In our marketing blog series, we’ve previously talked about how Google 101 For Your Business can help drive more clients to your clinic – for free.
Google My Business (GMB) is a completely free tool that lets you manage how your business appears on Google Search and Maps. It complements your existing website by giving your business a public identity and presence with a business profile on Google. The information you provide about your business can appear on Google Search, Maps, and Google+.
Google Places for Business and the Google+ Pages Dashboard were the best ways to manage your business information previously, but both have automatically upgraded to Google’s universal platform, Google My Business.
Google’s Business Profile is a free website builder that uses your Business Profile’s information to auto-generate a simple site. You can also add photos or choose from different designs to customize your free website to your business.
If digital marketing is somewhat new for you and your business, there are some basics to make sure you fully understand Google My Business and the value it offers. A GMB listing doesn’t replace your business’ website – it complements it.
6 Easy Steps to Creating a Google My Business Listing
Log into the Google Account you want associated with your business (or create a Google Account if you don’t already have one).
Go to google.com/business and select “Start now” in the top right-hand corner.
Enter your business name and address.
Tip: If you work out of your house or another address you don’t want publicly shown, check “Hide my address (it’s not a store) Only show region.”
Choose your business category. Try to choose the most accurate category possible – you’re essentially telling Google which type of customers should see your business listing.
Add your business phone number and website.
Verify your business by choosing a verification option. Once you’ve verified your business, it’s time to finish fleshing out your profile.
And now you have a Google My Business Listing – but don’t stop there!
Customize Your Listing
Go to the Google My Business dashboard and add as much information and media as you can – including a business profile photo, the area you serve, your hours, attributes (e.g., “wheelchair accessible,” “free wifi”), the day and year you opened, and a public phone number and website URL.
Google uses a variety of signals to serve search results, including important keywords and phrases, so adding these to your business listing will be incredibly helpful – especially since your business website is listed directly within your GMB listing.
According to Google, businesses with photos see 35% more clicks to their website and 42% higher requests for driving directions in Google Maps. Your Google My Business cover photo is one of the most important, as it shows up front and center on your listing.
Over the last several years, Google has made tremendous strides with available analytical data for Google My Business listings. Now called Insights, Google offers businesses a different way to understand how customers interact with business listings, including:
- How customers find your listing – how they searched for your business name or address.
- Where customers find you on Google – this section shows how many customers found you via a Google search or Google Maps.
- Customer actions – what customers did once they found your listing on Google.
- Direction requests – uses a map to show where people are that are requesting directions to your business.
- Phone calls – this section shows when and how often customers called your business via your listing on Google.
- Photos – allows you to examine how often your business’ photos are being viewed with the “Photo views” graph and “Photo quantity” graph.
So, what better way to drive clients to your practice and evaluate your marketing strategies than through Google My Business – and all absolutely for free!
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