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Managing your business’s presence online can be tricky. There are dozens of places where key information about your business can appear, and it can be difficult to know how to manage it all. Luckily, you can focus in on five key locations where the majority of relevant traffic will land. Today, we’ll explore just one, Google My Business, which you should start using (if you aren’t already) and consider optimizing (if you haven’t looked at it lately) for maximum benefits.

WHAT IS GOOGLE MY BUSINESS?

Google My Business (GMB) allows businesses (except those without any physical location) to manage and control their online presence across Google’s various properties like Google Maps and Google Search. Think of this as Google’s hub for your business’s information: business name, address, store hours, delivery information, and more.

WHY SHOULD I USE GOOGLE MY BUSINESS?

With more than 1 billion users across all of Google’s properties, you want to make sure that the information shown when people search for you or find your business online is correct and up-to-date. By creating and managing your GMB account, you can make real-time changes to your store information in one central place.

On top of that, GMB can also improve your organic presence and make your business more credible and reputable online. Plus, it’s completely free!

YOU’VE CONVINCED ME. HOW DO I GET STARTED?

Visit Google My Business and click “Manage Now” in the upper right-hand corner. Google provides easy, step-by-step instructions that you can follow to get set up in no time! Make sure to complete the last step, which verifies your account by sending a postcard to confirm your location, or your business will not show up until it has been verified.

I’VE CREATED MY ACCOUNT AND AM VERIFIED. AM I DONE?

Managing your GMB account should be a monthly task. Make sure you’ve added images of your business and update them periodically. Google reports that businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions and 35% more clicks to their websites than businesses that don't have photos.

Additionally, you should check in on your GMB account regularly, so you can respond to new business reviews, both positive and negative, as soon as possible (or make it easier on yourself by setting up notifications for whenever someone leaves photos or reviews). This will improve your customer satisfaction and allow you to better engage with your customers and potential customers.

Finally, you should link your Google Ads account (if you have one) with your GMB, so you can take your paid advertising campaign to the next level. You’ll unlock location extensions (even for Display and YouTube campaigns) and ensure all your information is consistent and correct across all your marketing efforts on Google.

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