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What is Google My Business and how can it help boost my business?

Google has become a leviathan that can make or break your business. That being said, they launched a fascinating thing that is exclusive only for businesses and their promotion, and if you play your cards right, can be a brilliant tool for getting the right customers on-board. Here, we try to do the same by answering all of the general questions surrounding the topic and especially the questions that are present on Quora so that by the time you finish reading this, you can understand, What is Google My Business and how can it help boost my business?

1. Difference between Google Places and Google Local

The primary benefit of having a listing on Google is that you can reach a larger consumer base by creating a virtual presence. You can create a business related account on Google and provide information about your business and have your business listed on Google Maps. Now, this process of listing your business can be done in various ways through Google, and they are not very different from each other. All the different services provided by Google to create a business listing on Google Maps are basically the same and more like upgrades on the previous method. That is the case with Google Places and Google Local as well.
Google Places is the simplest form of getting your business listed on Google Maps. You simply have to open an Account and fill in the required information about your business and get it verified through phone or via mail. This creates a listing on Google Maps whereby the Name oof your business with basic details such as operation hours, phone number, address are give.
Google Local is more like an upgrade of this system. In addition to creating a listing of your business, it gives you certain social tools to expand your reach. Businesses with a Google+ Local Accounts are able to get reviews, ratings, +1’s and can make connections with other businesses as well.
This addition of social tools is the main difference between the two. However, both of them still work and businesses must chose one according to their needs instead of simply rejecting Google Places for it being too simple.

2. How can I set up alerts for Google places reviews of my clients' businesses?

As important as creating a Google listing is becoming nowadays for local businesses to gain a bigger clientele, it is equally important for them to stay updated in terms of the information they provide. In addition to that, it is also important for businesses to keep track of customer reviews in order to fix what needs fixing and promote the good reviews. Checking customer reviews each and every day and keeping track of them and even replying to them can be confusing. What it needs is proper management.
So, to manage them properly, Google allows businesses to set up alerts to notify them whenever a review about their business. Setting up an alert is also a very easy method. The first thing to remember is that you can get all the help from Google My Business website’s help section.
Now, to set up an alert, you need to do the following:

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Select which way you want to receive your notification, whether you want them on your mobile or via email. Once you have selected that, complete the steps as provided by Google Support.

For Email Notifications:

  • Sigh into Google My Business.
  • Go to Settings,
  • Select your email on which you want notifications and your preferred language
  • Check on all boxes of the kind of notifications that you want.

For Mobile Notifications:

  • Open the Google My Business App.
  • Select your listing
  • Then select menu, go to settings, then notifications.
  • Check all the kinds of notifications you wish to receive.

3. How do I get my business listed on Google Local?

Getting a business listing on Google Local is becoming very popular these days because it is a very useful tool for businesses. It helps businesses gain a wider customer base by advertising their services. Creating your own business listing is very simple process and anyone can create their business listing by following these steps:

Step 1: Go to the Google My Business page by searching on your web browser.
Step 2: The Google My Business homepage will open. Click on Start Now on this page.

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Step 3: Enter your desired name of business on the following page and click next.

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Step 4: Enter the location details of your business as asked and click Next.

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Step 5: The next page will show you related businesses in your area and ask if any of them is yours. Click on the option that fits you and click Next
Step 6: The next page will ask you about the kind of services your business provides. Select the applicable one and click Next.
Step 7: Provide your contact information relating to your business like, your contact number and your website on the following page and then click Next.

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Step 8: Lastly, verify the information that you have provided by selecting any of the given methods. Your listing will be put up on Google Search Results only after it has been verified.
Google does not publish any unverified business listings. In addition to this, it is important to make sure that your listing is in adherence of Google guidelines.

