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Making “Google My Business” Your One-Stop Shop for Customers

Google My Business

Recently, Google has been pushing its “Google My Business” product. It’s not an overt campaign, but you can see the emphasis that they are placing on this product. Search for your business and take notice of all the information on the page’s right-hand side. If you do that same search on mobile, it is the first result. 

Google has been slowly implementing a zero-click search engine result page (SERP). A zero-click SERP means that if someone is looking for your business, there is no need to click through to the website to get the information for which you are searching. Google believes that it is more helpful to the searcher not to have them navigate your site when they can place all the information right there. 

Google My Business has grown up over the past few years, with more features added to help businesses manage their online presence. Besides the usual features you would expect like location and hours, you can also add posts, create a simple website, make bookings, manage and request reviews, and have chats with customers and potential customers. You can also manage multiple locations from one account. 

To use this platform properly, you must verify your business. If you haven’t already, follow the steps to verify your business. One thing to note is that they confirm your business by address. You must have a mailing address to verify your business. The verified address will also be the address Google uses on Maps. Keep that in mind if you work out of your home.

Get The Essentials of Google My Business Up To Date

When you log into your Google My Business account, the first thing you will see is a dashboard that will give you your account’s overall status. On the left side, you will notice a menu of all the features. It can be a bit overwhelming at first, and I encourage you to explore all of it. For now, we are going to focus on a few things to get you up and running. On the left side menu, click on the link titled “Info.” 

If you scroll down on the “Info” page, you will notice that it lists everything about your business from the name and address down to the date you opened. You may see that some of the information already there. The information on the page is what they have gleaned from the web. I would fix any incorrect information immediately. Note that it may take a day or so to have the changes appear on the search results. If it hasn’t changed in a day or so, log back in. There might be an error preventing the information from being posted live.

Once you finish updating your information, scroll down the page, and fill in any relevant empty fields. One section I want to point your attention to is the one below the phone number with the @ sign in front of it. This is your profile short name. 

Your profile short name, according to Google, makes it easier for customers to find and follow your business on Maps and Search. The only way you can edit your short name is to be a verified business. I bring your attention to it because you can use this short name to solicit Google Reviews.

Using Google My Business to Solicit Reviews

Once you established your short name, Google makes it very convenient to gather reviews. They have a short URL that you can send to anyone. The URL is https://g.page/{your short name}/review. When someone clicks on that link, it will open to a review form. A quick note, the reviewer must have a Google account to write a review. Many people have Google accounts already, so that shouldn’t be that big a deal. 

Post To Your Google My Business Page

One feature that I use regularly is the ability to post articles I write right to my Google My Business page. There is a character limit, but you can write a summary and add a link back to the article. Aside from posts, you can include offers, updates, and events. All of these will appear right on your SERP. Google wants to make it convenient for the searcher to find the information they are looking for and information they may be interested in.

Photos are another item you can post to your page. Google will automatically add the Street View image of your address, but you can also add product photos, staff photos, interior images, and exterior photos, or even videos! 

One Word of Caution

As of the writing of this article, Google is promoting its business page. They send weekly emails on how you appeared in the search, who visited your website and looked up your address. Google also has a habit of changing its mind on a product very quickly. When you make billions of dollars in revenue every year and control nearly all the searches online, you can do what you want. I’m not discouraging you from using the product. I’m just cautioning you on going all in.

Why Ignore Free Google Juice?

Google Juice is the slang for search engine optimization. More like an optimization that Google likes. Right now, Google is pushing their Google My Business product. I believe they want it to be the dashboard for the search results for your business. I imagine that information posted to your page will have more “juice” than the same information posted to your site. I’m not suggesting your abandon your website. What I am suggesting is that you give your Google My Business page some love. It can only benefit you in the long run.