Google My Business – What Is It? Why Use It?

mark@seomark.co.uk or Contact Form or LinkedIn
Google My Business, which used to be known as Google Places, is a free online platform that Google provides. It has two purposes: to help business owners increase their online visibility and to help people find and review businesses in their local area. It’s effectively the most comprehensive and accessible business directory ever created.

Google My Business listings are for businesses that serve customers primarily in their local area, with examples of types of businesses that the listings are meant for including, but not being limited to: accountants, builders, salons, couriers, dentists, driving schools, gyms, photographers, recruitment agencies, restaurants, caterers, electricians, estate agents, garages, plumbers, and solicitors.

Whenever someone is using anything Google related, and searches for something which Google determines to have local intent, such as ‘dentists London’ or ‘restaurant in Newcastle’, links to 3 Google My Business listings will be displayed below a map of the local area. When clicking on a business’s Google My Business listing, people can see the following:

  • The business’s name, address and phone number.
  • The business’s location on a map.
  • The business’s opening hours.
  • A link to the business’s website.
  • Photos related to the business.
  • Reviews of the business left by previous customers.
  • A rating out of 5 for the business (based on scores given by previous customers).

This is an example of what a Google My Business listing looks like:

Google My Business Listing

Now you know what Google My Business is, let’s look at the reasons that your business should not just be aware of the platform, but should be actively embracing it.

Access To More People
In terms of connecting businesses with people at the exact time when they’re looking for a particular service in their area, nothing comes close to the reach of Google, which is the default starting point for most people searching online for information.

Better Presence In Search Results
Google My Business listings are displayed above the standard search results which means the businesses shown there have a greater presence and get more attention. It’s also possible to be listed in both Google’s local business listings and within the standard search results, which means two 1st page listings instead of one.

Gain Trust With Customers
To people searching on Google, the verification process and unbiased rating/review system used for Google My Business listings makes them more trustworthy than business websites, and rightly so, as Google makes it very difficult for unscrupulous businesses to attain good rankings in their local search results.

For those reasons, and also because the platform is both free to use and simple to set-up, you should definitely start using Google My Business today. The sooner you get started, the sooner your business will be visible when people in your area search for keywords relevant to your business, and the sooner you’ll start receiving a steady flow of customers from Google.

Further Reading

SEO Checklist

Local SEO Tips & Advice

Using Keywords On Your Website

25+ Ways To Get Backlinks

Does Web Hosting Affect SEO?

mark@seomark.co.uk or Contact Form or LinkedIn