Small Business

Managing Your Google My Business Listing

A former coach once told our team: “Little things win championships.” Well, in digital marketing, little things can also win you customers. As digital marketers, we can sometimes get so focused on the big things, that the little things can get overlooked.

An easy win for any business is to take control of their Google Business listing and actively manage it. It’s an easy way to manage a free advertising tool for your business, improve SEO and engage existing and potential customers.

Benefits of Using Google My Business

Google My Business allows you to manage your free Google business listing. By claiming your account, you’ll be able to:

  • Create or edit your company profile including business description, contact information, operating hours and other details
  • Read and respond to customer reviews
  • Monitor search and visitor data
  • Create and upload additional content, including photos or build a Google microsite

Let’s compare two similar businesses to see the difference between having a Google My Business listing and not having one.

The screenshot below shows the Google search results for Big River Running, a St. Louis running specialty store, which has not claimed its Google My Business listing.

A search for “Big River Running” returns both the company’s paid search ad and organic listing, which includes links to the store’s website. However, it doesn’t include a quick reference to the store’s contact information, hours of operation or reviews. This makes potential customers click to the store’s website and potentially makes them visit multiple pages to find basic information about the business.

The next screenshot shows the search results for a competing running store, Fleet Feet St. Louis, which is actively managing its Google My Business listing.

Google My Business listing for Fleet Feet St. Louis

A search for “Fleet Feet St. Louis,” returns the company’s organic search listing and its Google My Business listing, which includes a quick summary of the business, operating hours, contact information and customer reviews.

Using your Google My Business listing makes it easier and more convenient for Fleet Feet customers to interact with the business. The Google My Business listing provides a quick reference of the business for potential customers without having to click on additional links to find contact information or to find out when the business is open or learn the experiences of other customers.

Getting Started

It doesn’t take much time to claim your site and start to manage it. Here’s how to get started:

  • Sign up for Google My Business at https://www.google.com/business/
    • Log in to your existing Google account related to your business or create one and then provide your business address location and business category.
  • Verify Your Business
    • Confirm that you own the business. Google sends most small business verification code notices by mail, but there are also options to verify your business by email, phone or by using Google Search Console.
  • Manage Your Listing
    • Provide basic information about your business, including location, contact information and operating hours
    • Brand your listing by uploading your company logo, images of your store, merchandise, events and customers engaging with your product
    • Create automated email notifications when customers leave comments or reviews
    • Reply to customer feedback on a timely basis. Remember to thank customers for positive reviews and acknowledge negative ones. Offering to fix bad experiences shows your customers that their feedback is important, create goodwill and help you areas to improve your business.

Taking ownership of your Google My Business account is a small task, but it can have a huge impact on helping potential customers find your business and help you to manage your online relationship with them. Visit Google My Business to get started.

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