Planning a dinner out? Looking for the closest hardware store? Your phone has all the answers you need much in part, thanks to Google My Business. It doesn’t matter that you’re a small business owner; you’re still a consumer. You know how much you depend on your phone to find the best local spots and directions to get there.

Considering that 97% of searches are for local businesses, Google My business is beyond important for your own business. Google Places is not only focused on local searches but also offers free tools to assist in your marketing efforts. Want people to find you? This is the best way to do it.

Google My Business 101

Google My Business is a free interface that allows you to provide tons of information about your business to Google. You can manage how your business is displayed when it pops up on a Google search, including the results pages (SERPs), business reviews, and instant content.

All you’ve got to do is download the app and go through the simple steps to confirm your details. The app then provides you with free features that can come in handy such as bookings, insights, and posts.

Managing Brand Consistency

Unfortunately, it’s common for small businesses to be misrepresented online. This is because many second-rate listing services that are trying to make a buck often collect the most basic information wherever they can find it. Luckily, this includes Google My Business.

When you take the time to download the app and update your information, you will soon find your business information becomes consistent and accurate. Plenty of third-party apps and services know that they can rely on Google for the best company data.

By making sure you keep your business information up to date, people can find you, contact you, and show up at your door when you’re open for business. With 72% of consumers visiting a location following a search, you want them to know your address.

Improved Visibility

With your information complete, all those third-party sites suddenly become an invaluable, free marketing tool. You will finally have the correct information available, which will help raise your visibility. Because many of these sites are industry focused, you’ll be better off and found in the best circles.

You will also be more easily categorized by Google, helping you show up in local searches.

Make a Better First Impression

Your handy and free Google My Business profile allows you to include photos and videos. This is the quickest and easiest way to show people what you’ve got and what you’re all about. According to Optinmonster, 81% of businesses surveyed saw an increase in sales, and 53% saw a welcome reduction in support calls when using video marketing.

Free Analytics

Enough with the analytics already,” you say. Online marketing requires analytics to be more effective, and Google My Business includes an insights tool filled with valuable data. It will tell you how customers are finding your company information so that you can make improvements to your marketing efforts. It can also help you to be better prepared to meet the needs of your target audience.

Free Posting Tool

Not quite like social media posts, but along the same lines, Google My Business allows you to customize content tidbits for search users. This can include articles relevant to your business, special offers, event announcements, and more. You can add whatever you like, whenever you like, and have access to free advertising. According to Moz, searchers clicked on posts 100% of the time.

Take Bookings Online

Another great free tool is their online bookings. Customers can schedule appointments right in the search. This can prove to be invaluable for small businesses who feel they don’t have the funds for such a tool on their website. According to Reuters, 75% of Google bookings are new customers.

Reputation Management

According to Bright Local, 86% of shoppers read online reviews before purchasing a product. If you’re not careful, your online reputation can ruin you. Business reviews pop up everywhere and act as an enticement as well as a deterrent for customer decisions. Google My Business allows you to converse with people making comments and reviews. This helps manage your online reputation and also thank customers who are singing your praises.

Businesses Rating

So, rounding up the Google My Business concept: Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. It’s free, it’s easy, and there’s been a 900% increase in “near me” searches in the past two years.

To learn more about Google My Business, schedule your free consultation with Outreach Digital Marketing today.

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