage of this feature by uploading quality photos and videos that showcase the best parts of your business location. This is essential for service-orientated businesses as imagery plays a significant role in people’s perceptions of your brand.

According to a research done by Google, “businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions to their business location from users on Google, and 35% more clicks on their website than businesses that luck photos.” Most people trust business profiles that have photos. 

Post engaging and relevant content

We already know that the best performing content, in terms of engagement, across every industry, should be relevant. This is the reason why GMB gives you another great feature – Google Posts. Google posts mimic social media posts, except they show up in your Google My Business listing on a Google search.

Publishing timely, engaging, and relevant content is a known best practice of winning your customers’ hearts. That is the primary reason why many businesses create blogs that they update on a regular basis. However, as a small business, you may not have the time to manage a blog together to optimize it for search. Are you worried about this? GMB gives you an alternative — you can post directly to your Google listing.  

GMB gives you a great opportunity of publishing posts up to 300 words relating to your events, promotions of your products, service offerings, as well as company updates and announcements. You can even add photos and videos. What’s also making this feature more interesting is that your posts appear as part of your listing, and users would not leave Google to view your content.

Collect and respond to both positive and negative reviews

Reviews have always played a critical role in deciding whether or not a buyer engages with your products or services. Therefore, the reviews on your GMB should not be overlooked. People will always turn to others to get their opinion before making a purchase decision. They need to know the experience of those who have used the product before.

Did they have a positive or negative experience? 

How likely will their experience reflect their own?

With the same token, always respond to your reviews. Positive reviews give a good sense of your products and services and should be responded to easily. 

But what happens when you get a negative review? This is normal to any brand, and it should never freak you out. For such cases, you should respond accordingly, advisable with an apology and a good explanation. But don’t appear defensive.

Use Questions & Answers feature

Questions & Answers does precisely allows people to ask questions about your services and products, so you can answer those questions by providing relevant information to their problems. This feature is vital as it protects you from middlemen who may give wrong information about your business.

Final Thoughts 

Building a local business online is crucial for securing a steady flow of offline foot traffic to your store. The best way to accomplish this is to set up and optimize your profile on Google My Business. It is absolutely one of the essential components for your local buzz. Although setting up of GMB profile may be a bit challenging, but if you carefully follow our guide, your business will not only benefit from huge rewards but also put itself on top of the map!