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Why Google My Business Is CRUCIAL Even If You’re 100% Online – And How To Set It Up
Google My Business is an invaluable (and free) tool that EVERY business should be using. This article discusses the many benefits (and undiscovered value) of setting Google My Business up for ANY business- even if you are completely online or you don’t have a physical location.
I’m not sure why, but there seems to be a large number of people who STILL underestimate the power of Google.
No? Not you, you say? You’ve got ALL the google stuff set up, right?
Google Analytics, Google AdSense, Google Search, Google Calendar and Gmail- maybe you’re even rocking Google Drive.
But do you have Google My Business?!
If you’re reading this article, I’m guessing that you’ve been debating whether you actually need to use it or not.
Maybe you’ve seen it suggested a time or two before, but you’re not sure if it REALLY serves your needs. Especially if your business is completely online. Right?
This might be especially true if your business is completely online. Maybe you do virtual courses, or maybe you have a recipe blog. There’s no physical location to go to, so why bother, right?
WRONG!! (So, so wrong.) And let me tell you why…
THE 3 BIGGEST BENEFITS OF HAVING A GOOGLE MY BUSINESS LISTING:
First, foremost, and biggest of all- GOOGLE SEARCH RESULTS are always going to prioritize their OWN stuff first. Read that again.
So any business that has registered within Google’s system is going to the top of that results list, hands down.
Essentially, having a Google My Business listing boosts your visibility.
The Google My Business registry isn’t limited or categorized by physical location anymore, because Google is so much smarter than that.
If you’re sitting on your couch in Hoboken, New Jersey, and you go into your browser and search for ‘best apple pie recipe,’ your results will probably come from recipe websites EVERYWHERE. The biggest ones will pop up at the top, and THEN you will see the smaller sites ranked in order of however Google deems them as important.
But which websites do you think Google will think are MORE important?
Will they be the websites WITH or WITHOUT a Google My Business listing? Yep. You got it.
It’s really this simple: Google wants websites with clout. They want authority.
And a GMB listing is going to amplify that authority, at least as far as they are concerned.
Okay, so benefit #2… Exposure. Exposure. Exposure.
In addition to the added boost you’re going to get in search results, your GMB listing has a handy-dandy little place to enter your website link, your address (only if you have a physical location, or just put the City/State/Country), and more.
THEN- and this is the cool part- any social media links you have listed on your website will be analyzed by Google and linked to your business.
This means that not only is your actual website getting boosted in the search results, but ALL of your social media pages are also going to get a little bit of a boost as well. (It goes back to that authority thing I mentioned above…)
And at the very least, your social media accounts are now all linked together in Google’s algorithm.
When you post an Instagram photo, it’s a lot more likely to pop up when someone Googles your business- and sometimes even if someone Googles your business topic or niche.
(Just make sure your social media accounts are posted on your website.)
Let me tell you why this matters. If someone is bored on a Tuesday night, and they are wanting to learn how to knit a blanket for their pregnant sister-in-law, they will probably pop open their phone and start searching ‘how to knit.’
If Google knows you have 5 social media accounts dedicated to knitting, your knitting website is probably going to be higher on the search results list than a website that Google is less familiar with.
And that brings me to benefit #3. Authority in your domain.
You’re essentially linking your content to your business within Google’s massive web of analytics.
So if someone searches ‘accountability coach,’ and you have 20 Instagram posts with #accountabilitycoach typed into the caption, and 40 infographics on Pinterest about being accountable and the benefits of your coaching, Google says, ‘Hey! This person is always posting about accountability and coaching. They are probably a good fit for this search.’
This is how we build domain authority.
Google is like your nosy Aunt Judy at Christmas. Google wants to know EVERYTHING about you. What’s your job situation, what’s your diet look like? Do you need this dating website- it’s been a while since you’ve gone out…and you don’t want to be a lonely spinster with 100 cats, sheesh!
But just like Aunt Judy thinks she knows what’s best for everyone, Google thinks so too.
So when someone searches for something, Google is going to hand-pick (okay, algorithm pick…) the content they feel matches that search the BEST.
Are you noticing yet that all of these benefits tie into each other?!
Crazy, right? It’s almost like it’s been one BIG benefit and I’m just sneakily separating the little details from each other…
Okay, busted. But seriously, it IS like one big benefit!
