In the SEO world there is often arguments disputing the the true value gained by submitting to business directories.
According to many, some directories can be beneficial while others can be dangerous.
Despite all the arguments that can be had on the subject there is one directory for certain that will ONLY add value to your online marketing efforts – Google My Business.
It doesn’t matter to Google if your business is locally based, naturally based or worldwide!
In reality, you don’t even need a website to utilize the benefits that may be had by submitting to this directory of directories – Google My Business is easily the directory that trumps all other directories.
Local Search – It’s A Small Business Must.
According to Jayson DeMers in an article he published on Search Engine Land “local searchers are poised to take action”.
In the same article Jayson points out that there are a number of reasons adding your site to Google My Business is smart; including the fact that 50% of all local search queries “take action” within “1 Day” of making their search.
What does this mean?
This means that if someone searches for “pool cleaning services las vegas nv” that they are likely to hire whoever they found within the next 24hrs.
Did they see you?
That’s what you need to figure out!
So, Where Do You Start?
For starters let’s answer this questions.
What shows up when people search for your business?
Are they getting the correct phone number and address?
Is there a link to your website?
Are your hours of operation accurate?
A listing with outdated or incorrect information gives potential customers the wrong impression of your business.
With Google My Business you have more control over how your business appears on searches and Google maps, helping to ensure that all of your information and images are current and engaging. Make changes to your information if it’s needed.
Whether you’re closing for a holiday or opening a second location, you’ll find updating is simplified by an improved dashboard that even novices can navigate with ease.
Do you have several locations but only one is closing early?
Google My Business gives you the flexibility to change information for one store or all of them, eliminating the need to bounce around from one dashboard to another.
How important are images to your business? At least as important as text since 60% of consumers say you stand a better chance of getting their attention if they see a picture of your business in search results.
With Google My Business it’s easy to upload photos and showcase everything you’ve got to offer.
By why stop there? Partner with a photographer on a 360-degree virtual tour that will truly let people get up close and personal.
Whenever someone searches for you. they’ll be greeted with a one of a kind experience that will make an unforgettable impression.
So Many Amazing Business Features
The sheer scope of everything Google’ has to offer can sometimes be overwhelming to a business owner, which is why the company continually strives to make its search engine and tools more responsive to our needs.
Google My Business is a dynamic example of that commitment to improving the customer experience.
Statistics & Customer Feedback
Recent innovations have made it easier for businesses to monitor the performance of your listing, interact with customers and makes changes based on analytics rather than a hunch.
More control is in your hands, making it easier than ever maintain a professional and memorable online presence.
Google My Business not only gives you more flexibility it also gives you the ability to evaluate what is working and what isn’t through statistics and customer feedback.
This upgrade to the Google dashboard makes managing your listings more intuitive. No matter where you are, no matter how many store locations you have, you are always in control.
Analytics & Data
Want to know more about how people are finding you, who they are and what actions they are taking when they find you in their search results?
Google My Business takes you inside and shows you how people are interacting with your businesses listing, how often they are clicking on your phone number, requesting directions, visiting your website and taking a virtual tour.
It places a staggering amount of information in your hands and gives you the power to use that knowledge to make the appropriate adjustments.
There’s Even An App – Awesome.
You also have the freedom to utilize all of these features from anywhere in the world through the Google My Business app.
Download it and manage things wherever you are; from home, on the road or halfway around the world. Since everything is in one place, making sure that all the information about your company is accurate and current is more convenient than ever.
You can make edits anytime, anywhere (see the new Google My Business App) from one dashboard and those changes will show up across Google, including Search and Maps.
And forget about having to be in front of your PC, you can do it all from your phone or tablet.
With Google My Business Locations, you can even manage several store locations at once.
How To Take It One Step Further
Today, staying engaged with customers is vital. Google My Business lets you respond quicker to feedback and reviews, turning insight into opportunity and critics into fans.
Don’t operate in the dark when you have a resource that can help you stay on top of trends. Find out what your customers like and dislike, and use that data to make smarter decisions.
Frequently Asked Questions
This all sounds great, but can I afford it?
Since Google My Business is absolutely free for everyone, the answer is yes.
How is Google My Business any different from the Google+ or Google Places dashboards?
The Google Places and Google + Pages dashboards are now Google My Business. If you are already familiar with Places or Google + you will find the upgrade an improvement but the overall look and feel will be familiar.
I already have a terrific website, why do I need to use Google My Business?
Google My Business isn’t meant to compete with or replace your website. It merely gives you a high profile presence on Google which will be picked up by Google Search, Google Maps and Google +. The more opportunities people have to find information about you, the better.
Will Google My Business allow me to manage several locations on my dashboard?
Google My Business makes it easy to manage multiple locations. The bulk upload tool allows you to add several locations at one time and edit them individually from a single dashboard. There is no duplication of effort.
I work from home, or the road, is Google My Business right for me?
Everyone can take advantage of the benefits of Google My Business even if they don’t have a traditional brick and mortar. You can even choose whether or not to display your business address.
Do it – It’s Easy
If you’ve always been reluctant to dive into the tools that Google puts at your disposal because you thought the learning curve was too steep, then you need to check out Google My Business.
Even someone who is intimidated by technology will appreciate the streamlined dashboard and how effortless it is to make big changes to your listing as needed.
Google is helping small businesses and major brands grow by putting more control and information in their hands than ever before. It is up to you to take advantage of it.
What Do YOU Like About The NEW Google My Business?
Don’t be shy. Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.