Google My Business is the premier place for local businesses that want to be found by their target audience. Many consumers use Google to search for product retailers and service providers in their area. For most people, Google has supplanted the Yellow Pages and other local marketing methods from a previous generation. However, business owners who aren’t tech savvy or who lack time to set things up properly may be tempted to skip creating a GMB profile. Last week, Google announced new features that may make it easier for small businesses to get started with Google My Business.
Google has a plethora of products that can help small businesses reach their target audience. It’s good to have a lot of options, but it can be overwhelming for small companies that are trying to decide where they should start. To coincide with International Small Business Day last week, Google introduced a new website, Google for Small Business.
As Kim Spalding, Google’s Global Product Director for Small Business Ads, explained in a recent blog post, “Today is International Small Business Day—and many of us are supporting small businesses in our communities by paying a special visit to a local coffee shop or neighborhood restaurant. For my team, we’re doing our part to help small business owners with the launch of Google for Small Business, a new Grow with Google initiative to help you find the right Google tools and services to reach your business goals.”
Besides providing access to the latest news and updates from the search giant, this site will help small business owners craft personalized plans to meet their business goals. Users will answer a few questions about their website, their business, and the goals they wish to achieve. Using these answers, Google for Small Business will generate a personalized plan that highlights services offered by the company (e.g., PPC ads) that can be used to accomplish those goals.
The personalized plans are based on answers to questions such as whether the business is online, offline a hybrid, and its selected goal to either stand out online, reach more customers, or work more efficiently. As one might assume, the suggestions the company gives are a combination of their free services as well as their paid services. Besides creating a GMB profile, local businesses may be encouraged to set up a YouTube channel or to try using G Suite.
Google even plans to take this show on the road. The company says they plan to host free, local workshops to help business owners understand how to get the most out of their services. It’s also an excellent way for Google to engage with their target audience and to reduce the volume of small business marketing misconceptions that have spread across the internet.
Though these tools and workshops are helpful, they don’t reduce the amount of work that needs to be done to create an effective online marketing campaign. Small business owners may want to think of this new site as a place to go for recommendations that can be implemented by the marketing team.
For more recent news about Google, read this article that analyzes the claims made by the Wall Street Journal that millions of fake profiles are hurting companies on Google My Business.