As a business owner, you already know how important it is to maintain an online presence through a professional website, social media pages, etc.  What you may not know is that joining Google My Business (GMB) can be an essential ‘front door’ to your business, which, in turn, can maximize your online visibility.

If you aren’t familiar with Google My Business, it’s basically a free and easy-to-use tool for companies to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. Here, you can verify and edit your business information to help customers find your business and tell them your story.  For potential customers, seeing a business’ physical location, their contact information, reviews and the fact that it is sanctioned by Google provides a high level of confidence.

Even if you are a small business owner, your customers and prospects are online.  That’s where they’ll probably start their search for your products or services. Google My Business can also improve your search engine optimization (SEO), so when a potential customer does search for you, you will show up on the first page, not buried deep on page 2 or 3 or 4, and so on. 

A Google My Business account also lets you keep customers informed. Rather than having to search on Yelp or another review site which you have no control over, ensure they have access to legitimate, up-to-date information straight from the source — you.  Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, GMB makes it possible for businesses to publish temporary service changes, like marking a business open, temporarily closed, and so on.  You wouldn’t want a customer showing up at your store or business only to find it is closed.  

Joining Google My Business provides more benefits than just letting people know about your business hours and location.  In fact, customers are more likely to visit a business with a GMB listing. Makes sense.  Since trust is a key factor when making a purchasing decision, potential customers are more inclined to be swayed by a credible source like Google. 

Another component of GMB is that it enables customers to leave a review about your business — a plus as reviews show customers that your business is legitimate.  Managing reviews is important, as well, because it shows your customers that their opinions matter.  Be sure to reach out to satisfied customers to request positive reviews, respond to all reviews no matter if positive or negative, and flag any bad or fake reviews that go against Google’s review policies to get them marked as restricted or prohibited content. 

The bottom line is Google My Business lends more credibility to your business and earns trust from customers.  It’s a win-win situation for any business owner.

If you would like more information about setting up a Google My Business account visit: https://www.google.com/business/ for a step by step guide.  

Matt Earle

Founder & President

Matt Earle, Founder of Reputation.ca, is a leading Canadian expert on online reputation management with over 15 years of hands on experience working in the space. Mr. Earle’s educational background includes an H.BSc from the University of Toronto and certification as a Google Professional. His expertise has been acknowledged through national television appearances on CBC, PBS and CTV, being a guest host on CBC radio, and numerous quotes in print and online media.