Is your business looking for an easy way to manage and improve its online reputation? Google My Business is the perfect choice! Over the past four years, Google My Business has evolved from Google Places. Now, the Google service allows small business owners to “claim” their business online in order to manage their Google listing, maps, and reviews.
What is Google My Business?
This is what your Google My Business listing looks like after it has been claimed! It includes all of the basic information about your business and gives users the option to contact your business directly.
But like any other social media platform, Google My Business does have its drawbacks. Anyone, (not just the business owner) is able to make changes to your listing.
Even though it says, “Make a suggestion,” the changes will often be accepted and Google will not inform you. Therefore, it’s important to fill out as much information as possible as soon as you claim your listing, to avoid any unwanted changes from the public. Be sure to log in often and check that your information is still intact. Users also have the opportunity to answer questions that Google marketing services need to make your listing better.
Users are also able to ask and answer any questions on your listing. This is another reason why you should be logging in frequently, to check in on any questions that may have been uploaded. Otherwise, you run the risk of public users sharing false or inaccurate information about your business.
Google My Business is a social media platform! So, it is possible to share posts that appear under your general business information. However, it is a bit different than other social media platforms like Facebook. Posts will only be displayed on your listing for a week, or until they are replaced by newer posts. After that, the posts are only visible if users click on your Google My Business profile. Currently, Google My Business posts are only for picture and text with the possibility of incorporating a link to another page or website.
Why Is Google My Business Important?
The most important feature of Google My Business is the reviews. Consumers use Google Reviews to make decisions about purchases and small businesses easier. And, because the reviews are all in one place, Google My Business is the perfect small business owner’s free tool for online reputation management.
97% of consumers read online reviews of local small businesses – 12% even search for a small business online every day. Although positive reviews themselves are an easy way to boost your reputation among your potential clients, correctly responding to negative comments and resolving conflicts or issues a customer experienced, can make a tremendous difference.
Google My Business will continue to grow in credibility as more small business owners recognize the importance of an online presence. Google is constantly developing and perfecting their services for consumers and businesses to use.
In the future, Google My Business will offer a service similar to WhatsApp Business, which allows business owners to contact consumers directly from their mobile phone, or Google’s messaging app, Allo.
Do you have any questions regarding Google Marketing or online reputation management? Send us an email today, and we will get started on perfecting the perfect social media and online reputation management strategy for your business.