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Previously known as Google Local and Google+ Local, Google My Business (GMB) is the name of business profiles that are listed with Google.

Google My Business (GMB) is constantly updating and adding new features that businesses can use to improve their local search visibility. A lot like the way the Yellow Pages or White Pages improved your chances of attracting new customers back in the 90s, GMB is the most powerful citation tool on the internet – but is it worth the effort?

What is Google My Business?

In essence, Google Business is the most popular crowdsource review platform on the internet. Google is using its strength, reach, and popularity to take over from where review sites like Trip Advisor and Yelp, left off. You can find out how to claim or add your Google My Business Listing here.

Google My Business listings host information which is submitted by the owner such as services that are offered, price lists, business descriptions, opening hours, categories and, (obviously) location. GMB also includes features which are almost exclusively listed by users such as Google My Business Q&A’s and Google Reviews.

Keeping your GMB listing up to date is a key aspect of controlling your local visibility and Local SEO efforts. Businesses which are active, trustworthy, attractive and have a high click-through rate will benefit from increased visibility on Google search results. GMB is the most powerful ‘citation’ that you can do for your business.

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The Benefits of Google My Business

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits and features that Google My Business offers users:

  • Consistent information between online listings

  • Helps customers find your physical location

  • Increased search visibility

  • Provides easy access to contact information, trading hours, directions, photos and more

  • CTA button for customers – google allows customers to call your business or visit your website with a single click.

  • Another communication channel for customers

  • Gain insights on your customers with Google’s free visibility report

  • Track your website traffic and audience with the analytics tool built into Google My Business

  • An easier way to manage your online presence

  • Interact and engage with those leaving reviews

  • It’s Free!

The Downsides of Google My Business

 One of the most common questions that we encounter when setting up a GMB listing for a client is, what are the downsides or risks? It’s a fair question, anything that offers so much upside must surely be accompanied by a side of disappointment.

Naturally, whenever you want to improve your organic search visibility, there’s going to be an element of time and effort involved. GMB is no different. It takes a few hours to set up (if you do it properly) and will take some effort to ensure that the information in your listing is up to date and correct.

Perhaps the biggest downside or ‘risk’ of using GMB is that your fate is in the hands of the users. GMB is a thriving community of users who have the power to make or break a business based on their experiences. Once reviews are up, it’s almost impossible to have them taken down.

Is Google My Business Worth the Effort?

So, is it worth the effort of creating and maintaining a Google My Business account for your business? Well, considering how easy it is to set up and the increased search visibility that it offers, the answer is definitely yes. Whether you are looking to dominate in South Australia with SEO in Adelaide, or you want to be seen in every city around Australia, GMB is a great way to increase your local search visibility and attract new customers to your business.