What is Google My Business? The Google business platform explained

Most of us will have looked up the address, phone number, or contact details for a restaurant, hotel, or service on Google before. However, not all businesses automatically show up in the search engine results. We’ll show you how to gain greater visibility with a profile on Google My Business and how the platform works in detail.

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What is Google My Business?

Business owners no longer just rely on walk-in customers and word of mouth – online visibility is an important factor to success. And this is exactly where Google My Business can help. The tool acts as an interface between the Google search engine and businesses. With an entry on the platform, you ensure that you and your products are found in relation to specific search queries.

What’s more, you can adjust how your business is presented on Google, which is why setting up a Google My Business company profile is an important step in local search engine optimisation.

While company information previously needed to be maintained across a wide variety of apps such as Google Places, Google Maps, or Google Plus, Google My Business now combines these services in a single central management tool that is the Google My Business dashboard. Here you can keep all important information such as contact data, photos, and dates of upcoming events up to date.

Google account users can rate your business and you can respond to reviews. A company listing on Google My Business is akin to an entry in a digital business directory.

Who is Google My Business suitable for?

In many cases, a mobile search for a local business can lead to a visit within 24 hours. A visit is even more likely if the business has a red pin on Google Maps. That is one of the reasons why Google My Business should be seen as an important and practical online marketing tool, freely available to every local business.

A well-maintained company profile with appealing images leaves a professional impression and appeals to potential customers. In addition, a profile helps you stand out from the competition. Note that any online user can create a company entry, even if they don’t own the business. If an entry for your company already exists, you can apply to take it over and manage it.

Note

According to Google guidelines, your business must allow for personal contact with customers in order to create a Google My Business entry. If your online business doesn’t sell products in a retail shop, for example, and sells exclusively online, it’s best to focus on classic search engine optimisation.

What are the advantages of Google My Business?

Every local business benefits from a Google My Business listing. The following list summarises the most important advantages:

  • You can influence how your company is presented on Google.
  • Your company entry serves as a free virtual business card for your trade.
  • A well-maintained company entry looks serious and trustworthy to new customers.
  • The information in your business profile can be managed centrally via the Google My Business dashboard.
  • Better ranking: Your business will be found more easily by potential customers in local online searches on Google and Google Maps.
  • You maintain customer contact and can improve your offering by responding to questions and reviews.
  • The integration in Google Maps means that walk-in customers have an optimal navigation.
  • Connection with other Google SEO tools: Google Analytics can be used, for example, to track Google My Business traffic to your own website

Google My Business is not only advantageous for companies. Customers can benefit from using the platform. Within seconds, they can receive information about service providers and companies and can make informed choices thanks to customer reviews.

How does Google My Business work?

To ensure that Google users get accurate results when searching online for local businesses and shops, Google My Business bundles all the information about local service providers available on the web. The search engine pulls this information from existing directories or websites. However, the business listings created by Google or other Google users tend to look generic and don’t contain professional photos.

Note

To use Google My Business as a marketing tool and control your professional presence, you should sign up as a business owner.

With an official profile on Google My Business, you get a lot of free admin functions, which allow you to manage your Google Maps listing, among other things. This means you can upload images and edit contact details or opening hours. You can also add interesting attributes to your profile such as online support, online appointments, or online courses. These are displayed on Google in a knowledge graph. Meanwhile, Google My Business also includes a stripped-down version of Google Ads.

How does Google My Business improve my ranking?

A professional company entry in Google My Business has a positive effect on your local search query rankings. However, there are other factors you can adjust to change how your company appears in the Local Pack.

Note

Google Local Pack is an emphasised section in Google search results that shows the top three results in an area.

Increase your chances of securing a top ranking by considering the following:

Relevance: Make sure that your entry contains concrete information about your business. The more accurately the algorithm can assess whether your offer fits the search intention of the online user, the better its visibility.

Activity: An inactive business profile has a significantly lower ranking than an active profile. Therefore, ensure regular updates such as new photo uploads or events and respond to customer questions or reviews.

Consistency: Ensure that your listing is grammatically correct, and all core data matches your website and other digital industry pages. This boosts the reputability of your company on Google.

Tip

Local search engine optimisation is not limited to a well-maintained profile on Google My Business. Your website should also be optimised with regard to regional search terms. Use the rankingCoach from IONOS to optimise your website independently and cost-effectively.

Registration with Google My Business

A registration with Google My Business, is completely free of charge and takes just a few steps. All you need is a Google account and the relevant information about your business. If there is no entry for your company yet, simply add it. You can confirm your identity and ownership either by calling or via email. This step verifies your business profile and enhances the trustworthiness of your business to potential customers.

It is particularly important that you specify the correct address on Google Maps – here the red pin can also be positioned manually.


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