How to Use Google My Business as a Solopreneur

Google is the most widely used search engine on the planet. In comparison to other search engines, Google is preferred by 86.9% of visitors. So, you will do your small business a massive service by reserving a place on the largest search engine out there. 

Your Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business), is one of your most valuable pieces of online real estate. What makes your Google Business Profile beneficial for your small business is that it is free and provides information on your business to potential customers. In addition, as it is a part of your citations (or local online directory listings), you can customize it to improve your search engine optimization and online rankings.

Let’s look at setting up and optimizing your own Google My Business Profile for your business:

Setting up Your Google Business Listing

Setting up a listing is a simple process for business owners, whether a profile already exists or you need to create a completely new one. It all starts with a Google account (essentially, you will need an email registered with Google). 

If a profile doesn’t exist, you will have to enter your business information and create a profile; this step includes your business name and the category your business falls under. If you have a physical location, add your business address. If you don’t have a physical address, you will have to provide Google with your service area. 

Once you have entered the applicable information about your business, you will have to verify your profile; this is done through a verification code sent via postcard or email. Once your Google My Business profile is verified, next comes customizing and optimizing your profile so potential customers can find you. 

What You Can Do on Google My Business

Google My Business is a powerful tool for your digital marketing plan. There are many factors when it comes to digital marketing that you can apply to your profile. What you do on your profile can translate to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), reputation management, and even content creation. 

Engage With Customers

Google My Business allows you to post updates to showcase what’s new with your business, much like you would on a social media platform. Also, add photos to highlight what makes your business special and make sure to respond to customer reviews, whether it is positive reviews or negative reviews. 

Gain Customer Insight

Google Business can give you insight into your customer’s actions and online business performance as a free marketing tool. Review information such as website clicks, rankings, phone calls, and more. It’s like having access to free analytics.

Benefits of Google my Business

One of this platform’s most significant benefits is that you can appear in front of more potential customers. With an optimized Google Business profile, you will gain better local search visibility. In addition, Google will give you more credibility over competitors when you share more valuable information and data about your business.

Manage Local Business Listings and Citations

Managing local business listings and citations is essential for controlling information about your business and improving your SEO. This task also applies to your Google My Business profile. Ensuring that your Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) are correct across all online directories will boost your authority signal to search engines like Google. In the end, this will help you rank better online. 

An Accessible Introduction to Digital Marketing for Small Business

GMB is essentially a free all-in-one starter tool that small businesses can access when dipping their toes into digital marketing services like a real marketing expert. You are introduced to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), content creation, reputation management, and more with one online tool. If you need to get your business’s name online, GMB is one of the best tools. 

Besides your website, completing and optimizing your GMB should be your first step.

How Google My Business Ranks Pages

Which Google Business profiles will show up when a potential customer searches for my product or service? There are different factors Google considers to decide which businesses will display first. Google My Business profiles are ranked by:

  • Relevance: Google looks at how much your profile matches up with the search criteria typed in by the user. Google wants to provide its “customers” (searchers) with the best results.
  • Distance: This is where the information you entered when setting up your profile comes into play. Google ranks profiles based on how close they are to the search or the searcher.
  • Prominence: Google considers different SEO factors like the number of reviews, your average review score, and links.

Tips for Optimizing Google My Business

Verify Your Business

Verification helps ensure the accuracy of your business information across Google. This step also protects you from anyone who might otherwise pose as a representative of your business.

List Your Business Category

Setting your business category is relatively easy. However, it’s the most important factor for targeting the right individuals when they’re searching for your services. 

Set up a Service Area

Service Area targeting allows you to reach more customers searching for your services in nearby towns and cities. However, you should only target your relevant service (geographical) areas. 

Include Business Hours

Business hours give customers a clear indication of when your storefront is open and operating hours. Additionally, you can set up custom hours for holidays and events to notify customers in advance. 

Add Some Photos for a Visual Introduction

Photos let you customize your Google My Business profile with your branding. It is also fantastic for highlighting your goods and services. Images also make your profile look more established and complete.

Encourage Reviews from Your Customers

Reviews from customers are the perfect way to build credibility and gain better local search results on Google. Encourage your customers to leave reviews so potential customers can glean an insight into your company.

Adding Posts

Consider adding that content to your Google My Business profile when posting on social platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Doing this helps your customers stay informed about your business and contributes to your ranking factors. Most social media scheduling programs can add GMB posts along with other platforms to make this easy and streamlined.

Get Started With Google

Google My Business is a free tool offered by Google that will help you to improve your small business’s online visibility. With Google being the #1 place where people search for information, you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to have your business on this search engine.

Having a completed and up-to-date GMB profile tells the world (and Google) that you are a legitimate and active business. So start today by claiming your profile.

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