4. How do I get my business listed on Google?

Getting your business listed on Google is getting increasingly popular nowadays since it helps businesses spread a word about their services and attract more customers. The process of creating your own business listing is very simple and anyone can create their business listing by following these steps:

Step 1: Go to the Google My Business page through this link https://www.google.com/business/
Step 2: The Google My Business page will open up. Click on the Start Now tab at the bottom left.

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Step 3: Enter your Business Name and click Next

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Step 4: Enter your location details on the page that follows. If you provide a delivery option to your customers, check the box and then click Next.

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Step 5: The page will show you related businesses in the area that you put in and ask if any of them is yours. There is also a ‘none of these’ option if none of the listings shown are your business. Select the option that matches your details and click Next.
Step 6: The next page will ask you what kind of service you provide. Select what service your business provides and then click Next.
Step 7: On the next page, you will be asked to provide your contact information, your business contact number and your website (if you have one). Provide the required information and click on Next.

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Step 8: You will be asked to verify your information to create a listing. Click on Continue to verify. No listing is created without verification.
Once your business has been verified, your listing will be created on Google.

5. How do you submit your Google Local for Multiple Cities?

Creating a Google Places account is a popular way of creating a virtual presence of your business on Google Search Engine by providing basic information about your business and creating a listing on Google Maps. It is done to make your business known to a larger number of people thereby making it possible to grow your business by attracting a larger consumer base.
Creating a business listing on Google is a very simple process. However, if you have multiple locations in different cities, managing various accounts can be a daunting task as they need to be continuously updated with information to keep you at the top. So for businesses which have multiple locations, there are options to manage all your locations through a single account.
For those businesses that have stores in more than 10 different cities, you can take help of Google Bulk Location Management tool. This will allow you to manage several locations through a single account. This also means that you do not need to separately ask for verification of each and every location. Instead, there is an option where you can request for a bulk verification of all your locations.

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In other cases, in order to be among the top results, the best way is to have a separate address and phone number listed of all locations to increase your chances of being in the search result. For this, you may need to create different accounts and manage them separately.

6. How many people use Google maps?

Google Maps, something we all have heard of and probably have used sometime or the other in some way to find our destination or reach it. The capability of Google maps to navigate the path to our destination is no less than a God sent especially when you need to be some place new! There are so many things all around, businesses functioning in such small places that it would be frustrating trying to find them if we did not have Google Maps.
No wonder the service has gained so much popularity and so quickly! By creating the Google Maps App, Google has given us the ability to track our way on commute. Everyone has a smartphone now and thus, everyone is capable of using Google services on the go. According to US App News, There are about 64.5 Million users of the Google Maps app in USA alone leaving behind Apple Maps which are still at 42 Million ( http://geoawesomeness.com/the-us-mobile-app-report-google-maps-app-64-5m-users-apple-maps-42m/ ). This study declared that Google Maps is the 6th Most Used App of all time, with Facebook at number 1 and Apple Maps landing at the 9th position. A recent presentation in London revealed that Google Maps has a base of 1 Billion Google Maps users per month! (https://www.gpsbusinessnews.com/Google-Maps-1-Billion-Monthly-Users_a4964.html ).
The Report suggested that about 41% of Android users around the world user Google Maps services. However, the Google Maps service is not restricted only to Android users. The Google Maps service does also run on iOS, which makes even a certain amount of iOS users a Google Maps user.

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7. How to verify a business on GMB without Postcards?

GMB or Google my business is a service provided by Google which can be used by business owners to create a business listing and be shown on Google Maps. This service is helpful to businesses as it allows them to be viewed by a larger consumer base and eventually gain more business from people who previously did not know about the business. Consumers can even rate and review the services provided by a business owner which will help him attract more customers. While searching for a business service, people do read reviews to be sure of what to expect from a business.
Creating a listing on Google My Business is easy, but the requirement of Google to verify your address by sending a postcard can be an issue to some businesses. For example, certain parts of the world like the Dominican Republic do not have a well established postal service, making it impossible to get any postcards. The idea of sending a postcard is just that when a business gives an official business address to Google in order to be listed, Google sends them a postcard as a means to verify is the business actually physically exists at that location.
Verifying your business without a postcard is extremely tricky and nearly impossible. Google gives no idea as to how businesses can verify themselves without a postcard. It merely says ‘selected businesses can be verified over phone’ but does not tell which businesses. However, some people have tried creating a listing on other websites like Yelp and gotten a Google listing without postcard verification due to that. This isn’t a sure shot method but can be tried.

