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How Google My Business Can Help Local Businesses Thrive

    Google My Business is now Google Business Profile. The name has changed but its importance is as critical as ever.

    It’s not often for one event to come along and change how businesses operate. But when it does, it’s big and flips over the whole game.

    Just like this recent pandemic, for example. While online-based business interactions already existed in the pre-Covid19 era, most consumers still preferred physical transactions. But now since the breakout, people have been resorting more to online options.

    This “new normal” has definitely forced us to realize– on another level– how much of a necessity technology really is.

    WHAT IS GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
    Despite the unfortunate but necessary halt in physical operations, which caused a terrible blow to several local businesses, many learned to adapt and even thrive by making themselves visible online. And tools such as Google My Business have played a huge role in doing so.

    For those unfamiliar with what it’s about, Google My Business or GMB is basically a free tool offered by Google to help promote businesses through Google Searches and Map. You can imagine it as an online directory of local businesses the web’s biggest search engine pulls up whenever someone does a search.

    (Sign up and verify your business here.)

    Because Google is highly trusted, it’s easy to realize how a good GMB profile that’s on top of ranking can provide business with a great first impression from potential customers.

    KEY COMPONENTS OF GMB
    Google Knowledge Panel
    It’s basically the highlighted snippet that appears at the top-right of search results when searched using desktop or near the top of the page on mobile when a search is triggered.

    This is referred to as the knowledge panel because it displays key information such as your business address, hours of operation, phone number, website, link to products or services, reviews and other important information.


    Google Local Pack
    Also referred to as 3-pack, these are the three business listing results that appear under the map when a user runs a localized search.

    For example, a local search for “Dentist Sydney” features these Dental Clinics within the area.

    Google Maps
    Google Maps is essentially a full-featured page extension of local businesses when a user clicks on ‘view all’ from the Local Pack SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) or from the Maps tab in Google’s dashboard. Both the local pack and Google Maps are intended to help people looking for directions as well as to discover businesses and locations.

    HOW TO SETUP YOUR GOOGLE MY BUSINESS LISTING
    Setting up your GMB account is a very straightforward and simple process that only takes a few minutes to complete.

    Follow this step by step process to get started.

    Or you can watch this video:

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/muwk3gGqUZ4

    HOW TO STAND OUT AND STAY ON TOP

    Since the shift in consumer behavior, there’s been an increase in search queries and website engagement. According to the 2020 survey conducted by BrightLocal, 68% of local marketing experts believe GMB is more important than it was in 2019. 

    However, with the number of competitions establishing their presence, how do you stand out? The answer is by being mindful of how Google’s local ranking works.

    Consider these 3 main factors when optimizing your profile:

    • RELEVANCE
    • DISTANCE
    • PROMINENCE

    RELEVANCErefers to how complete and accurate your business information is relevant to the searches.

    Does your business profile have complete and accurate information, such as business name, category, address, and contact information?

    In this current situation, it’s also important to let people know how the recent pandemic has impacted your business. Check out this Guidance for Businesses affected by COVID-19 so you can update and edit accordingly. 

    NAP consistency (business name, address, phone number) is very important as well. This means you have to have similar information and formatting presented on your website along with your GMB listing. This signals Google and its algorithms that these two entities refer to just one business.

    DISTANCErefers to how far your physical business location is from the registered location of the search. According to Google, if the user’s location isn’t specified, the distance is calculated based on what it knows about their location.

    PROMINENCEthis is based from links, articles and directories Google has data about your business across the web. It also heavily relies on reviews and recommendations from previous customers.


    More than 80% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. As a business owner, it would be wise to maximize this by actually providing excellent service and asking satisfied customers for a review.


    Remember that this isn’t a set-up-and-forget type of thing. It requires constantly improving and keeping your information up-to-date.
    Go ahead and start amplifying your online presence with Google My Business (GMB) and feel free to give us a shout if you need any help.

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