I’m sure you’ve seen Google My Business accounts rank when you’re searching for Thai restaurants or garden centers near you (those may be two of my top searches…), and Google My Business is definitely great for businesses like that that have a location for people to visit.
But there are benefits of Google My Business for ALL types of small businesses (especially for SEO), even if you’re an online business serving clients around the world! (And don’t worry, you don’t need to have your home address public if your business doesn’t have a physical location).
It’s a completely free tool with tons of advantages for SEO and potential customers, so let’s dig into them!
Benefits of Google My Business for all businesses
There are some extra benefits for local businesses, so I’ve split this post into benefits for all businesses and then benefits for just local businesses. So this first section covers the advantages for all types of small businesses.
It can help your SEO
It may sound obvious, but Google My Business is owned by Google. So there are lots of SEO benefits for having a Google My Business page (but make sure it’s connected to your website). You’re giving Google more information in your business description, services, service descriptions, products, posts and updates, etc. And getting reviews (which we’ll get into next) shows Google that customers and clients are fans of your business, which can help boost your site rankings.
So if you’re working on your SEO and want to increase your rankings on Google, Google My Business can help!
It gives potential clients a screenshot of your business
When people Google your business to check you out, your Google My Business page will show up on the right side of the search results. It’s a great way to show clients who you are, who you serve, what services you offer, how to contact you, how much your clients love you, plus your location and hours if you have a physical location. If you’re a business like a photographer, website designer, artist, interior designer, or anything else that’s visual, they can also see a small portfolio of your work with the photos you upload.
So potential clients get tons of valuable information (as long as you have all your descriptions filled out) before they even visit your site! It can be a great way to convert clients more quickly since they have the basics down and then want to visit your site for the rest of the details.
It shows potential clients real reviews
Have you ever visited a website where the reviews have been typed out by the business and they just seem too good to be true?
Google My Business shows real reviews from verified users, so people can easily check and see that your clients are real fans of yours! People do get spammy reviews sometimes, but Google is pretty good about taking care of those when you report them. But overall, people can trust those reviews.
Getting amazing reviews on Google My Business shows off how you help your clients or how awesome your customer service is, which can help convert potential clients. I know I’m much more likely to trust a business with a few great reviews than one that has zero reviews.
And the more reviews that you get, the more it will help your account’s (and potentially your website’s) rankings! I also recommend replying to your reviews (especially any reviews that aren’t super great) because it shows potential customers that you care about your current customers and that want to make their experience great.
You can get good keyword information
One of my favorite SEO benefits of Google My Business is the keyword section! It has an Insights section that shows you how many people saw your page, what actions people took on your page, and what keyword searches your page showed up for. This is helpful to make sure your page is showing up for the right kind of searches, and you can also use that information on your site.
If you’re seeing that there are tons of searches for one of your services, you could focus more of your content and marketing efforts on that service. If you’re seeing that you’re showing up for searches unrelated to your business, it might mean that Google isn’t clear on what your business is about, so you can do some keyword research to make sure you’re targeting the right keywords and explaining everything clearly in your website copy.
For example, I worked with a client that had the word “professional” in her business name, and her page was showing up for a lot of unrelated corporate keywords. By making her services more clear on her Google My Business account and her website, both are ranking for keywords much more aligned with her business!
You can share events and news
Have a grand opening, upcoming sale, event, new product offering, or your business has won an award? You can create posts to share all of your exciting news! That way people won’t have to search on your site or through your social media posts to find out if you have a sale coming up; they can get all the important info in one place.
You can set the areas you serve
You can set the exact cities, states, and countries that you serve so your Google My Business page will rank when someone from one of those areas is searching for your services.
I’ve had some clients who split their time between two states or who recently moved but don’t want to lose their clientele in the city they moved from, so you can target two specific cities or states like that. Or you can select the city that you live in and then set the entire United States as the area you serve. It’s entirely up to you!
Those are the main benefits of Google My Business for all types of small businesses, but if you’re a local business, keep reading on for more tips! And if you’re interested in working together to improve your SEO, optimizing your Google My Business page is included in all my SEO packages 🙂
Benefits of Google My Business for local businesses
So we’ve covered the advantages for all businesses, and if you’re a local brick-and-mortar business, this section is just for you!
It shows your location on the map
Showing your location on the map helps your page rank in TWO places, which is an awesome advantage to get a lot of visibility. Your page can rank on the Google My Business search results and show up as a pin on the map. If people are searching for restaurants in their neighborhood or the nearest vet and you’re near them, this puts you above so much of your competition (plus everything I mentioned earlier with getting great reviews, having your business description filled out, etc. is already going to put you ahead of the competition).
Living in Philadelphia and walking 90% of the time, you better believe I was searching for local businesses that were within walking distance of my house! Annika’s vet is right around the corner, and we have our favorite restaurants and coffee shops that are super close. But if I was searching for these places and couldn’t see their location on the map, I wouldn’t know how close they are to me. So showing up on the map is super important.
Customers can easily make reservations or appointments
Google My Business lets you set up a link so you can make a reservation or an appointment directly from your page! This makes it sooooo easy for potential customers so they don’t have to hunt down how to make a reservation on your website or have to call you (which will save you time, too!). If you don’t have this function set up yet, I definitely recommend it.
You can set up informational attributes
I think attributes are one of the best recent updates and benefits of Google My Business (and they’re always adding more). There are attributes for your business to say if you’re female, black, and/or a veteran, and there are also informational ones, such as wheelchair accessibility and health and safety updates.
This part was especially important during the pandemic so you could let potential customers know if appointments were required to come in and if your staff gets regular temperature checks to reassure customers. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, you could also select an attribute that you offer online services, so people can know that they can still get your awesome services safely at their homes.
Potential customers can ask you questions
There is a “Questions and Answers” section so customers can quickly ask a question without needing to call! I’ve seen questions about payment methods to types of products in the store to health and safety updates during the pandemic. It makes it easy for you (and your customers) to help potential customers and show that you value their business.
So those are all the top benefits of Google My Business for all types of small businesses! If you’re not using Google My Business yet, I hope I’ve convinced you 🙂 And if you need help setting up Google My Business or optimizing your page, contact me!