What is Google My Business, Its Benefits, and Optimization

Learn what Google My Business is and its benefits for your company. Learn to optimize your Google My Business account and the insights it provides.

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business (GMB for short) is a free web tool, whose goal is to help local businesses achieve higher visibility on Google Search for relevant local searches.

Through the use of Google My Business, owners of local companies can control and improve their visibility on Google Search. Optimizing your listing and page can help your business stand out against your competitors in your local area.

The more space you occupy on the web, especially on Google Search, increases the opportunities your customers can see and engage with your business.

Most users start their customer journeys on Google Search, especially when searching for local businesses for services. Being found on relevant terms for those services is essential.

Utilizing Google My Business can help improve your results from other online marketing channels and improve return on investments.

Including GMB in your overall marketing strategy, including your website and other advertising channels, is essential.

For example, improving foot traffic for different branches of a business can be enhanced with Google My Business.

While GMB is more geared for local businesses, it can offer unique benefits for other types of companies as well.

For example, A clear listing with detailed information is a useful recruiting tool.

Google My Business benefits:

  • Local SEO
  • Collecting reviews
  • Business info directly from the search engine
  • Marketing and communication tool
  • Google My Business Insights and its benefits for analytics
  • Free of cost
  • Ease of Use

Better Visibility From Google Search: Increase Traffic From Google Maps and Local Searches (Local SEO)

Google My Business is strongly visible in local search terms. You can achieve higher search ranking positions (SERP) in related search terms in your business’s local area. Optimizing your local SEO enables smaller companies to compete with companies with a more substantial online presence in your local area. 

The optimization of GMB is crucial for standing out and making your services more available to customers near you.

Local search or Local SEO, and it’s optimization, means the search engine optimization of your website and utilization of GMB to improve your local reach on Google Search. It helps customers find you and your services at the right time when they are searching for relevant businesses and services nearby.

Read more about search engine optimization in general.

Visibility on Google Search, and Google Maps

Google My Business listings are visible to the relevant search terms between Google Ads spots and the first organic search results on Google Search.

When customers are searching directly with your company’s name, the listing is visible to the right of the search on desktop and mobile; the listing is visible below the ads and the first organic result.

When customers can find your company on Google Maps, it speeds the process of contacting you for them. Having your address on Google maps with the proper listing makes your business more discoverable and more attractive on the search, and that can drive more sales to you.

Google My Business listings are seen in Google Maps on the left on the desktop, and it displays the crucial information to help customers make quick decisions on-the-go to make them go to you.

GMB On Google Maps

Google My Business And The Local Pack

In the local pack, there will be a few relevant companies (up to three companies) and their profiles, and their locations on Google Maps.

The local pack displays crucial business info of nearby relevant businesses for the customers to help them make a better choice, such as:

  • Opening hours
  • Company name
  • Address
  • Reviews
  • Relevant Category
  • Type of Business
  • An image of the business

Local Pack Local SEO

As we can see from the image, the local pack takes up a lot of space on Google Search when searching with relevant terms. Therefore, it’s crucial to gain these local pack positions for your business to stand out.

Because of the nature of how the local pack works, being first on organic results might not be enough if your website and business aren’t locally optimized.

Being able to see what competitors are in your local pack can help you make better decisions on how to stand out against them.

Google My Business Reviews

Reviews are an essential tool for businesses to use. Reviews build trust, create and show approachable experiences, build brand recognition, and drive sales to your business.

Reviews shown in Google My Business listing improves your local visibility on Google Search. Shopify says, for 93% of customers say that online reviews have influenced them.

In short, online reviews have a strong correlation in building visibility and trust online, especially in Google Search.

Positive reviews that customers have given you are a great way to bring free and positive visibility in the search engine.

Collecting reviews are essential to improve your local SEO, as customers will go to see available reviews first when they are about purchasing something. Especially quickly made purchase decisions such as local retail and restaurants are profoundly affected by the availability of online reviews.

Many customers will read reviews when finalizing their purchasing decisions, and reviews also function as positive endorsements for services.

