Understanding Google My Business: Everything You Need to Know

January 7, 2022

Google My Business PunchDrunk Digital

Let’s say you own a sushi restaurant in Orange County, California, and you are ready to welcome new customers. Would you target your market to the whole United States? No, because a sushi lover from New York is less likely to drive to California for your restaurant.

However, if you gear your marketing toward people in Orange Country, California, you will have a successful restaurant. This is why understanding Google My Business plays an essential role for your local business. Continue reading to learn more about Google My Business.

Understanding Google My Business

Google My Business (GMB) is a multi-tiered platform that allows you to:

  • Contribute information about local companies, 
  • Manage interactive elements such as reviews and inquiries Publish various media types such as pictures, blogs, and videos

One of the benefits of Google My Business is that it’s a valuable tool to attract local customers.

How to Establish a Google My Business Profile?

Make sure the company you’re promoting has a Google account and is accepted into Google My Business. When establishing your profile, complete as many fields as possible. Once you’ve entered as much information as possible, you’ll have to validate your listing. 

This allows you to maintain control and modify it in the future. You may need to list a business in ten or more locations simultaneously. The easy way to do this is with a spreadsheet to do a bulk upload and request bulk verification.

Where Google My Business Data May Be Shown?

The data need to get approved into the Google My Business system. It will begin appearing in several of Google’s local search displays. This includes both mobile and desktop versions.

Google Profiles for Businesses

Your complete Google Business Profile (GBP) will usually show when you search for a business using its brand name. This is often done together with a city name.

A GBP may also appear for non-branded searches (e.g., “vegan burger near me”). This may occur when a search term has little competition or when Google thinks a search phrase is intended to locate a particular brand rather than a range of results. Although Google Business Profiles are very long, a condensed version appears as follows to the right of the organic search engine results:

Local Packs on Google

Local packs are one of the primary ways Google ranks and presents information about local businesses in their index. Local packs are shown if Google determines that a search query has local intent. Google does not need the searcher to include geographic keywords in their query to infer local meaning.

Nowadays, a local pack comprises of three company listings, with the ability to expand the list through a map or a “see all” button. Local packs may sometimes include less than three results, and the information Google includes in them varies.

Google Local Search

When a searcher clicks on a map or the “see all” link in a local pack, they are sent to the display known as the Local Finder. This will show several listings in groups of tens, which are the map listings. The searcher can zoom in and out on the map to observe how their choices vary.

This kind of result’s URL starts with google.com/search. While certain sectors, such as hotels, have their own displays, most local company categories will have the ranked list of results on the left and the map on the right.

Google Maps

Google Maps is the default display for Android smartphones and desktop users. It may also search using this interface rather than Google’s standard search. At the top of Google’s desktop display, you’ll see a “maps” link.

Google Maps searches provide results similar to those from the local finder. It is conceivable that Google may eventually unify the user experience and have local packs default to Google Maps rather than the local finder.

Insights From the GMB

The GMB dashboard has analytical tools dubbed GMB Insights. It’s a beneficial interface, even if the names and purposes of some of its components are a little obscure. Among the statistics you’ll see in GMB Insights are the following:

  • How many impressions occurred from searches on your business’s name or location 
  • General searches that do not specifically mention your business by name 
  • Searches relating to brands your business carries 
  • Customer activities such as website visits, phone calls, texting, and directions queries
  • Individuals searched for keywords that resulted in an impression of your company

There are some really critical data in GMB Insights, so it’s best to have a thorough understanding of it.

How To Use Google’s Local Features To Build Your Local Company

While each local business’s strategy to marketing on Google My Business and Google Maps will be unique, most businesses will optimize their development potential on both platforms by following these seven fundamental steps:

1) Establish a business concept (brick-and-mortar, service area business, home-based business, or hybrid). 

2) Determine Google My Business eligibility based on the company model. Then adhere to the criteria outlined in the Guidelines for representing your business on Google.

3) Before creating GMB profiles, ensure that you are dealing with a canonical source of data. Make sure the data is verified by all key stakeholders at the company you are promoting. 

4) Create and claim profiles for each area you want to promote. Depending on your company model, you may be eligible for extra listings for practitioners within the business or various divisions within a location. Certain models, such as car dealerships, are even permitted to have numerous entries for the automobiles they sell.

5) Once your listings are online, you’ll want to manage them on an ongoing basis. Management responsibilities will include the following:

  • Analyze selected categories continuously t
  • Stay informed of any new categories that emerge for your business 
  • Uploading high-resolution images that accurately depict inventory, services, seasonality, and other features.

As a key component of your customer service policy, reply and acknowledge all reviews.

6) Ongoing education is critical to inform Google’s rollout of new: 

  • Features
  • Platform changes
  • Weighting adjustments 

Follow local SEO professionals on social media, local SEO newsletters, and keep an eye out for professional industry surveys to see which variables appear to be getting the most exposure and growth.

7) In addition to maintaining your own local company profiles, you’ll need to have an understanding of how they interact in competitive local marketplaces. You’ll have competition for each search term for which you wish to improve your visibility, and your consumers will see the various pack, finder, and map results depending on their location at the time of the search. 

