GO Digital WSI

Saying Goodbye to Google+ (and Hello to GMB)

Google officially announced an end to their long-suffering Google Plus platform late last year after an almost total lack of engagement and significant concerns about user data privacy. It was unsurprising news; the platform never really seemed to gain traction after developers first launched it in 2011.

Now, there’s a renewed focus on another much newer element of Google’s available services: Google My Business (GMB). With the power to dramatically improve brand awareness and skyrocket local SEO, this is an option you just can’t afford to overlook. Get to know GMB in this post.

What Is Google My Business?

Google My Business (colloquially referred to as “GMB” by most marketers) is an online tool that allows business owners to list and post as their businesses online. It is in effect a type of “business social network,” but also serves as an online 411-style directory in certain scenarios (such as local search). It’s also, to a lesser degree, a place to share important content – such as sales, business updates, and holiday greetings, if relevant to your niche.

How Does GMB Work?

The GMB profile comes with options to include contact info, optional posts, videos, images, website URLs, telephone numbers, and more. Businesses can get started by creating a profile with basic information, like name, contact information, and website URL. Additional options, like the ability to make posts, share videos, and add profile images let you customize your profile to best suit  your goals.

GMB is integrated with several of Google’s other systems, including search, Google Maps, and Directions. This means that someone searching for certain keywords (e.g., “order pizza” if you were a pizza shop) will see your local listing first, versus listings from, say, the next city over.

Reviews for Better SEO

One of the most interesting facets of GMB is the fact that users can leave a review after they visit you. In fact, Google will prompt them to leave the review if they have GPS tracking on and automatically “check in” at your address.

Reviews are inherently good for businesses (assuming the majority are positive). Research shows that consumers find them more trustworthy than claims from the business alone. They also establish legitimacy – something especially critical when you’re in startup or just getting your footing in the online world.

But GMB’s reviews also hold another powerful benefit: they improve local SEO directly. Google considers GMB profiles with plenty of reviews as holding more weight than businesses without a profile – or with just one or two reviews. In other words, the more people who visit and leave a review, the more people will see your business when they search for services online.

Ready to get started? Setting up a GMB account is really easy – you just need to fill out some information and confirm ownership of your business (usually via confirming a mobile code). From there, how you use the platform is up to you. If you need help, reach out to Go Digital WSI for assistance. You won’t regret it.