GMB (or “Google My Business”) has become one of the most essential tools of writing for any kind of online business. If you are starting your own online business, it is important to understand how GMB works, and utilize it to your advantage. While quality writing goes a long way, it cannot guarantee visibility on its own. If potential customers are unable to find your website and learn about your product, even a great business will not find success. So, how do make your website visible?
Google is by far the most used search engine in the world, so if someone cannot find your business on Google, you’re in trouble. While you can create a business profile on Google, creating a Google My Business account will give you complete ownership and control of how you are presented on the search engine. If used correctly, GMB can rapidly increase your exposure on Google.
Why GMB is Important, and How You Can Capitalize On It
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a tool used to gain search results that rank high on Google. People searching for information rarely look past the first page, so being seen among the top results is important for any business, especially a start-up. GMB listings are placed very high on Google search results if the person is searching the business. The more effort you put into completing and optimizing your Google My Business profile, the more attention the site will receive on Google.
Of course, it isn’t enough to just make your site more visible. GMB is the access point to showcase your site and content to potential customers. Make the your GMB listing as detailed and high quality as possible, because through Google’s SEO, it will most likely be the first impression people have of your business.
Note: Remember to put your contact information on the main page of the Google My Business listing, so interested visitors can immediately communicate with you. You can also provide social media links if your business uses them.
One of the benefits of Google and GMB is providing your business profile with a clear geographical location. GMB can use Google Maps to place your businesses’ location, provide directions and distance from the customers’ location. A potential customer may have a passive interest in your business, but seeing a local business so close to their home might make the product more enticing. Much like Google search, Google Maps is a widely used app, so it’s a great way to promote the location of your business and find local consumers. Keeping your GMB local will also allow you to take advantage of local SEO, increasing the chances of people finding you through local search results.
Note: You can also use the “Primary Category” function on your GMB account (on the control panel) to properly categorize your business. Whatever your business is, a proper business description will make it easier for interested parties to find you through local rankings.
One of the benefits of running an online store is that updates can be made immediately, as opposed to physical stores which take longer to change. This is useful on its own, but allowing audiences of your site to communicate with you allows those updates to reflect what your customers are looking for.
Putting your contact information on your GMB listing will give you the opportunity to listen to feedback and immediately implement those suggestions if possible. This will build trust between your business and the customers as it demonstrates that you can listen and improve based on their input.
Note: Placing customer reviews on the GMB listing will also show your effective communication with customers, and increase your businesses’ online reputation.
Why GMB is More Important Than Ever
GMB has always been a useful way for online businesses to showcase their brand and products to customers. Google has always been important for many types of businesses, but the recent events of Covid-19 have made GMB profiles essential for nearly all businesses.
The pandemic has forced businesses to operate completely online and rely solely on digital marketing. This has increased both the necessity of online functions such as GMB, and the competition. In 2021, there will be far more businesses like yours that will be competing for that top search rank on Google. Just having a Google My Business listing is a good start, but you must also optimize your listing to its full capacity. One of the most effective ways to do this is to keep your operating hours up to date.
If you’re just starting a site this year, you’re already working with a schedule affected by the pandemic. However, if any changes are made, utilize GMB to keep your online presence up to date. If you want to keep all your customers, it is essential that they are able to reach you during the hours that you are listed as available. The look of your business should also reflect the pandemic. Images of your location should indicate hand sanitizers, social distance markers or anything else that would indicate your business prioritizes the safety of your customers. With online businesses becoming so competitive, even these small details are essential to stand out.
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