Avoid becoming obsessed with becoming #1, but do learn to do fundamental local competitive audits to discover trends.

In summary, if you focus on:

  • Supplying Google with high-quality and relevant data 
  • Managing all important GMB features 
  • Committing to continuing local SEO education 

These are the optimal formula for building a solid foundation for the local businesses you market.

The Prediction of Google Searches Toward Local Businesses

As of mid-2020, Google had a 92.16 percent dominance of the worldwide search engine market. While other search engines such as Bing or Yahoo continue to play a role, their market share is minuscule compared to Google’s. This dynamic may change with the Apple search engine, but for the time being, Google has a monopoly on search.

Within Google’s colossal search market share, a Google official said in 2018 that 46% of searches had a local purpose. Google is expected to handle 5.8 billion worldwide searches per day. It’s worth noting that Google predicts that searches to support local businesses would rise by 20,000 percent in 2020.

What is Local SEO

Local SEO is the process of improving a business’s online presence through localized organic search engine results. It’s critical to delivering contemporary customer care and ensuring that today’s companies can be discovered and selected online. Small and local companies account for the lion’s share of the US economy, making local SEO the most common kind of SEO.

Local SEO and Google My Company marketing are not synonymous. However, understanding how to use GMB as a tool and asset is critical for fostering local business development. This is especially true given Google’s near-monopoly.

Local SEO Campaign

A comprehensive local SEO campaign will manage various components of the GMB profile, as well as:

  • Location data
  • Review platforms
  • Social media publication
  • Image and video production and distribution
  • Organic and local SEO for the company website

Comprehensive local search marketing strategies also include all of the business’s offline efforts to be discovered and selected.

Concentrate on Google My Business but Expand Outside Google

Each element of brand marketing has its advantages and disadvantages. This is not the case with Google My Business. To provide a more realistic perspective on the landscape, let us take a closer look:

The Favorable

The most appealing feature of GMB is that it fulfills our requirements as company owners and marketers for assisting local companies in being discovered and selected. 

What Google has created is a technological marvel. With minimal effort on your part, GMB enables you to:

  • Digitize a business
  • Make it present in the communities
  • Facilitate conversations with the public 
  • Build loyalty
  • Manage inventory development 
  • Quality control
  • Build an excellent online reputation 

Basically, it helps build brands for local household names in the offline world.

The Adverse

The most apparent disadvantage of GMB is that its popularity has given Google too much leeway in allowing problems like listing and review spam to degrade the quality of search results. Without genuine competition, Google has not shown any internal commitment to resolving issues that affect local businesses and communities.

Meanwhile, a dispassionate assessment of Google’s local strategy notes that the corporation is increasingly selling its findings. While GMB profiles are now free, growing initiatives like Local Service Ads hint at a more expensive future for small companies on a shoestring budget.

Ethical Concerns

Local businesses and marketers (as well as Google workers) are faced with ethical concerns. This has resulted in:

  • Corporate walkouts
  • Public demonstrations
  • High-profile litigation
  • Government inquiries

If you devote your professional life to fostering diverse, inclusive local communities that value human rights, you may sometimes come into a fundamental misalignment between your objectives and those of Google.

The Snare

While managing your Google-based assets requires time, do not allow it to consume all of it. Because local company owners are so busy and Google is so pervasive, a trap has formed in which it may seem as if GMB is the only game in town.

The old cliché about eggs in baskets comes into play whenever Google introduces:

  • An annoying bug
  • Monetizes a previously unmonetized business sector
  • Allows rivals and lead generators to park their ads in your territory

Occasionally, Google’s concept of local just does not align with real-world reality. Something as simple as a missing category or an underdeveloped feature prevents your company from expressing what it provides.

The danger is that Google’s walls may be so high that the constraints and restrictions imposed by their platforms are misunderstood for the whole of local search marketing.

The Road to Achievement

The common misconception is that once you complete your GMB, you can leave it alone. That’s not true; like a plant, it requires care and attention. Here are some tips to keeping your campaign alive and thriving:

Relevant Information

Provide Google with all the information it needs to regard the businesses you promote as relevant for nearby individuals. The business you promote should become prominent local resources in Google’s index.

Combat Spam

Combat spam in the areas where you advertise to filter out fraudulent and ineligible rivals and safeguard neighbors from scams. Take strong positions on the topics that are important to you and your consumers. Don’t forget to foster public relationships and a brighter future where you work and live.

Repeated Customer

Transform the online environment into a one-on-one strategy where you have complete control over generating great customer experiences. The goal is to earn repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals outside the GMB loop. Convert every client Google gives you into a keeper who makes repeated transactions with you.

Where Can You Get Google My Business?

Understanding Google My Business will help you figure out the next step. You want to aim before you shoot. It wouldn’t make sense to target a group more than 2 hours away from your business.

Time is valuable, and people prefer products and services nearby. That means marketing a local business requires a local strategy. Contact us today to learn more about GMB, local SEO, and getting started immediately.