Do I need Google My Business?
If you own a local business and it’s not on Google Maps, you’re missing out on potential customers. Google my business is primarily free if you ignore the time you spend to keep it updated. GMB (Google my Business) is essential for local businesses that target an area within a county, such as a local plumber or shop within a street.
Do you need to use Google my Business? The truth is, yes & no. You have to work out if it’s cheaper and easier to advertise in a local newspaper or community magazine. Quite often, if you are happy with a handful of customers a week, the power of a well-written advert in a village magazine could work wonders for your business. Google my business is there 24 hours a day, seven days a week if you optimise the profile correctly. A magazine has a shelf life of a few days, generally on a monthly recurring fee.
For every person reading a local paper, there will be hundreds of more people using the internet. How many clients do you want to work with? It’s a question only you can answer.
What is Google My Business, and why is it important?
Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool provided by Google to help local business owners manage their online presence, both on mobile and desktop versions of Google search results. If you do not have an account for your restaurant, how will people find you? If you don’t have a Google account for your hair salon, how will people know if you are good or not?
Many potential clients will want to see what your business is about, how you deal with customers and more importantly, how will they do that? They will run a search for whatever business term in Google and read the reviews by comparing your business with your competitors. Great reviews will direct them to your company and also help you get even more clients!
Google is the biggest search engine on the planet. Nearly 93% of all keyword searches are performed on Google… that is why owning a profile on Google my business is essential.
How do I create a Google My Business Account?
“But what if I’m a new business? How do I set up my Google My Business?” That’s a question we are asked a lot.
It’s straightforward, jump over to Google my Business, click Sign up, which is free, fill out your business details. You will typically need to verify either your phone number or Google send you a postcard to your business address. You will have to wait for roughly a week; you will get a PIN to verify with your new account. Boom, you now have a Google my Business profile.
Is Google my business worth it?
In a nutshell, yes, but to perform well, you need to spend a couple of hours a week, maybe more to keep the details correct, update your posts while keeping your customers happy once they’ve left reviews. If you are interested in doing your own Google My Business optimisation, it’s worth investing the time to do so. Also, this can be a great way to build trust with customers by being active on all social media platforms that link back to your Google My Business page.
Google allows you to make posts, offers & deals directly from your GMB profile but to do that, and you need time. It would help if you had attention to detail while knowing how to attract your customers and presented against your local, sometimes national competitors.
So yes, it’s worth it, but only if you are willing to give it time & attention. There is nothing worse than an unmaintained GMB profile; it’s a massive turn off for customers who don’t know you yet.
Is Google my Business free?
Mostly yes, if you ignore the time you spend to set it up and maintaining it. You can also get a lot of free or cheap help to set it up and support, but they will most likely use an automatic tool or share the same posts you share on other social platforms that will not help you rank in Google’s local listings.
You have to spend the time to make it attractive and rank properly. (You can run paid campaigns but thats for another article)
How do I log into my google business account?
We tend to use the website more than APPs, but it’s down to personal preference. The APP is perfect for sharing images because it will include the location data of the image, which will help your local GMB SEO performance.
How to promote my business on google for free?
There are a couple of things you can do without spending a penny. One is to involve your customers and ask them for reviews and feedback, so Google knows you have happy customers, encouraging those who don’t know your business to get in touch. As said above, adding local images, posts and updates at least weekly will work wonders for your business.
Google loves a GMB profile that’s updated frequently. We have clear evidence of GMB profiles with client reviews, alongside customer photos working fantastically.
How do I edit my google business page?
Login to your Google my Business account; once logged in, you will see a list of all your locations. You can click on each location to edit the details, add photos, and when your updates have been approved they will appear live on Google maps. You can use either a computer or one of the official APPS.
You must check your profile weekly; Google will often suggest updates that might be incorrect because they’ve found something elsewhere on the internet and got it wrong.
Do you need the google my business app?
It depends on who you ask; we use a computer more than the APP unless we upload images for our clients. Google will read the location data from the picture directly from the phone, which will help your local rankings massively. Google only wants to list local businesses that can search a location. The APP is far better for ‘proving’ you are in an area unless you know how to keep that data once transferring to your computer or laptop.
Can I take my business off Google?
Yes, but it can take a long time, but it does take seconds to mark yourself permanently closed. All you will need to do is log into your account, click ‘info’, and keep yourself closed, but that won’t remove it from the search engines. You may need to wait a few weeks; in one case we’ve seen a closed business continue to show for nearly three years.
Can Google detect fake reviews?
