There are a lot of free tools that you can use to improve your business’ online presence, like Google My Business. What exactly is this tool? How do you use it, and do you even need it? Webcentral have all your answers.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business (GMB) is a tool that lets you create a business profile to appear in Google search results and on maps. You can add details like your business name, phone number, opening hours, address, and photos. You can also see customer reviews of your business and respond directly to your customers. As an example, here’s what our GMB profile looks like.
What are the benefits?
There are lots of benefits to creating a GMB profile, including:
- Improve your local SEO: searches including suburbs names or the term ‘near me’ are more likely to show GMB profile results.
- Mange your online presence: you can take control of your online business profile and make sure that all details are correct.
- Respond directly to customers: whether it’s a question or a review, you can respond directly to customers and manage your business reputation.
- Learn about your customers: GMB insights tell you how customers searched for your business and where they’re coming from – valuable insights for future business improvements.
How much does it cost?
As mentioned above, GMB is a completely free tool. Like many other great Google tools this one is free to encourage businesses to improve their listings, which in turn makes for a better user experience.
Are all businesses eligible?
Any business that has a face-to-face customer interaction can set up a GMB profile. In other words, you cannot be an online-only business.
Who can update your listing?
GMB listings are open to edits by the public which means it’s important to keep an eye on your details. Anyone can ‘suggest an edit’ to your listing. Google typically sends a notification to the listing owner when updates are made. There’s also an app where you can check the details of your listing but your ability to make updates on the app version is limited.
Can you share your listing?
If you want to share your listing with other employees or your digital marketing agency, like Webcentral, you can make them managers. To do this, claim your listing through your account then add other users as managers. This will let them update your listing and post on your business’ behalf.
Dealing with negative reviews
Opening up your business to reviews means that both positive and negative feedback can be shared publicly. Everyone loves receiving positive feedback, but few of us handle negative reviews well. If you receive a negative review the best thing to do is respond to it. By responding to the feedback, you show your customers that you take their feedback seriously and are always working to improve your service.
Google doesn’t allow you to delete negative feedback, but it will let you flag fake reviews. Check Google’s Prohibited and Restricted Content policy for details on what classifies as an inappropriate or fake review. Once flagged, Google will get in touch with you to work out whether the review should be removed.
Do you need it?
Your business will still exist without a GMB profile, but it won’t be as visible. Improving your digital presence is the first step to reaching maximum visibility for your business. While you don’t need a GMB profile to run a business, you do need one to make sure your business gets noticed online.
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