Google My Business Reviews

Collecting Reviews with GMB

Collecting reviews can, at times, be hard or tedious if there’s no proper or easy way to collect them.

For collecting and displaying online reviews, Google My Business is reasonably straightforward for both businesses and customers to use. Using GMB for reviews is also free. Customers can leave a review directly on Google Search on a Google My Business listing.

Integrating the collection of online reviews in your sales funnel can make the process faster and easier for customers. For example, introducing an email-sequence after purchase that would tell your customers to leave a review or in a retail environment say to your customers directly about leaving a review.

Another benefit of online reviews for businesses is that the reviews tell the owners what the customers honestly think of your business and its services.

Negative reviews are a chance to correct customer’s problems and offer an opportunity to fix customer pain points to improve customer experiences.

A fixed negative review shows to other customers that you’re actively trying to make better decisions to improve their customer experiences, and that will lead to improved sales.

Display Business Information In Google Search

With Google My Business listing, you can update and show in real-time your crucial business information for the customers who are searching for you. Updating your details through Google My Business account, your business information will always show the most updated information of your business.

GMB will always show the latest info you have submitted in your listing. For example, if your only updating your information on your website, it might take some time for the search engine to crawl it.

Giving your customers the basic updated info quickly at a glance directly from your profile might save them time when making important decisions when deciding where to buy.

Your customer, when searching your business on Google Search, will see your Google My Business profile with the following information:

  • Company name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Recent images
  • Industry
  • Opening hours
  • Reviews
  • Website
  • Google My Business posts

A Communication and Marketing Tool: Google My Business Posts

Utilizing your Google My Business posts within your profile, you can create offers, add products, give news, and other updates directly on Google Search.

Within a Google My Business post, you can choose from different call-to-actions to increase clickthrough-rates such as buy, learn more, sign up, call now, and more.

Inside your profile, you can see what kind of posts your competitors are creating, so you can have a better idea of what kind of content you should make, to stand out.

Published Google My Business posts are visible in the latter part of the profile when relevant searches trigger your profile to show.

Experimenting with different post types can increase your overall clickthrough-rates to your website, which is beneficial when you’re trying to increase traffic to your company’s website.

Keep in mind that posts expire in seven days. Create new posts as old posts expire.

GMB posts can be in your content distribution strategy, and having the ability to recycle content created for Facebook, LinkedIn, or Youtube ads, is beneficial. When reusing content, remember to modify your content to fit the format of GMB posts.

All in all, GMB posts are an excellent addition to your content marketing strategy that can help you reach more customers within Google Search, especially on those lucrative local searches.

GMB Post Google Ads Fails

Google My Business Cost

Google My Business is a free tool that every company should utilize in their marketing strategy. Its optimization and use won’t take much of precious time either, which makes it a cost-effective addition to any online marketing strategy.

Optimizing and managing a Google My Business listing shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours, and it will benefit your company quickly with improved visibility within Google.

Spend time in the initial optimization, and managing company updates to gain the benefits of Google My Business for yourself.

Google My Business Insights and Analytics

Google My Business Insights provides companies valuable data that businesses can employ to improve their visibility, increase engagement, and ultimately sales. Taking action with the provided data helps you more easily understand and create actionable goals with GMB.

Data gathered with Google My Business Insight is mostly data that is relevant to the profile itself. The collected data is useful to make better decisions when you can see quick summaries of relevant web data of your business.

Learn more about web analytics

Two categories of metrics are available from Google My Business Insight: visibility metrics and engagement metrics.

Visibility Metrics

With visibility metrics, you can see how many views your profile, its images, and posts have gained in a specific period.

Tracking visibility is essential because you can track how different marketing campaigns have affected your Google My Business profile visibility and reach in the Google Search.

To achieve the highest returns for your campaigns, replicate the best performing campaigns again. It’s also crucial to test new ideas all the time alongside the best performing campaigns.

With ‘How customers search for your business‘ – report, you can conclude wherein the search engine your profile was shown and how your customers have found your profile.

