Short Guide for Utilizing the Google My Business PlatformAs a small business owner, you understand the importance of establishing an online presence. Without a well-built website and a presence on social media, your potential customers are driven to your competitors. But how can you be sure that you’re reaching a local audience? That’s where Google My Business comes into play.

Google My Business – So What Is It?

Google My Business is a new tool for small business owners. All of Google’s tools are located in one, easy to use location. Even better, the service is free. This means that you now have a way to control your business in the virtual world at absolutely no cost to you. Here’s what you can do with Google My Business:

  • Google + – Maintain your presence on social media site Google +. You can update your status, share messages, link to other sites, and post media all from your business page.
  • Reviews – You can manage your page ranking and reviews from one main page.
  • Maps – Take control of your business’s location and contact information as it appears to your customers on Google Maps.
  • Hangouts – If you choose, you can hold video chats with colleagues or customers.

These are just a handful of the things that you can do with Google My Business. But more than what you can do, what is important is how it helps you.

Google My Business – What It Does For You

With Google My Business, you can respond to negative customer reviews about your company. You can use Hangouts to provide customer service and resolve issues. You can even see what effect these negative reviews have on web traffic.

You can combine your brand page, social media marketing campaigns, google my business reviews, information and maps on one platform. This allows you to be sure you aren’t forgetting to keep up with any aspect of your virtual presence.

As a small business owner on Google My Business, you can see where your customers are located and what their needs are. You can use this information to design a better ad campaign. You can control your ad campaign on Google or from your mobile device.

Google My Business Listing – Learning Curve

The nice thing about Google My Business is that you probably already use many of its individual components. This means that there is virtually no learning curve. You can get started with the platform almost immediately. As a small business owner, you will find the platform to be not only a benefit to your business, but you’ll also find it to be an extreme time saver.

To sign up with Google My Business, simply navigate to the platform and click “Get on Google”. The site will take you through the registration process. Follow all of the prompts, enter the required information, and your Google My Business account is up and running. It really is that simple.

If you want to increase your company’s presence online, signing up with Google My Business is a no brainer. Get started today for free. It will be the best money you’ve never spent!

Tips for Using Google My Business Right Now

As you have read, Google My Business is not a difficult platform to use. The key is this: You’ve got to use it! So what four things can you do right now, right from the comfort of your desk? These:

  1. Set Up Your Profile

Take the time right now, while you are thinking about it, to set up your small business profile. Claim your space on Google by simply clicking on the “Get on Google” tab on the http://www.googlemybusiness.com site.

  1. Add Images

Add images to your profile. The images you choose should showcase your business. Be sure to include keyword-optimized filenames to boost search results. Not sure what to include? Try any of these images: the inside of your store, you and your team, before-and-after photos or your staff on the job.

  1. Manage Reviews

You can monitor and manage your reviews right from your GMB dashboard. One of the coolest things about this platform is the ability it gives the small business owner to manage reviews found across the web. You can see how many reviews you have, and you can respond to any that you choose.

  1. Leverage Insights

Take a look at the insights section. You will discover how people are finding you on the web and how often they are clicking on your site’s link from a Google search. You’ll also see the amount of activity on your Google + page and the demographic details of your audience.

What Local Search Experts Have to Say – Do You Agree?

As with anything, everyone has an opinion. Now that Google My Business has had time to sink into the minds of the masses, local search experts are offering their opinions. Here’s how some of the experts are weighing in:

Street Fight: According to Street Fight, GMB is a step forward, but more dedication to simplicity is necessary.

SIM Partners: This group stated that although Google has demonstrated its desire to serve small business owners, a bulk uploading procedure would be helpful for users.

Mike Blumenthal: While Google My Business is a strong step forward in the service of the SMB, users may be left wishing for specific upgrades.

Google My Business Customer ReviewsThe Benefits of Google My Business Are Too Good to Ignore

Think that you can’t carve out 10 minutes a day to keep your GMB account updated? Think again. The benefits of utilizing the platform are too good to ignore:

  • Growth
  • Authorship
  • Search Engine Recognition
  • Flexibility

There are more than 500 million users registered with Google +. If you choose to ignore Google My Business, consider how many potential customers are being driven to your competition that have chosen to utilize the platform. With its ease of use and incredible flexibility, Google My Business is a platform that every small business owner should be making the most of.