Google My Business is an easy and cost-effective way to make your business more discoverable both online and in real life.

This comprehensive guide will show you how to get the platform up and running and working for your business immediately.

Why you need a Google My Business account

For those of you who’ve never heard of Google My Business (GMB for short), it’s a free easy-to-use tool that allows businesses with physical retail locations to manage how they appear on Google Search and Maps.

There are a handful of reasons you need a Google My Business profile. Let’s take a moment to discuss some of the biggest ones…

Google business makes it easier for customers to find your physical location

One aspect of Detroit that I found intriguing was the difficulty in finding various cafes, shops, bars, clubs and retailers. Some of them were deep in the basements of what looked to be abandoned buildings. Other’s where hidden far back in shady alleyways.

And, with nearly 200,000 buildings and houses sitting empty, it was difficult to know what was open and what wasn’t.

So, to combat this, nearly every business had a Google My Business profile. In fact, I didn’t walk into one that didn’t.

GMB makes it simple for customers to find the exact location of your retail location in Google Maps.

Creating a Google Business account can drastically increase your search visibility

GMB doesn’t just make it easier for customers to find you physically, but digitally too. It can vastly improve your search visibility in Google.

Not to mention, when prospective customers are looking for local businesses, they are generally ready to make a purchase (or at the very least are highly interested in making a purchase).

Folks don’t Google, “delicious street tacos in Toronto” to read a blog about tacos… they do so because they’re hungry and want to hand over their hard-earned money to whoever has delicious street tacos in Toronto.

If you’re a local business, it’s good to be seen when hungry customers are Googling.

Google Business lets you display useful information and makes it easy for your customers to leave reviews

In addition to being easier to spot both physically and digitally, GMB allows businesses to add useful information like their name, what they do, their location, phone number, website, hours of operation and pictures.

GMB also makes it ultra-easy for customers to leave reviews and for businesses to manage the reviews that are left.

Whether businesses like it or not, customers will leave reviews if they have good (or bad) experiences. It’s nice to have them in one easily manageable place where you can quickly respond in a professional manner.

A Google Business account is completely free

Perhaps one of the best aspects of GMB is that it is completely free to use. That’s right. It won’t cost you a dime. If you are a business just getting your start in the local SEO game, GMB is an easy and extremely affordable way to get your toes wet.

How to create a Google My Business account

Those are the reasons why you need a Google My Business Account, now let’s talk about how to create one.

Go to “Google My Business”, Sign in and follow the instructions.

If you need help with this or other business problems, contact Sandhills SCORE. You can call 910-420-0121, email us at scorestaffing0364@gmail.com, or visit our website at sandhills.score.org.

Please be aware that Sandhills SCORE needs a few more Volunteers. You do not need to be old and retired nor do you need a comprehensive knowledge of running a business. Just a willingness to learn and to help and guide entrepreneurs.

Using Google My Business