Google My Business Insight How Customers Search For Your Business

The report will tell you what keywords triggered your profile for your customers.

Understanding what keywords have triggered your profile early-on enables you to appropriate the said keywords in your SEO strategy and give you ideas on what keywords you should include in the plan.

The report gives you a simple breakdown of how many searches each category has brought you.

The categories that the report displays are:

  • Direct Search
    • Customers searched your business or by address.
  • Discovery Search
    • Customers searched for a service, product, or category that matches your offerings, and it triggered your listing.
  • Brand Search
    • A customer searched for a brand related to your business.

Total searches combine these three metrics.

Photo views will give you a breakdown of how your images are viewed compared to similar businesses.

Where customers view your business on Google – report, will show you where the customer saw your business inside Google. It will tell you how many views you have gained on Google Maps or Google Search.

Google My Business Insights Where Customers View Your Business On Google

Views in GMB are impressions meaning how many times users have seen the profile and its posts.

Engagement Metrics

Engagement metrics in Google My Business will tell you how many website clicks, calls, and direction requests your profile has had.

You can track the following engagement metrics:

  • Clicks to the website
  • Direction request from Google Maps
  • It will tell you from where on a map direction requests were made.
  • Amount of phone calls to your business
  • Estimate when your business is at its busiest and an average location visit length.

Customer Actions Google My Business Insight

Utilizing engagement metrics helps you improve and optimize your Google My Business profile and your business itself.

For example, tracking direction requests can tell you where your customers are more likely to come. Combining the data with other engagement metrics such as phone calls and time spent on your business can draw a complete picture of how your customer is engaging with your business.

Understanding how your customer engages with your business is a key benefit of Google My Business for any business that is looking to find growth within their current audiences.

How to Track Web Traffic from Google My Business with Google Analytics

To be able to track direct traffic from Google My Business with Google Analytics, and to see how users from the medium are behaving on your website, the use of Google Analytics is required.

  1. Create a campaign Link with UTM-Builder
  2. Give your website URL, name the campaign, and name the source and medium. For example, “GMB” or something that you will recognize when analyzing later.
  3. Add the created UTM-link in your Google My Business profile.
  4. Finally, test the result. Click the link on your GMB profile and look it up from the Real-time report on Google Analytics. You should see your click registered under traffic sources.

UTM Kampanjalinkki testaaminen Google Analytics reaaliajassa

Quick Guide How To Optimize Google My Business Account and Profile

  • Add the correct information about your business and keep it updated at all times. Remember to check your spelling and your styling.
  • Choose a category that matches your business and its industry the best.
  • Decide if your business delivers products and services to the home.
    • If yes, add the correct delivery information such as postal codes, neighborhoods, and cities.
  • The essential part of Google My Business is to verify the address of your business. Your profile won’t show up in Google before you’ve verified your address.
  • Enter detailed information about your products and services.
  • Use relevant keywords to your business in descriptions and posts.
  • Add relevant images of your business: Inside of your business, outside of your business, logos, etc.
  • Manage and answer customer reviews and messages
    • For enabling messaging, you will need the Google My Business – app (iOS & Android)
  • Use Insights data to improve your business and your GMB profile.
  • Lastly, use Google Ads to create local ads to promote your business in your area.

Conclusion

Any company that is looking to grow its local reach, visibility, and profitability should be using Google My Business.

As a free and yet simple tool to use, Google My Business is something that companies small and large can utilize in their online marketing strategy.

The benefits of Google My Business are vast, and companies who take the time to optimize and manage their profiles are more likely to gain more reach and sales from nearby customers.

The power of local marketing, especially local SEO, is the free exposure, you achieve with it.

Managing and responding to questions directly on a GMB profile can increase customer satisfaction and the number of engagements you will receive. The increased customer engagements will result in better relationships and their willingness to share your business with their friends through word of mouth.

Overall, using Google My Business as a tool for online marketing can lower the cost of your online marketing budgets or help to boost results from it.