Google My Business (GMB) is a free online tool that can help increase any business’s online marketing performance. Still, many companies have yet to claim their business profile on Google.
From google.com/business, users can claim a business and, at the very least, make sure everything on the company’s page is accurate. The next step is to complete an entire profile and update it regularly. This can drive up engagement rates, help profiles (and webpages) appear higher in the search results, and persuade more people to click on the company.
A complete profile includes accurate business names, contact information and addresses, website links and a phone number. These are the minimum bits of information consumers expect to see in any online business profile. Users can go a bit further and stand out from the crowd by including any information that may be beneficial to customers, including hours of operation and directions to a physical location.
Google also allows businesses to upload images. This is a great place for window and door companies to show off their work, their friendly staff or their products. Choose a PNG or JPG image that says something about your business and is at least 720 X 720 pixels, though higher-quality images are even better.
Taking it a step further, those that want to add a how-to, tip or even a digital walk-through of their showrooms or of a project can add short videos to their page. Videos are great for appealing to homeowners and providing some extra pep to search engine optimization.
Secondary online engagement
Businesses that have claimed their GMB page can add more images to their profile via Google Posts, which also allows for text and links. This gives businesses an opportunity to engage directly with potential clients in effective, free secondary online marketing.
Google Posts are similar in structure to social media posts. The most effective use of the posts is to further engage potential customers who are already familiar with a business. Note that posts only show up in the Google knowledge panel for a company, and the panel typically only shows up on the right side of the search results if someone directly searches for a specific company or brand name.
The knowledge panel itself is built from information on a company’s Google My Business page. The GMB profile picture, company name, address, phone number, website and hours of operation typically show up—and that’s all great. The more real estate a company can take up on the search results page, the less likely the person searching will click on anything else.
This knowledge panel is even more engaging and dynamic for companies that use Google Posts, created via the GMB page (see sidebar, at right). Published posts show up on the knowledge panel in just a few seconds, ready to engage anyone who searches for that specific brand.
Updating a Google My Business page and creating posts does take some time, but most companies find it takes less than 10 minutes per day on average—which is more than a fair trade for all the online marketing benefits this free Google profile affords.