Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool for businesses owners that helps them manage their online presence on Google properties which include Google Search, Google+ and Google Maps. By verifying and optimizing your business information, you can help potential customers find you. To learn about how to set up a GMB account, check out their support page here.
Why Is A GMB Page Important?
The information that you add to your GMB page is what people will see when they search for the name of your business, not the url, but the name. The url will take you directly to your website, but the name of the business will show the standard links on the left of the search, and show an information box, referred to by Google as the “Knowledge Panel” on the right side of the page.
The information for different businesses can change when you add your details to your GMB page, as an example, if you told google that your business is a restaurant, you have an option to provide a link to your menu. If you accept appointments, you will have a place to add a link to make an appointment. Businesses can also set up a “Message” link that allows potential clients that see the panel to send a text message to the mobile phone that the business has chosen as a recipient for messages. There are many other possibilities as well.
Your GMB page can have a number of different photos added to it including your logo, a profile picture, which could be a photograph of your business interior or exterior and other additional photos that you think potential visitors would like to see regarding your business. Google will allow you to upload only .jpg or .png files and they must be well lit, in focus and not include any special affects.
It’s important to add your business hours to your GMB profile because they will show up in the Knowledge Panel and indicate whether pr not your business is open at the time a viewer is looking at it.
Visitors also have the option to call you if they are using a mobile device, leave a review, read exiting reviews and see your address on a map with a button for directions. A newer addition is the ability to add posts to the Knowledge Panel. If the post is an event, it will stay in the panel until the event passes. All other posts will stay in the panel for two weeks after the original post date.
Here are two screen grabs of what a knowledge panel looks like when searching for Net101.
Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.