8. My verified Google+ page is not showing in Google Search Result, what do I do?

While creating a business listing on Google is increasing day by day, there also are a growing number of cases where people with verified Google+ pages are unable to see their page in the search results. This could be due to various reasons.

  1. The most common reason why this can happen is because often businesses that have created their listing, can immediately after being verified or pretty soon after that before getting their listing published, change or edit some information about their business. If you do this, the verification process needs to be done again in order to be published on Google.
  2. Another common reason is that even though your business may be verified, it may be against certain guidelines provided by Google. The guidelines list is very long, and you need to make sure that your business listing is not against any rules or is breaking any rules. Observing the guidelines provided by Google is an essential to have your listing shown in the search results.
  3. Apart from these two, another reason why your listing may not be shown could be that your listing has been suspended by Google. To confirm this, you can try logging into your business account and it would say ‘suspended’ if the case is so. The reason of suspension is not given by Google to a business owner and it is up to you to understand what caused the suspension.

These are the most common reasons why your listing is not being shown n the search results even after being verified.

9. What do you think of Google My Business Listings and Reviews?

Google My Business listings are a very beneficial service provided by Google. It is not only helpful for businesses but even for consumers. When you are in need of something for the first time and need to find the best business provider for that need or one whose services are within your budget, a Google search is amazingly helpful. It not only lets you know your available options but also gives you access to user reviews and ratings to better help you decide which business’s services you want to take.
While it is very helpful, in my opinion, it is not completely advisable to make your decision solely on the basis of Google ratings and reviews. The simple reason being, anyone can review and rate on Google, unlike systems like yelp, there is no peer review basis for any Google rating or review. As such, various businesses create different accounts themselves or ask family and friends to write good reviews and give a good rating to the business so that it would look like a good business and attract more consumers. It is very commonly done and is one reason why one should not have complete faith on Google ratings. Even the crappy businesses can get good ratings by asking their friends and family to give them great reviews.
So while deciding on a business provider, it is advisable to look for reviews on other platforms as well and not just on Google Listings.

10. What is Google Local Listing?

When you search for a business in a city for example, Psychologists in Delhi or Psychologists, Delhi; you see a whole list of Psychologists in Delhi and their locations marked on Google Maps. This list is known as Google Local Listing. It is the list of local businesses for a particular area, which will be the top results when a person searches for them on Google. You can say that it is the digital equivalent of a yellow pages book. It contains the Name of the Business, The Address of the Business and a Phone Number to contact the business on. It also usually contains the Opening and Closing Time of the business. The list is usually shown on Google Maps to indicate the exact location of the business, making it easier for you to reach the place.

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Creating a Listing on Google is very easy and recommended for all businesses to help grow your business. Creating your own listing can be done by making an account on the Google Local Business Centre and filling out all the required information about the business and verifying the same.
A listing of Google Local Listing is usually made by business owners as a marketing strategy to attract a larger customer base. People not living in the area of business also get to know about the business. The Businesses listed on Google Local Listing also have ratings and customer reviews which help new customers to decide whose services they choose to take. It is a time saving method of making your business known to millions of people.

