Google My Business for Beginners

When it comes to marketing your business and becoming more discoverable online, you think you’ve done it all. Update your website? Check. Refresh articles and added new products and services? Check. Have you even submitted your updates to Google so they appear in search results? Well, you’re off to a great start, but there is more you can do to optimize your presence on Google.

Google My Business (GMB) is a vital tool that you have at your disposal, and every business owner should set up a listing on GMB, even if you don’t have a website.

What is Google My Business?

Have you ever Googled a business and noticed their business listing looks more professional than yours? The listing might include a phone number, hours of operation, address, etc. You can achieve the same professional look for your business listing by using the free Google My Business (GMB) service. GMB is a free local marketing tool to create and manage your business listing with Google Search and Google Maps.

Why is it important?

What’s Near Me? – It’s becoming increasingly popular for people to search on Google using the phrase “near me”.  According to HubSpot, 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information and 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information. Google has become the ultimate “referrer” and GMB is the tool you use to take advantage of your listing with Google. You can control how your business is represented in Google Search and Google Maps while simultaneously increasing your chances of being “found” on Google. Once people discover your business on Google, GMB will serve up the details you provided about your business. Where can customers find you? How can they contact you? Do you have a website? What are your business hours? Do you have reviews? All of this information makes it easy for people to contact you, increasing your chances of acquiring that new customer.

GMB is the tool you use to take control of your listing with Google.

Inform Customers – You control your GMB listing so you make sure when people search for your business, they see the most accurate information. Your listing can go beyond the basic address, phone number, and business hours. You can post updates about new products or services. Many business owners are using GMB to post updates about the impact of COVID-19 on their business operations.

Credibility – Boost your business credibility with your GMB listing. According to Hootsuite, customers are 70% more likely to visit businesses with a GMB listing.

Reviews – GMB allows customers to leave reviews for your business. Once you’ve set up your GMB account, you’ll receive notices when customers leave reviews, giving you the opportunity to quickly reply to their reviews.

How to get started with Google My Business

Getting started is simple and free. You simply create and sign in to your account and then enter your business information. As part of this process, Google will verify your business. For most businesses, verification is handled via a postcard Google mails to your business.

Wait! My business is already listed on Google.

You may find Google already has a business profile for your company. No need to panic. You can claim an existing Google business profile. When you set up your Google My Business account, you’ll have the opportunity to claim an existing listing and verify you’re the business owner.

Google My Business Resources

Google does a good job with their sign-up process for GMB. If you’re looking for additional information, tips or assistance with your GMB listing then check out these resources:

The Ultimate Guide to Google My Business by HubSpot – HubSpot provides software tools and educational resources to help businesses grow.

How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing by MOZ – This article is two years old, but it’s still relevant. MOZ is an industry leader in search optimization.

Byte Outfitters LLC – As a web design and digital marketing company, we often set up GMB listings for our clients.


Kent Smith

Byte Outfitters LLC


Why you should consider buying locally

CTW Features

For some, the shop-local experience is worth paying a few dollars more, even if an online search can turn up a cheaper price on an item.

But while savings may be found if your’re only searching the price tag of a particular item, the bigger picture could sway even the most cost-conscious person of the benefits to the  “buy local” argument.  Here’s why:

Follow the money

Studies consistently show that money spent locally tends to remain in the area, says Matt Cunningham of nonprofit Civic Economics in Evanston.

His group’s most recent stats show that 52.3 percent of every dollar spent at an independent retailer remains in the local economy, and 15.8 percent of every dollar spent at a local branch of a chin retailer stays local.

Each dollar that stays close to home helps keep you and your neighbors employed and boosts the local tax base, which in turn helps fund schools and community services.  and all those factors helps support housing prices, benefiting area homeowners, says Olivia LaVecchia of the Institute for Local Self Reliance, Washington, D.C.

In contrast, when you buy online, your purchase is pulled off the shelf of a warehouse (which might be hundreds of miles away), piled into a truck and shipped, eventually arriving at your front door.

It’s difficult to estimate the local impact of the massive increase in online shopping, Cunningham says, because it depends whether warehouses are located nearby.  But even if the delivery route wasn’t long, the impact of an online purchase is significantly less than any spending in-store, he add.

The farther removed people are from seeing their actual dollars change hands, the less aware they are of the fact they are even spending money, says New York University marketing professor Priya Raghubir.

While paying in cash is more painful than using a card, there are now options that remove shoppers even further.

For example, online retailers encourage customers to register at the site, and store their shipping and credit card information.  Then the pain of even inputting a card number is eliminated, because all the purchase takes is one click to place an order.

So, if you want to enjoy picking out the perfect home furnishings without incurring a jolt when your credit card bill arrives, consider drawing up a budget and stocking your wallet with cash, Raghubir advises.

Then, head to your local shops where you can see items up close and keep spending to a comfortable level.

Lake Zurich Community Unit School District 95 – 50 Years Strong

Congratulation to LZ Community Unit School District on Celebrating 50 Years of Success!

LZ CUSD 95 50yr Anniversary Newsletter

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Schapiro Study Fact Sheet

Click image below to for a PowerPoint showing the study results

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