Google My Business is a tool used to manage the online presence of local businesses and organisations.
Having an optimised Google My Business profile impacts local search, which helps businesses appear at the top of the search results page in the local-3-pack for related searches.
Here’s an example of a local-3-pack result:
Consumers generally trust local businesses that have a strong local search presence; and appearing in the local-3-pack naturally drives more clicks to your website (being displayed high up in search results). It also drives phone calls to the business directly from search results, and users can easily navigate to the physical location of your business.
There have been many changes, additions and upgrades to Google My Business over the last few weeks; and businesses should definitely be making use of some of the new features that have been added to the free tool.
Overview: Google Posts allow people and businesses to create content directly on Google, which appears highly ranked in the Knowledge Panel within Google search results for their names. Businesses can now add videos in their Google Posts, which are naturally more engaging.
Here’s a screenshot of a Google Post in the search results:
Benefits: Google Posts allow businesses to get their content displayed directly within search results. Businesses can also include call to action buttons within the Google Post, enticing users to click through. You can create posts about special offers, events and more. Including a video within Google Posts will increase engagement with the post, as well as trust in the brand.
How to: Login to Google My Business and select the Location / Listing you want to add a Google Post to. Then click on ‘Posts’ in the left-hand navigation, and click ‘Write Your Post’ to add a new Google Post. Here you can add you 100-300 character post, image or video, and include a button.
Overview: Businesses are now able to add their services to their ‘menus’ within Google My Business. Previously, this feature was only available for restaurant owners.
Benefits: This feature will educate users about what services your business offers, which will thus increase the number of qualified leads that visit your site. Having your services displayed within the search results is also very useful for users, and will entice more customers to click-through, as they can see immediately that you offer what they’re looking for.
How to: Login to Google My Business and select the Location / Listing you want to add your Services to. Then click on ‘Info’ in the left-hand navigation and click the ‘Services’ section to edit.
Overview: Business can now add a description of their business directly in Google My Business. The description will show up in the Knowledge Panel within search results as well as Google Maps.
Benefits: Adding a description of the business can be used inform users about your brand and business, and give it some credibility, which would increase trust in the brand.
How to: Login to Google My Business and select the Location / Listing you want to add your Services to. Then click on ‘Info’ in the left-hand navigation and click the ‘Add Business Description’ section to edit.
Having a fully optimised Google My Business profile is important for local search and local rankings. It’s best to use as many of the available Google My Business features as possible – everything from including your trading hours to adding photos of your staff. Here are 9 easy steps that you can take to appear in Google’s local listings.
The 3 features mentioned in the post is especially important because they give your business more visibility and credibility. These features are relatively new at the time of writing, so it’s a great opportunity for your business to start using them before your competitors do.