Using Google to help grow your independent business

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An introduction to Google My Business

This blog post is for any independent business owner looking to grow the digital presence of their business with the help of Google My Business (GMB), a free business profile tool.

Google My Business is a great platform for any independent business. Whether you are just starting out or you have been around for years, having a Google My Business listing has so many benefits.

I’ve been a fan of GMB for long time now as it provides a great online platform for your business to showcase important business information, contact details, photos, updates and feedback (reviews), all of which are great for increasing brand awareness.

It is as simple as this, the more information and updates you provide to Google via Google My Business, the more chance your business will have of being seen on Google Search and Google Maps.

Having a GMB listing not only provides brand awareness, as mentioned above, but also credibility through customer reviews and updates. Your amazing customer service doesn’t have to stop at the shop door or the restaurant table, you can continue your customer service engagement online too.

Stumbling blocks for business owners

Many independent business owners run their businesses by themselves and face many obstacles when trying to market and grow their digital presence. Obstacles such as digital marketing being too technical, time consuming and often confusion as to which digital platforms to start with, or even use.

For those of you who are already using Google My Business, that’s awesome. We will be posting a few blogs soon about how to optimise your business profile listing. So keep an eye out for them. For those of you who don’t, please keep reading, you are a few minutes away from getting set up.

google my business sign up page

Where to start?

The best place to start would be to find out if your business is listed on Google. To do this, open a Google Search tab and enter your brand name followed by location, e.g. central barbers milton keynes (see image below).

If you see your business name and information show up on the right-hand side of the search results with a map and some images, then Google has already recognised your business and added this business profile. Now you will need to verify the listing by clinking on the ‘own this business?’ link and follow the steps to get your Google My Business listing verified.

highlighting a google business profile on a google search results page

If you do not see your business profile on Google Search, then you will need to sign up for a Google account and then claim your Google business profile by following these two steps.

  1. Sign up for a Google account: accounts.google.com/signup
  2. Sign up for Google My Business: google.com/business

It will take roughly half an hour to get these set up and if you need some guidance on how to set the page up and to keep it updated, just read this article here: socialoutfit.co.uk/how-to-set-up-a-google-my-business-page

There’s a Google My Business app!

The app is very handy for when you are on the go and can’t get to your laptop or you just have 4G on your phone. The app is really easy to use and allows you to edit your profile, check insights, upload photos and posts, and respond to reviews. It will also send you notifications of when someone has left you a review so you can respond promptly.

If you need some further advice or have any questions, just send me a message on Instagram or Facebook. You can also send an email to [email protected]

Look out for the next couple of blog posts on our Growth Hub section as we have more guides coming up. Looking forward to helping you grow your business.

Stu