Let's start super simple on this one. Does your business have a Gmail account? What I mean by this is one of two things...
1. Do you have a G-Suite account that hosts your company's email? If you're a small to mid size company, there's a solid chance you do. Many companies I work with use Google's Business Gmail product to host their email. These look like "firstname.lastname@example.org."
2. If you answered "no" on the first one, do you have a free gmail account that's dedicated to your business use? This would be something like "email@example.com."
The reason I ask is because in order to take advantage of all of Google's free business services, like Analytics, Business Listings, Adwords, AdSense, Tag Manager, Data Studio, and the list goes on and on, you have to have a gmail account of some kind.
Google My Business is the service we're talking about today. So, when you make a search on Google for "Donut Shop Spring Hill TN" or "Donut Palace" - a local business - because you want to see who is open at 4:48 a.m. to go get donuts, this is what you see...
This is the Google Maps Results. See how local stores "Daylight Donuts" and "Donut Palace" are above national powerhouse "Dunkin' Donuts"? That's because of the power of local search and what Google My Business can do to help local businesses appear on search results relevant to their area.
On the right is the Google My Business Page of the Business you chose. This listing is what powers their ability to show on the map results.
So, everything I'm about to write in the following paragraphs are how YOU - as a marketer or business owner - can manage your listing on Google.
Okay, now that we've got that out of the way, go find or create your business' Gmail account, and go to business.google.com.
You'll see a dashboard that looks like this once you log in...
If you have no locations yet, you can add locations, or click "Support" to get help answering some of the following questions if you see something strange in your account...
- Remove a Location
- Owners and Managers of Listings
- Remove or Report Duplicate Locations
- Verify Your Business
- Edit Your Business Listing On Google
As seen in the video below, you can also do a number of other customer friendly things like manage and respond to your reviews, set your holiday hours, and manage photos, posts, etc. on Google.
Why would you make posts? Well, when customers find your business on Google, they can see offers, news, and events from your business posts that show on Google Search and Maps. You can use posts to tell customers about:
- Events such as an open house or in-store activity
- Offers/specials such as sales and discounts
- Product updates such as new merchandise
- Announcements such as “Open late this Saturday” or “Special guests this week!”
(Thanks to brkichdesign for this tip)
Last, but not least - my two favorites:
1. You can run Google Adwords Express Ad Campaigns against your business listing to generated more local customers.
2. You can see all the Analytics associated with your Organic and Paid marketing efforts.
Thanks for reading / watching - and have a great day!
Paul Hickey has created and grown businesses via digital strategy and internet marketing for more than 10 years. His sweet spot is using analytics to design and build websites and grow the audience and revenue of businesses via SEO/Blogging, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Social Media Content Marketing and Email Marketing. The part that he’s most passionate about is quantifying next marketing actions based on real data.