Adding your business to Google My Business can seem redundant. After all, you already have a contact page, a listed address, a phone number. Google knows how to crawl your site and list that information without you having to lift a finger.
What more could you need out of your Google listing?
It turns out there’s a lot more you can do to optimize your presence on Google—even when someone simply types in your business name.
What is a Google My Business Listing?
If you’ve ever Googled your competition and saw that their business listing looked completely professional—with a phone number, hours of operation, address, etc.—you might wonder how you achieve the same for your business. The answer is simple: Google My Business (GMB).
You start by clicking over to Google.com/Business. There, you’ll be able to create an account for your business that helps you control the exact information that people see when they Google your business. Although you can’t always control what happens in the search results or in sponsored search, a listing with Google Business will help you put out an accurate listing of your contact information, including your phone number.
How Does a Google Business Listing Help You?
Here are a few areas to get the most out of your GMB listing in:
- Your phone number. Let’s say you went through the trouble to secure yourself a phone number with Grasshopper Connect. You have a professional number and an easy way to manage your incoming calls. But there’s still one step missing: you want people to see that number. You want potential customers to dial that number. Opening a Google Business account means you can keep accurate records of your current number.
- Your contact information. It’s not only your phone number that Google will display. You can link an accurate map to your office address and include other information such as the hours you keep, encouraging people who search for you during business hours to pick up the phone and see what you have to offer.
- Customer interaction. Believe it or not, managing a business listing with Google can help you engage with customers. You can not only read your customer reviews, but respond to some of them. This helps you build trust with potential customers who are checking your reviews.
- Photographs. Adding a photo to your business listing not only enhances trust, but it may actually encourage more interaction than you’d think. According to Google’s statistics, “businesses that add photos to their listings receive 42% more requests for driving directions on Google Maps.” They also receive 35% more clicks to their website. Google can’t measure how many more phone calls these businesses receive. Given those statistics, we can only assume that you’ll see an uptick in calls, as well.
- Creating a short name/URL for your business. If you want to keep things even simpler, keep in mind that Google recently made it possible to keep a short name/URL for your business. This can enhance customer trust and reduce friction when it comes to clicking through to your site.
Put it all together and you’ll have a better listing on Google, you’ll encourage customers to trust your listing, and you’ll even drive more engagement from the same amount of web traffic.
Why Bother with a GMB Listing?
If your search engine presence is strong enough, people will find you anyway, right? Why bother with managing your listings directly when it’s so easy to find your phone number online?
You’d be surprised.
According to one report, businesses that verify their information via Google Business are twice as likely to have customers view them as “reputable.” That reduces uncertainty about your business and encourages people to pick up the phone and dial that new business number you’ve acquired for yourself.
Why It’s Important to Build a Relationship with Google
When you consider that Google accounts for almost 80% of all desktop search traffic, it becomes clear why you might want to have a Google listing that’s fully updated and accurate. There are simply too many people searching for a business like yours. Don’t ignore them. And when they do find your number, make sure that it’s the right number.
Do You Need a Google Maps Business Listing?
Business owners find themselves frustrated when they try looking themselves up on Google Maps, only to find that their business doesn’t have a strong presence there. Using Google My Business will help you establish a rock-solid address, so you never have to wonder if customers are able to find you.
It’s not just proximity-based Google Maps results that you should be concerned about, either. More and more customers search for a business with Google Maps on mobile, so you should consider listing your business on Google Maps as another way to optimize your search results for the mobile experience. And having the correct Google Business Listing in place ensures that your potential customers are dialing the right number.
Enhance Your Business for Local SEO
If you run a business that ships all over the country, then there’s a good chance you’ve been overlooking one critical aspect of your SEO: local search.
Local business search traffic tends to be high-converting. 88% of customers running local business searches on a mobile device will likely call your phone number within the next 24 hours. Ensuring that your phone number is prominent on your Google listing will help you drive more traffic to that new phone number you’ve just acquired.
How to Set Up Your Google My Business Account
If you’re already convinced, let’s look at the basic steps involved in setting up your business on Google:
- Visit https://www.google.com/business/
- Enter your business name
- On the location prompt, select “Yes,” then enter your office address
- If you serve areas outside your location, select that option and enter in these areas
- Type in a business category and select the one most appropriate for your business
- Select the contact details you want to share with customers, entering in your phone number and current website URL
- Click “Finish” to finish and verify
Google’s business verification process is a straightforward process with several options, such as verifying a business listing by mail. In that case, Google sends a postcard to your entered address. This postcard contains a code you use to verify the address online. Select businesses can also verify themselves via phone number or email, although this may not always be available for your entry.
Get More Use out of Your Business Phone Number
When you acquire a new vanity number or simply update your business contact information, customers need to know about it, sure—but so do the customers you have yet to meet. Rather than letting your listings get stale with outdated information, keep your customers in the loop. Sign up for a Google My Business listing so you can manage your contact information, interact with your customers, and drive more phone calls to your new phone system.