There are third-party tools that Google can use to identify fake reviews, but most of the time, these are only used when an official complaint has been made. Google is very good at recognising spammy reviews, so they will be removed quickly if Google finds them but simply put, fake reviews are posted on a daily business worldwide. It will most likely happen to you. Sadly, unless it’s made from a brand new, spammy looking account that is opened to ruin your business, it will generally stay live on your profile which is incredibly annoying, but we have to play Googles rules, even if stupid. Your potential customers will generally spot a fake review and ignore it. However, you must reply to it professionally, don’t bite. We have reviews removed all the time, but it’s often a headache, sometimes not cheap… It’s quicker to get more excellent & honest reviews; your customers will see through it.
Can I review my own business on Google?
Business owners tend to leave a review when they set up the GMB profile; avoid doing this as it’s against Google policies. You only should ask your customers to leave a review about their experience; if you have a business that is not doing well enough to get any, then maybe consider changing it up. Google doesn’t encourage Business owners to write reviews on their profiles as this can look very suspicious from an outsider’s perspective. It would be best if you only got reviews from those who have done business with you, even suppliers 😉
How do I get rid of fake reviews on Google?
We have done this for a few clients, and we recommend you contact us for a chat. If fake reviews are showing on your profile, respond to it and rebuke professionally but remember, it’s not personal and don’t bite. Some people love to leave fake reviews to try and blag a discount or free offer. Competitors, although rare, will leave counterfeit reviews for anyone to try to stop people using you but ignore, report and reply to it.
How many times should I check my GMB profile?
As often as possible, Google will re-check your data automatically each week and suggest new changes or updates. If you’ve had a change in opening times, then it might be worth checking these too. Google will read data on websites like Facebook, Trustpilot and pull in any information that doesn’t match; sometimes, quite frequently, get it wrong, you will have a few days to approve the suggested changes or reject. If you don’t log into your GMB profile, they will automatically update the changes themselves.
Do I need to put up my address on Google?
You don’t need to include your address on the public, Google my Business profile page, but you do not need to show it publicly. You will be able to choose an area that you can serve, but these types of profiles don’t perform that well, usually. You have to ask yourself, would a customer who knows nothing about you trust a business that isn’t open about the location of trade? Would you?
If your business is a limited company, the details are on Companies House anyway; why would you want to hide something easy to find on other websites? If you have safety concerns, register your business at a local business, or most accounts will offer virtual addresses. Word of warning, Google doesn’t not like virtual addresses….. be warned (but a lot of businesses do this).
Can I get in trouble for leaving a bad review?
If you leave a review that is in an aggressive or abusive manner, then yes. Google takes this very seriously and will remove it if reported to them by the business owner. If a customer leaves a negative review about your business, but they have not completed their transaction with you, then Google should remove it, but sadly, they don’t need to prove they did business with you, and you can’t prove they didn’t.
However, sabotaging someone’s business can open you up to legal proceedings. We have helped multiple clients have reviews removed with reasonably large payouts being made via small claim courts because we could prove where the review was done, and who did it.
Can I leave an anonymous Google review?
No, the only reviews allowed are by Google profile owners. If you leave a review with your real name, your Google profile will automatically be added to the listing if its linked up correctly. This is good for SEO but bad if you didn’t want people knowing who you were. You can block this in advance on your Google, but these reviews are often ignored or removed.
How do I deal with a bad Google review?
There is a process Google asks you to follow. If the review is for services you provide, it’s generally about price, and if it’s terrible, reply then ignore it. If your customer has not completed the sale with you, you can appeal to Google, and they will remove it or ask the customer to edit it. You can leave comments on reviews but be professional, remember your potential customers will see it.
Can you get every lousy review removed from Google? No, but you can get most deleted nearly easy.
Google my Business Summary. Is it worth it?
GMB is a Google-owned company that provides free online services to help local businesses grow. GMB (Google My Business) is a fantastic, free software launched in 2014 to assist people worldwide to find local companies. The simple user interface has allowed firms to effectively communicate on the local market as an alternative to Google’s directories and sponsored listings.
Google My Business makes it simple for people to locate the best business or activity for their needs, whether they’re looking for a take-away pizza, repairs shop, or navigating maps while on vacation in a new city. Google My Business helps users discover the ideal store or company that meets their demands by utilising brand names and search terms.
One hard fact for you – If you don’t open an account then Google will most likely make one by using data it finds from elsewhere on the internet.Dan Somers -Ipswich Office
SEOmers is known locally as the Ipswich SEO and Marketing Company. We're known for straight talking, no fluff approach about website performance. If you would like a chat about your website, please do get in touch on "01473 760140". Although we now service global clients, our roots are still very much focused as a local digtal marketing company based in Ipswich.
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