If you are a brick and mortar local business, you stand to benefit from creating a GMB (Google my Business) listing.
What’s the first thing you do when you look for a service or a product in your town? Right, you jump online and start a Google search; and that’s what most people do.
Today, GMB results make up a good chunk of the online presence for local businesses. Because when someone searches for “nurse practitioner near me,” they’re not interested in finding one in a different state or town, but they want to see an NP near them.
What is Google My Business?
Even though you may be familiar with GMB, let’s make sure we’re on the same page. So, let’s start at the beginning.
Google provides GMB as a free tool to business owners so they can manage how their business shows up on Google Search and Google Maps.
When someone enters a search term and starts a Google search, they will see a map and a list of three local listings relevant to their search phrase. It’s called the Local 3 Pack; it is the Google My Business profile of the three most relevant businesses.
When setting up a GMB listing, business owners may choose to showcase different information, including :
- Name of the business
- Business category
- Business address & hours
- Business phone & website
- Business description
- Products & services offered
- How to schedule appointments
- Reviews, videos, photos
- Questions & answers
Depending on the type of business and corresponding industry, you may be able to include additional information.
As you can see, establishing a GMB listing would come in handy when marketing your practice. But beyond the obvious, a GMB listing offers even more benefits.
Reasons To Use Google My Business
Not yet convinced if GMP is right for you? Here are a few more reasons to think about adding a GMB listing to your marketing efforts.
- Free! One of the most obvious reasons to create a GMB listing… it’s 100% free to businesses, and it’s easy to use. Who can argue with that?
- Knowledge Panel: for branded, name, and other relevant searches. With a GMB listing, a knowledge panel for your business will show up on the right side of branded search results. It is the same summary of information about your business that is returned on Google Maps.
- Insights: GMB features an “Insights Panel” within its dashboard. The panel offers business owners information about how their customers find them and what they do after that.
- Easy posting: business owners may post custom updates, offers, and promotions from their desktop, phone, or tablet. It’s simple and easy to do and allows them to stay in front of their customers.
- Easy bookings: Business owners have the option to let customers schedule appointments or book services right from within the listing.
- Business Reviews: Business owners can increase their engagement with their customers by encouraging and responding to their reviews.
- Questions & Answers: GMB allows business owners to respond to questions from customers, and pin frequently asked questions for all customers to see.
- Images/Photos: GMB lets business owners upload images and photos to encourage prospective customers to engage with the business. Remember the saying: a picture is worth a thousand words?
- Correct information across the web: Google is one of the most prominent players on the internet, and many third-party websites pull data from it. If entered correctly and kept up-to-date, information entered on a GMB listing will be distributed across the web, consistently and accurately.
- Improved search results: creating a GMB listing will contribute to achieving better rankings and improved search results.
Google tells us that local search accounts for 46% of all searches. And, according to Hubspot,
- 88% of local searchers visit a store or business within one business day.
- “Near me” or “close by” type searches grew more than 900% over two years.
Yes, local search is significant, and presents a massive opportunity for you!
Google’s GMB makes it easy for you to show up in local searches. It’s a powerful tool, available free of charge to any local business.
While providing necessary information about your business to new and current customers, GMB can do so much more, if appropriately utilized.
Check back next week and find out how to get started with Google My Business.
Are you using Google My Business yet? Let us know what you think; leave your comment below.
By Johanna Hofmann, MBA, MAc., EAMP; regular contributor to the NPBusiness blog and author of “Smart Business Planning for Clinicians.”