Why You Need a Google My Business Account
Almost 92% of people use Google as their search engine. If you aren't showing up on Google or your business information is inaccurate, then you are missing a lot of potential opportunities for customers to find you. That's where Google My Business comes into play.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a platform where you can create and manage your business listing across Google Search and Maps. Having a Google My Business account gives you the ability to:
Add and update information about your business
Respond to reviews as the owner of the business
Post as your business
View search analytics
Overall, it gives you the ability to manage how your business appears on Google.
How Do I Create a Google My Business Account?
Creating a Google My Business account is free and easy. You simply visit https://www.google.com/business/ and click "Manage Now." You will then be guided through various prompts to create and complete your account.
You may find that your business is already listed on Google. This is because anyone can add a business profile to Google, as long as Google can verify the legitimacy of the business. Google may also pull information from across the web to populate information on a business profile, such as your address, phone number, hours, etc. Even if your business has a profile on Google, you should still create a Google My Business account to claim and manage it.
Verifying Your Business
Google offers a few options to verify that you are the owner of the business. The most common method is by mail. You will be mailed a postcard with a verification code that you will need to enter into your Google My Business account. Once verified, you will have the ability to make edits to your business profile.
In some cases, Google may let you verify by phone or email. When you are prompted to verify your account, you will be able to view the verification options that are available to you.
Optimizing Your Google My Business Account
Now that you've verified you're the business owner, you can start optimizing your Google business profile. First, you'll want to make sure your address, hours, and phone number are correct. Then, depending on your business, you will have a wide variety of information you can add to your profile. This may include service areas, products, services offered, photos, etc.
Here is what our Google My Business account currently looks like. We uploaded a photo of the outside of our office so clients can find it when they drive by, added a list of services we offer, linked our website, and added a description of our business.
Some extra information that Google added to our profile includes location details, "Located in: Park Manor Shopping Center," and popular times.
Additional Google My Business Features
In addition to managing the information on your business profile, you also gain access to other features and insights.
Google My Business Posts
Share offers, updates, and events with people who search for you on Google. You can view this portion of your business profile as a social media feed. This allows you to communicate with people who search for you and can also boost the rankings for your business.
Our latest post talks about how we are now offering marketing and HR services to businesses in Bellingham and the surrounding area!
Respond to Reviews
Do you check reviews before going to a restaurant or buying a product? According to a 2020 Local Consumer Review Survey, 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. Reviews have a big impact on consumer behavior. As a business owner, it's important that you show appreciation to positive reviews and respond to negative reviews.
When you create your Google My Business account, you'll be able to see how much traffic you get through your page. Available analytics include how many people used your business profile to visit your website, requested directions to your business, and called you. You can also see if people found you on Google Search or Maps.
Another important analytic is the search queries that people use to find your business. If you look through the searches breakdown, you can use relevant searches keywords you use on your website, social media, advertisements, etc. For example, searches that people use to find us include:
bookkeeper near me
bookkeeping bellingham wa
bookkeeping services bellingham
bookkeeping near ferndale wa
Having an optimized Google business profile helps us show up when people search for these terms. One thing to note is that your business profile appears differently based on what a person searches, where they are located, and Google's algorithm. When searching for "bookkeeping near me," Google highlighted that we provide "Bookkeeping & Month-End Close."
This is one of the services we listed on our profile and shows why having an optimized profile is important!
Ready to take your business to the next level?
Having a Google My Business profile is just one of the many ways you can reach potential customers. At Summit Bookkeeping, we offer marketing services to help you get your business out there. Learn more by visiting our marketing page: https://www.summitbkpg.com/marketing-services.