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A website alone may not be enough for people to find you. Internet users make six billion searches each month looking for restaurants alone. If you have a restaurant, how can you ever hope to appear on the very first page? It seems impossible until you remember that search engines are your friend. They have a shared interest with you to show your website to those most likely to visit you and become your customers.

To help search engines understand you and your business better, you need to invest some time in setting up a free tool for local businesses: Google My Business.

What is Google My Business?

If Google is a Yellow Pages of sorts, then Google My Business (GMB) is the Yellow Pages’ Yellow Pages. It contains listings that help their search engine determine what your business is all about and who may benefit the most from visiting you.

Create a Google My Business (GMB) listing to present your business with a description of what you do, including contact information and photos. Crucially, you can also upload posts on a regular basis for increased search engine optimization.

A Google My Business listing combines a free website and blog without any of the hassles of choosing a hosting provider. And your GMB will already be mobile-optimized without you having to lift a finger.

Even better, GMB can do wonders for your visibility on Google. When customers are looking for something related to your line of work, your business will show up at the top of the search engine’s results page (SERP). People rarely bother to visit the second page, let alone the tenth or hundredth. That is why anything that can help you rank higher is so important—especially since it’s free!

How does a Google My Business help my business?

GMB can help drive organic—i.e. unpaid—traffic to your website and increase the visibility of your business on Google’s search engine.

It does that by understanding your business better and by letting you interact with your customers. You also get useful statistics and a free website.

1. You help Google better understand your business.

By having your presence in the listing, you have already made a difference. Google is more likely to show your business when a related search is made.

However, many other businesses will show up on the same results page, too. So, you have to make an extra effort and make your listing competitive, interesting, up-to-date, and informative.

2. You can share information about your business.

You can post your latest blog posts, photos from an event, a late-minute offer that is valid for only a few hours, or even an informative article that helps your business and your prospective clients, linking back to the original post. This will drive organic traffic to your official website.

However, posts disappear from your listings search page after seven days. This means you need to provide new and fresh posts and information at least once per week to keep GMB up-to-date and relevant

You can also share helpful information such as opening hours, address, email, and any other contact information that people might require at short notice. This is particularly helpful if your customers are looking you up on their phones and see your phone number. They don’t have to waste any time giving you a call: all they have to do is press “Call now” and they’ll be talking to you in seconds!

3. You can interact with your audience.

Google My Business allows you to interact with people. Customers and clients who have been to your business can leave reviews and comments on your GMB.

Consider responding to them and starting a conversation. You can thank them for their reviews or ask them for more information and address any concerns if they had a bad experience. It’s an excellent tool to engage in conversation and make contact with people. Even better, you can see what people want, which may give you ideas about your business direction.

You can also answer questions from prospective customers and catch their attention, making them more receptive to your promotions and discounts. Your primary interest is to attract paying customers to your business. Google My Business offers you plenty of opportunities to do just that!

4. You can get insights about your audience.

GMB offers analytical tools to show you how clients found you, what they read, which photos they opened and other details.

You can see how many people looked for your business. You can even check how many asked for directions to reach your business or how many called you. All this data will give you valuable insight as to what people want and how they obtain the information.

You can also see how many people viewed each post you uploaded. If a post has a lot of visits, you can post more information around this particular subject. You want to give your customers and clients the information they find useful and relevant. Google’s analytical tools provide you with the information you need to do so.

5. You get a free website.

Google My Business offers several templates to choose from. Use them to build a basic website within the GMB framework. All you have to do is fill in the blanks with your custom text—Google will do the rest. Within minutes, you can have your own website up and running, even if you have no programming experience whatsoever.

While your website will be pretty basic, it will still include all the necessary information your clients need. Google My Business can display your business, your products, your blog posts, and as many photos as you want. Importantly, it is already mobile-optimized, which is perfect for people checking your business on their mobile.

By inputting your own content and photos, you can optimize your GMB website and boost the visibility of your official one.

It is generally suggested to use the Google My Business website as a search engine optimization tool and to direct people to your official business website. A custom-made website will display many features that a Google site cannot, such as social media buttons, landing pages, long informative texts, custom structure, etc. (Before you delve into a custom web design read our post, Website Design Pitfalls, to learn the basics of good website design and steer clear of the taboos.)

However, if your Google My Business site covers your needs, you can link a domain name of your choice to it and use it as your official website.

Promote Your Business with Google Ads

While a Google My Business listing and business site will help with your organic ranking, you can also promote it with paid ads through Google Ads. This can boost the visibility of your business right away and attract more visitors to your website.

By carefully targeting your ads to the appropriate audience, you could increase your revenue by spending just a few dollars per day. It is possible to waste a great deal of money on pay per click ads. It’s worth a discussion with a professional ads agency like InSync Media to discuss the effectiveness of your paid ad campaigns.

Contact InSync Media online or call us now on 970-901-5216 (Montrose) and 970-644-6406 (Grand Junction) to set up your Google My Business and skyrocket your web presence!