If you’re a business owner and you’ve yet to establish a Google My Business account, wait no further. Having and fully utilizing Google My Business is one of the most cost-effective — yet simple — ways to improve the online presence of your business and the search engine results of your website.

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business is an online business account that Google originally started as a way for local “brick and mortar” businesses to be part of a bigger online business directory, based upon the categories and keywords chosen to describe the business. It also highlights that particular business in searches for specific areas and keywords. All of this is at no charge to the business. It’s free!

Now, Google My Business (or GMB, for short) offers the same platform for national and virtual businesses as well, although it still best serves local businesses, due to its functionality.

Why should I bother with a Google My Business account?

As a business owner bombarded with the overwhelming amount of ways to communicate online, you might be thinking, do I really need another?

With many forms of social media, depending on your business and your audience, you can very often get away with not taking advantage of every single platform.

But in this case, ignoring the sheer power and efficiency of Google My Business would be a huge mistake.

And here’s why: Google My Business accounts behave very much like pay-per-click Google Ads without any of the financial commitment.

Can you imagine? Harnessing the power of Google Ads without needing a Google Ads budget?

Well, you don’t have to imagine. GMB makes it reality. Your location, your categories, and your description all create the keywords that will cause your GMB account to appear in searches on Google in a way that draws the searcher’s attention — even away from paid advertising itself.

How It Works — The Google 3-Pack

When a person using Google — the world’s most popular search engine, with 92.18 percent of the world’s market share (according to Oberlo) — searches out local areas and keywords that are congruent with your business, your business can appear on the first page in two ways.

When the name of the business is directly searched, the GMB listing appears highlighted in its own outlined box on the right-hand side of the first page of the search. Such as this:

OR

When keywords are searched, the GMB listing appears in what’s known as the Google 3-Pack — three listed businesses along with a map, batched together on the first page of a search. Such as this (keywords searched were “marketing agency near Streamwood, IL”):

As of late, Google is now also running ads that might or might not appear in the 3-Pack as well.

But note how both the individual box and the Google 3-Pack draw your eye away from everything else — including the paid-for Google ads.

Like getting a Google Ad — except for FREE

Advertisers pay a lot for those ads. It’s all according to their budget, of course, but it’s always a significant amount of money. I have a client that invests just $400 a month for Google Ads. But most businesses pay much more in hopes of winning the bid to come out on top. We’re talking literally thousands of dollars per month per campaign. In fact, an ad budget of $5,000 to $10,000 is considered to be the average “norm” for an effective PPC campaign.

But, like anything else, you get what you pay for… right?

Well… except when it comes to GMB. Because you get WAY MORE for literally NOTHING. And the resulting SEO is priceless. Suddenly, your business appears on the FIRST PAGE of important keyword searches. And that’s the goal. You want your business to always land on the first page.

If you don’t think that’s important, think about your own online search habits. When do you go past the third page when you’ve searched for something? If you are really being honest, when have you gone past even the first page?

Now think about where YOUR business website lands when people search for keywords that relate to it. Are they going as far down as the page it lands on? If it’s not on the first three pages — then, probably not.

Google My Business gives you a way to get on that first page, and then draws all eyes to you there as well. And how much, again, did you pay for that opportunity? Oh yeah — NOTHING.

The role reviews play with Google My Business

Assuming your GMB account has come up in a search, you can further entice customers and clients to click on your listing, as opposed to your competitions, via better reviews.

As you can see from the image of the 3-Pack above, each business listing comes up with a star rating and how many people have reviewed the business.

In today’s world, this rating is HUGE. Think about it. If you saw these three businesses appear before you, knowing nothing about them except what you see, which would you probably call?

Probably ours (LaCroix Creative). We’ve got a 5-star rating, and we have more reviews than our competition. (Feel free to read them all for yourself and check out our own GMB listing by CLICKING HERE!)

Sure! You’d call the one with more stars. It’s really not brain surgery or rocket science — better reviews attract customers.

And yet, so many companies don’t bother with GMB nor with management of the reviews, despite the fact that both have become such strong key determiners of customer traffic and leads.

Two FREE gifts to help you get started with Google My Business!

To help you better address your presence on Google and get all the customers you can for very little investment, we here at LaCroix Creative have two gifts for you.

Here’s the first: Our FREE GUIDE on setting up your own Google My Business account! This guide leads you step-by-step through the process of setting up and optimizing your GMB account. even if you already have one, you’ll want to check out the guide, as it provides valuable information on optimizing the account that you might not have yet applied to your current listing. At the very end of the guide, we also let you know how you can get your own GMB account set up by us here at LaCroix Creative for FREE. To get your FREE GOOGLE MY BUSINESS GUIDE, just CLICK HERE.

Here’s the second: Our FREE REPORT SESSION regarding your review situation. We create a report that identifies what people are saying about your business online. In fact, in creating these reports, we often find reviews that you didn’t even know your business had. Creating these reports is a fairly time-consuming endeavor. You’d never find the time to do this yourself. But the information that comes up is extremely valuable — and we’ll do it for you and deliver the results to you, for FREE. To get your FREE REVIEW REPORT SESSION with one of our Online Strategists, CLICK HERE.