Getting your practice or business listed on Google My Business is a critical step that every advisor should consider to set yourself apart from your local competitors. It also helps provide a consistent user experience your audience receives when they are looking for you using Google. So, what is Google My Business?
Google My Business = Google Pages + Google Maps + Google Search
Google My Business is a service offered by Google that helps connect businesses and organizations to individuals. It provides a consistent user experience across all of Google’s key search related applications and across all devices like smartphones, tablets and desktops. Let’s look at each discreet component.
You’re probably familiar with Google Search if you’ve ever tried to find something online. This is Google’s claim to fame and is still very much a primary revenue stream for them with the combination of Search and Adwords. The user experience you typically receive produces a combination of organic search results (highlighted in yellow below) and paid search results (highlighted in blue below). In this format, the search results provide you with some knowledge of what to expect for each search result. Paid search results, as the name suggests, require you to purchase that space, while the organic search results are free.
Then along came Google Maps, an application you’re also probably very familiar with if you’ve ever had to get directions to go somewhere. The ever familiar maps.google.com. Type in a search term and it visually presents little points on a map that it thinks matches your search term. However, going to www.google.com vs maps.google.com presents two very distinct experiences where one provides location context around the result.
In November of 2011, Google launched Google Pages to help connect the online world with “businesses, organizations and other things that you care about” (Our history in depth, Google.com). When Google pages was first released, it attempted to match the same user experience as that of other social media technologies like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIN. It gave organizations the capability to provide their audience and publish quick and short updates such as promotions, events, etc. It also provided them with the ability to corporately brand and personalize the Google page and provide visitors with a user experience that replicated the brand as well as key pieces of information such as their website, address and other contact information (kind of like a business card).
Google My Business
Google My Business is effectively the combination of all 3 of these features where the setup process begins with creating a Google Page for your organization, company or practice. By setting up your Google Page and as a result, your listing, you provide Google with key pieces of your company information that Google can leverage when it presents your company via the three aforementioned components. Namely, Google Search, Maps and Pages. Individuals using Google to find you and your business will receive a fully integrated experience no matter what device they are using and no matter from where they are performing the search query. At Veriday, we have ourselves set up in Google My Business. We have a Google Page and when performing a search for our business on Google Maps and Google Search, you receive a more useful and consistent experience.[av_gallery ids=’1504,1503,1491′ style=’thumbnails’ preview_size=’portfolio’ crop_big_preview_thumbnail=’avia-gallery-big-crop-thumb’ thumb_size=’portfolio_small’ columns=’3′ imagelink=’lightbox’ lazyload=’avia_lazyload’]
As you will notice in the example, Veriday’s Google+ page has clear branding as well as detailed information about their address, contact information and hours of operation all within the banner at the top of the page. Below that, are the updates, articles and useful things they share with their audience to encourage additional engagement. In the Google search result, it provides a dedicated area on the right hand side showing the map, logo and contact information using the information and other assets collected when setting up the Google+ page. On the mobile experience, it provides a more targeted experience to the user and assumes that because you are on mobile, you are either looking for location and/or contact details to call. Each of these user experiences are automatically published in all three mediums by simply creating a single profile using Google My Business.
Are you using Google My Business? Have you tried setting up a Google+ page? Share your experience by commenting below!!