Google My Business is one of the most important tools in the local marketer’s toolbox. Creating a free Google My Business account is how businesses are able to connect with customers across Google Search and Maps.
Since its debut in 2014, Google My Business has grown to become the de facto hub for local businesses online. Through this tool, businesses can manage the information that people find when they search for the business, or its products and services, on Google platforms. Google My Business is a very sophisticated product, and it’s a key component in any local SEO strategy.
Although Google offers plenty of paid advertising products, its Google My Business platform remains completely free to use for any business that serves local customers. Businesses can verify their information and interact with customers through the platform, without paying a fee. According to Google, businesses that add photos to their Business Profiles receive 35% more clicks through to their websites and 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps than businesses that don’t. Businesses with claimed profiles are also twice as likely to be considered “reputable” by customers.
The key to building an effective Google My Business profile is to complete as many information sections as possible. In addition to entering basic details like hours of operation, website URL, and street address, you can add photos, offers, menus, and posts to your listing.
With a free Business Profile in place, businesses can manage how their listings appear on Search and Maps and they can respond to reviews posted by customers and accept bookings or appointments online.
Though Google My Business is free to use even for multi-location businesses, many such businesses prefer to work with a partner who helps to manage their listings. Google supports these activities with the Google My Business API and the Google My Business Partner Program.
To get started creating a Business Profile, visit Google My Business.