11. What is Reserve with Google?

Google has partnered with Appointy and allows businesses like gyms, spas, fitness centres and the like to have their listing on Google. Not just this, with Google reserve, people can actually reserve or book an appointment to these establishments. Though this service is not yet available throughout India, it will shortly be expanded and hopefully reach all parts of India soon.
What makes it different from a Google listing is that the primary businesses that can gain advantage from this Google platform are mainly just Gyms, Spas, Salons and other similar ones; whereas on Google listing, All Businesses can create their listing. Google Reserve would also allow customers to book appointments which, is not a feature of Google Listing which only lets you know the contact details and addresses of businesses. Google Business Listing is just like a discovering method while Google Reserve lets you take more action than just browse. A Google Reserve Listing will actually allow businesses to grow. Not only will a business be searched but will gain more customers with the help of Google as well.
Creating a listing on Google not only is beneficial but is also free. A business owner simply needs to create an account with Google Reserve and with the appointment partner, (Appointy, which again has no account costs) and can easily get listed and start engaging customers.
The program is still new, having just been launched in December, and is hoping to grow and expand into various areas still. It has only been launched on an experimental basis in three cities worldwide but will expand into other parts of the world shortly.

12. What is the best Keyword Ranking Checker Tool for Google Places?

Local business listing compiles up all the business of a particular area and systematically lays it down for you like Thanksgiving dinner a dinner table. If you are looking to promote your business or else looking for a specific business I would suggest the following:

Keywords are an essential feature of any SEO description. They are what make your business stay at the top of Google Search Results. While during the early years, keywords were the sole criteria of determining search results, in today’s more sophisticated technological era, not just keywords but the website content are the most important feature. This means that, a website must use keywords that pertain to its business and content only. Earlier, businesses would use keywords that were in no way related to their services just to stay at the top of all search results. But now, this is not so easily possible. Google Business Guidelines clearly have a rule against using unnecessary keywords.
This requires the need for a keyword ranking checker tool. There are numerous keywords for each business that can be used in the SEO, but to remain on the top, it is essential to know which ones are the most high ranked. There also are, a lot of rank checking tools available that will all give you different results, thus it is important to know which rank checker is reliable.
Here’s a list of the best Keyword Rank Checking Tools available:

  1. SERPS: This is the best keyword rank checker tool available

2. SemRush: This tool not only allows you to check ranking, but also providers other services as well. It is an all-in-one kinda Marketing tool.:

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3. Google Adwords: This allows you to select the correct keywords by showing the top resultsand even letting you compare keywords.

13. What is the biggest flaw of Google Maps?

Google Maps is among the top 10 most used Apps of all time. People rely largely on it for reaching new places and finding previously unknown places. While it is an amazing app that can take you anywhere you require, there certainly are some flaws in it which require fixing.
The biggest flaw of Google maps is that it is not updated very regularly. For example, if you need to reach your destination, Google maps will tell you the way through the path that it knows, even if that road is temporarily not accessible or permanently closed. It would not know very quickly about the non functionality of a road causing you loss of time and inconvenience. You would need to find an alternative route and then start navigating again. Google Maps does not keep up with the changes in routes to reach a particular destination.
Another flaw is that there often is more than one place with similar or same names, so unless you know a little more about the business you are searching for, it gets difficult to find the right location on Google Maps. For example, there can be a flower shop as well as a bakery by the same name. So unless you have a little more clue regarding the address of the business that you are looking for, there is a chance you will be led to the wrong destination. It also often happens that Google Maps show listing for businesses that are no longer functioning at a particular address, which again causes loss of time and inconvenience.

14. What is your review of Google Places?

Google Places is one of the most common services provided by Google. It is a service aimed at benefitting local businesses by providing them with a business listing on Google which would put the business on Google Maps. This would create a virtual existence of the business, enabling possible consumers to find out about the business and contact the business with the help of details provided on the listing.
To create a listing on Google Places, Businesses must create an account on Google My Business.