These top three things work together and add to one another to drastically improve your ability to reach customers- and isn’t that the core goal of all businesses?
So why would you NOT want a Google My Business listing?
It’s free, it only takes about 10-15 minutes to set up, and it dramatically boosts your visibility, exposure and authority.
But wait… there’s more!
(Flash back to the days you’d stay home sick from school, watching game shows on daytime tv…)
Google My Business has an online benefit #4!
Google My Business gives you ANOTHER place to post content and photos- enhancing your domain authority EVEN MORE!
I know, I know, you’re thinking, ‘Great! Yet ANOTHER social media platform I can’t keep up with!’
But you don’t have to post regularly, just add a few photos (bonus points for a video) to showcase what you do, and be done with it. A nice visual representation of what you do. Boom!
And if you’re feeling super bored, you can always add some social media posts in there also, from time to time.
WordPress has plugins that can automate posting to your GMB account straight from your WP dashboard.
Just be aware that these posts are only visible for a week, so while they may boost your visibility, it’s going to need to be done regularly.
Nevertheless, this is just an added bonus, not a necessity by any means.
But hopefully, by now, I have convinced you that it’s well worth the few minutes spent to set this up for your business, right?
So how do you set up a Google My Business listing?
Believe it or not, it only takes about 5 minutes to do this!
Here’s the basic process…
Go to this link to start getting it set up.
(On the off chance that you’ve NEVER used a Google product before and don’t have a Google account, you will need to set one up first.)
The first thing you want to do is type your business name into the search bar.
Theoretically, nothing will pop up, unless there’s another business with the same name, which happens sometimes. If so, it’s probably a different TYPE of business, so just ignore that and go to the next step anyway…
(But on the very low chance that some person, at some time, added your actual business into their Google maps locations or something, just click your business and claim it.)
So next you’re going to want to click the blue wording right underneath the search bar: Add your business to Google.
Type in your business name and click NEXT.
Now type in your business category and click NEXT.
Next you’re going to tell Google whether or not you have a physical location. If you’re 100% online, just click NO.
If you offer classes (even if you don’t have a dedicated office space), and meet in the same spot each week, or have a general location or city that you offer your services in (like a fitness instructor who offers classes in the local park), you can still click NO.
(If you do decide to say YES, you will have to type in a FULL address, but if you click NO, you can enter your city, country, or whatever area you serve on the next page.)
This part is optional but important for businesses who do local work- like photographers, caterers, artisans, coaches, etc., even if they DON’T have an office space or official location.
On the next page, you can enter your phone number and your website URL. It doesn’t say optional, but your phone number is totally up to you to include. You can leave it off if you feel more comfortable.
That’s it- you’re set up.
But there are a FEW more steps we want to take to get the FULL advantage of this service!
So click FINISH and then- wait- what’s this? You have to enter a mailing address!
Don’t worry, this is JUST for Google to mail you a little post card to verify your business. The address doesn’t go into the listing information, but you WILL need a code from that post card to activate/verify your GMB listing.
So just fill out this section with your current mailing address and click NEXT.
Now, your listing is set up. You’ll get FULL access once you get your postcard with the verification code in the mail, but for now, let’s take a look at what you’ve got going on in there.
It usually takes about 5 business days for the post card to arrive within the US, or a few weeks for delivery outside of the US.
In the meantime, let’s just do a couple more things to get this finished up here.
(A few more minutes, I promise!)
You should now see a Welcome message pop up, just click GET STARTED to move on with me.
Most of what you see, you won’t need right now. (Maybe ever, actually.)
But down in the boxes somewhere should be a little box that says ‘Complete your listing.’
THIS is that extra little bit of information you want to add in here to really maximize your listing.
Add your hours (your class times, your work hours, or if you’re an e-commerce site, you can even put that you’re open 24 hours!)
Then add a description of your business- what do you do, what do you offer, who do you serve?
And lastly, ADD YOUR LOGO. (It will appear on the listing once you verify it with the code, but you can add it now to be proactive.)
You want to help your customers recognize that your business is professional, and adding a logo is a great way to do this. If you don’t have a logo yet, don’t worry, you can always add it later.
That’s it for now! You’re done!
You just took your business a solid step forward today!
Pat yourself on the back and enjoy that amazing feeling for a few minutes before diving back into work, okay? You’re awesome, you productive little thang, you!
And until next time, peace out, y’all!