Over the past 18 years, Google has not only changed the way consumers use the internet but also the way that businesses display themselves online. One area which Google has been pushing the envelope is in regards to location-based searches which can be huge for a dispensary. Local search and local SEO is becoming one of the most important aspects of businesses online. When done correctly, local SEO can play a huge part in helping your business outperform your competitors. Google is trying to help out local business is by adding Google My Business to their list of services. Google My Business is a platform from Google that allows users to find the information they need about your business right away. When your business appears in the search results as a Google My Business listing, your customers quickly see important details about your business, including driving directions, reviews, hours of operation, and a phone number. All of this is essential for your website because it allows you to gain a local presence for your business on the internet.
A Google My Business profile will show up on the first page of the search results which can help bring in more phone calls, requests for directions, photo views, and clicks to your site. Google My Business allows your customers to review your business and share their overall experience with future users. If your company and site are providing a great experience to previous clients, other users will take that feedback as a trust signal and visit your site over a competitor’s. It also gives you valuable feedback about your business and helps identify areas which can still improve.
Another benefit of using Google My Business is that the dashboard lets you easily manage and update your business information from one central location. Within your Google My Business dashboard, you can read, review, and respond to different actions on your account. Another neat trick with Google My Business is that it integrates with your Google+ page. The integration allows you to you share updates about your business to your followers when you make changes.
With all that said, you might be asking yourself how much is Google charging for this service; the answer is nothing. Google has repeatedly stated that they are all about the user experience and are banking on the idea that Google My Business is another service they can provide businesses to help them improve the user experience for their customers. So there is nothing to lose to add your cannabis dispensary on Google My Business.
Setting up your Google My Business profile is fairly straight forward but requires that you have some key pieces of information about your business before you get started. Below we’ll walk you through how to set up your Google My Business profile in detail.
Go to Google My Business and click “Start Now.” Enter the Google account you use to manage that business or that location of your business.
If you don’t yet have a Google account associated with your business, click “Create Account” below the login box and follow the instructions.
Search for your business by name and address using the box in the top left-hand corner, and select the correct listing for your business or location.
In some cases, your company will not display, and you’ll need to create a listing for you to claim it. Make sure to fill out all the fields to get the most accurate listing possible.
To activate your Google My Business profile, you’ll need to verify your business. You can do this by postcard, by phone, or through bulk verification if your businesses have ten plus locations.
Once you’ve verified your business, you’ll be able to make changes to the actual profile. You’ll be able to add your company name, images, description, services, hours of operation, and other business details. It’s important to enter all of your business information in Google My Business, so customers know more about what you do, where you are, and when they can visit you. Make sure to keep this information updated as your business changes so that your listing doesn’t fall out of favor with Google.
Now that you have your Google My Business profile setup, you need to do something that sets you apart from the other businesses that have taken similar steps. In most cases, a company will create a listing and update it with the bare minimum information. Let’s look at some ways that you can help your listing stand out amongst the rest.
Google wants to lead users to the sites that have the best reputations and provide the best user experience and service. Getting positive reviews is critical, so it’s mandatory that business owners work with clients to encourage reviews of their products and service.
When companies start down the road of local SEO, they are always compiling and recompiling data which creates duplicates. Many of these duplicates have the wrong name, address or phone number. Having these duplicates will harm your overall ranking because Google can’t tell which information is the correct or outdated. Suppressing and closing down duplicate listings online is critical for a healthy local profile.
To really get the most bang for your Google My Business profile, you will need to build citations for your business. These can be on a local business listing website, or you can use platforms such as forms such as Bright Local, MOZ Local or YEXT which will suppress duplicate listings and spread your listing information across multiple businesses listing websites.
Google My Business is one of those rare things in life that is free and adds value to your business. Creating a Google My Business profile will help your business by providing valuable insight and information. As we mentioned, creating a Google My Business profile is only step one. Constant maintenance needs to happen to really get the full benefits of the platform for your business.