Click on Start Now and follow the instructions. The process of creating an account is very easy. After you have created your account, your physical existence at the address you have provided needs to be confirmed. This can be done either through a phone call or by mail. Once Google is convinced about the existence of your business as a physical store, it will create your listing on Google Maps.
In my opinion, this is a simple and good way to begin. Google Local is an upgrade to this system which must be utilized, but for beginners, creating a listing on Google Places first is a better option. Once you get a hang of how things work, you can go ahead and upgrade your listing to Google Local which will give you additional features such as enable reviews and ratings on your business which cannot be done on Google Places. People who are not as tech savvy can manage Google Places very easily as well, thus making it the perfect option for them.

15. Where is the best place to generate leads for a local business?

Lead Generation is a marketing and advertising strategy to engage maximum consumer interest in a business by providing information about a business. It is a very commonly used technique and in today’s day and age of technology, a necessity for businesses that create an online listing. It is a method that helps them create a buzz about the business and stay among the top search results on search engines like Google.
Online Lead generators are basically the internet version of telemarketing or phone call advertisement. Various platforms can be used to generate ea lead, which causes business owners, confusion as to which one would be the best for their business.
So, here’s a list of the best places to generate leads for a local business:

  1. JustDial.com: This lead generating website gained quick popularity, and rightly so. This website is the top rated lead generating website as it is trusted by consumers. JustDial has a reputation of providing good and reliable information about the businesses listed in it.
  2. Sulekha.com: This is a very old website for lead generation. It is a one stop listing directory for all businesses. It allows all sorts of businesses to create their advertisement and promotes them as required.
  3. Quikr: Another website that offers all kinds of businesses to find a market. Whether your are a small business or a big one, Quikr helps promote your business by generating leads that will help you get a larger client base.

These are the most commonly relied upon lead generating websites for local businesses and are surely worth a try.

17. Why Google suspends a local listing?

A Local Listing on Google is made by businesses to make their business known to a larger crowd with the help of Google. A Local Business Listing on Google is of a lot of help but at the same time, Google has the rights to suspend your listing if you do not follow its guidelines. However, the list is too long and it is possible to overlook or forget about a few guidelines.
So here are the top reasons why Google will suspend your Listing:

  1. Forwarding Link: Google guidelines are clearly against containing forwarding links and business that do have a forwarding link in their URL, have a very high chance of getting their listing suspended.
  2. More than one verified listing: Google Local listing guidelines clearly state that, there cannot be created more than one verified listing for one business location. i.e.; if you have branches of your business in different places, you can create separate listings for each of them, but not more than one for one location.
  3. Unnecessary keywords: It is known that your keywords help you be among the top results. But if you include keywords that do not relate to your business as such, Google will suspend your listing.
  4. No physical existence: A business without a physical store is suspended from Google listings.

Suspension could be temporary or permanent, in a temporary suspension, you are unable to manage your listing but it is still shown on Google maps and its ranking remains unaffected. In a permanent listing, your listing is removed from maps.

16. Which one is worth investing in more: Google Places or Yelp.

Google Places and Yelp are both the most commonly known business listing sites/services. Everyday more and more businesses are creating their listing on either one or both of these services. But for those who are creating a business listing for the first time, deciding which one would be better for them to invest in can be a daunting task. Weighing out the pros and cons of both of these is essential. Maybe this will help while deciding which one is worth investing in more:
While both of them are very popular, it cannot be denied or even contested that Google Places is much more popular than Yelp. The simple reason being, Google Places services are available worldwide whereas Yelp services are mostly only contained within America. Because of this, Yelp is not known to all whereas a larger crowd is familiar with Google Places.
Another thing is, Yelp promotes peer review comments and ratings, whereas Google places allows all reviews and ratings, thereby increasing your chances of getting rated and reviewed for your services.
The number of people using Yelp is much smaller and Yelp is a much more developed system, because of which, the Yelp user radius mostly consists of tech savvy and the more sophisticated population whereas Google Places is simpler and used by all, even the tech handicapped.
So investing in either one of these depends largely on the kind of business that you own and the kind of consumer base you are targeting. Your business listing requirements will be the ultimate determinant of which is a better investing platform for you.

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