What is Google Local Business all about?
Your Google Local Business Page is the natural successor to Google Places. This change is not just an opportunity to rebrand. It’s a desire to alter the way people search and discover local businesses. You should see this change as something that’s as big as Google Penguin. For small businesses, in particular, this is an opportunity to bring more customers through your doors and be big on Google.
There were a number of huge changes, including further integration with Google+ and the Google+ Local listings, which is the directory for local businesses on Google’s social media network. At first glance, it’s easy to look at this change as a way of reducing confusion between Google’s various services.
To an extent, that’s exactly what it is, but it’s so much more than that, and this article is going to go into the details.
Why Should You Use a Google Local Business Page?
Local SEO is on the rise, with 50% of mobile customers actually visiting the store they are searching for within a day. In terms of setting up this service with your business, the process is similar to the one you used for Google Places. From a user standpoint, the process hasn’t changed much at all, but the big benefits come in the form of what it can do. These are the main reasons why you should be using this service.
Updating Your Business Information – You can now manage the information in the search indexes, maps, and Google+ from one place. This will streamline the process for merchants and ensure that they have a unified brand across all Google platforms.
Add Images – Visuals are so important for making your company stand out from everyone else’s. You now have the capacity to add your own images.
Connect with Customers – Customer relations are a big part of this platform. You can connect directly with customers through the business Google+ page. You can also keep track of Google reviews, which also offer a chance to engage.
Analytics – If you are launching a marketing campaign, Google My Business comes with a chance to find out how people are coming across your business. This is especially useful if you are using Google’s new ‘Store Visits’ feature.
Setting Up Your Brand Page
At this point, you may be wondering how you can go about setting up your brand page. This is relatively easy if you already have a Google account. Just go to the official GMB page and login to your account. You should see the ‘Get On Google’ page clearly displayed on your account. Click on it and you’ll be taken to a map.
If you are not a local business, you should click on this heading in the top-right. You can now choose your brand and business type. You’ll then be prompted to make a Google+ page or connect your account with an existing one.
The only difference if you happen to be a local business is that when you reach the map you will need to find your business by using the search box. Once you find it, just click on it and you can follow the simple instructions from there, but again the process is practically the same.
How to Get the Best from your Google Local Business page?
Once you are actually on the network, you can’t leave it there and expect everything to happen for you. You have to take the initiative in order to get the most from it. These are some of the best ways to extract the most value from GMB as possible.
Post Updates – Participate in Google+ by updating your page with special offers, news, and updates. These posts are the start of your dialogue with people. With any luck they will get back to you and you’ll be able to start crafting the customer relationship.
Promote Special Offers – Use Google+ Events for promoting sales events and special offers.
Showcase Your Products – Use pictures to show of what you’re selling. With the power of image and video marketing, you can add both of these types of content.
Like any social media network, this will take time to build. It’s yet another attempt by Google+ to make its social media network popular and raise it from the dead. Whether it works or not is irrelevant because Google is one of the most powerful in town. You have to rank high if you are going to keep pulling in organic traffic.
Last Word – The Future of GMB
GMB is only expected to increase in importance because of localized SEO. This should form part of Google’s grand plan to make SEO more relevant to the individual based on their location than ever before.
How will you use GMB today?