Most small businesses understand the value of creating social media profiles to boost their digital marketing results. However, with our busy schedules, it is hard to find the time to manage more than one platform. While your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles are an important part of your content marketing strategy, if that’s all you are doing – you are missing an important opportunity. Thanks to a few changes this past year, there is a powerful new player on the social media field: Google My Business.
Several years ago, Google created a social media platform called Google+. It wasn’t adopted by many users, so they combined the social media features of Google+ with their simple business listing product. The result: Google My Business combines social media options with the ability to customize the business listing information found by users.
Why you need to find time to create and polish your Google My Business business listing
We’ve written before about all the benefits of finding a fresh social media platform to add richness to your brand story. The benefits of Google My Business deserve extra attention.
1. Pinpoint your location and describe your business
Many business owners become frustrated when online maps display the wrong address or give customers the wrong directions. Creating a Google My Business profile gives you control over the address displayed. You also create a full business profile that adds hours, photos, and a description (which you should absolutely load with keywords).
2. Boost your search visibility
All the options within the Google My Business profile gives you many opportunities to customize your business profile with strategic keywords. The social media posts and business registry information are highly ranked within Google’s search algorithm. In fact, Moz.com found that Google My Business information has increased in importance (called “signals” for search rankings) within the search side of Google by 30% year to year.
Plus, Google creates a high visibility display area for local searchers under the map view. Having a My Business profile gets you included in this high value real estate.
3. Improve interactivity with customers
Google has included several options to interact with customers directly in the search results. You can configure your profile to include:
- a link to book appointments
- a simple way to ask questions
- a chat option
- a simple link for gathering reviews from current customers
These interactive options help turn searchers into prospects, and are a unique tool. 97% of customers search online for local providers as part of their shopping process, and these interactive tools make it easier than ever for them to reach out to your business.
4. Integrated Insights
In the admin area for Google My Business, there is a great summary area for your search Insights. You can quickly find how searchers found your profile, what queries they entered to find you, the breakdown between search views & map views, and more. You can hop over to the full Analytics profile to dig in more, but this high level snapshot makes it easy to monitor your search results from one location.
5. Streamlined social media features
Within your business profile, photos, videos and posts are easily displayed to searchers. Managing them is a breeze, too. Posts are structured to contain a prominent call to action button that can prompt searchers to:
- Order Online
- Learn More
- Sign Up
- Get Offer
- Call Now
Posts can be cross-posted to other platforms like Facebook and Twitter, saving you precious time. Be aware, however: while photos and videos are stored indefinitely, posts on Google My Business have a limited lifespan. After a week, they are no longer displayed.
Google My Business is a gold-mine of opportunity.
With user studies proving that searchers interact with all the rich content in Google My Business profiles, we can assure you that your time is well spent here.