Google My Business is a completely free service/portal that many business owners often overlook. When used correctly, it has numerous features that can help businesses manage and monitor their presence on Google. In this post, we’ll cover some of the most useful features of Google My Business and explain how they can help a business connect to its audience.
The primary feature of Google My Business is to act as sort of a “yellow page” of the internet. When Google launched the service as Google Local in 2004, that was their intent. Let’s be honest: nobody uses the yellow pages anymore. Except maybe as a stopper to keep that pesky closet door open in your house. The great thing about Google’s business directory is that it has evolved over the years and provides a way for businesses to choose their business categories and key services. Entering these categories and services will help Google to display their business when someone searches for those services, acting as a booster for organic search engine optimization. Of course, Google My Business also allows owners to communicate other critical information such as their phone number, website address, menu (for restaurants), hours of operation, and even their COVID-19 restrictions (mask required, etc). On top of that, business owners also have the ability to upload photos of the location. This can be especially helpful for restaurants or other businesses where the establishment’s ambiance is important. It can also be a great way for a business to showcase some of its products and services.
One of the other key features of Google My Business is that it allows owners to monitor and respond to reviews left on their business’s page. As we all know, reading reviews (and generally checking up on a company’s reputation) is something that most consumers regularly do – and keeping that reputation squeaky-clean can help a business thrive. Google My Business allows owners to set up alerts so that they receive an email every time a review is left. Owners also have the ability to respond to customer’s reviews, an activity that we highly recommend as it shows that the business owner is engaging with their customers in a positive way. And if you’re a business that gets lots of reviews, Google’s interface for managing and responding to reviews is really fantastic.
Another useful feature of Google My Business is the ability for businesses to make posts on their page. Think of it as a little mini blog for your website. It can be used to feature a piece of important news about your business, an upcoming event, or even a special offer. The special offer is the newest type of post and provides business owners with the ability to create a time-limited offer (a discount or special sale, for instance) that can be useful for luring in more customers.
Lastly, Google My Business gives owners (and marketers) an extremely useful view of the performance of a business’s listing. Through the recently revamped reporting tool, we can not only view how many times the listing was viewed, but we can also see the search queries (keywords) that caused the business’s listing to be displayed. The performance reporting tool also reveals how many times the click-to-dial phone number was used and how many visitors clicked through to the website listed.
The important takeaway is that Google My Business is a crucial tool that every business owner should know about and use often. Not only will it help a business be found, but it will also help a business communicate and engage effectively with its customers. If your business doesn’t have a Google My Business listing and you’d like help creating an optimal listing, contact us to set up a consultation. If nothing else, we’ll show you our stack of old Yellow Pages books holding doors open in our office.
About the author:
Partner, Director of Technology
Jeff is one of Torx's founding partners and serves as the agency's Director of Technology. He built his first website back in 1996 and has never looked back. Jeff wears many hats at Torx: front-end designer and developer, server administrator, and resident Apple enthusiast.