Google is without a doubt, the most used search engine in the world. With over 5.6 billion searches per day, appearing on the first page of every search query could go a long way for any business, be it local or online.
As a business owner or marketer, this is an opportunity you simply can’t pass up. In a highly competitive online world, searchability and discoverability will always be key.
Let’s be honest, you’re less likely to look at the second page of Google search results, would you? More often than not, you’ll only bother to look at the top three and it doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a shop to buy a new watch or the nearest restaurant to have dinner in.
If you have a local business such as those mentioned, you’d want your shop to be easily searchable because not doing so can cost you money and give your competitors a big advantage. The good news is Google has a tool that can make this happen and it’s called Google My Business.
So, what is Google My Business and why do you need it?
The simple answer is Google My Business allows you the ability to list your business location both on Google Maps and Google’s very own local search results.
What this means is you can show all the important information about your business for your prospective customers to see. This information includes your business’ contact details, website, and opening/closing times, among others.
Google has also added new features recently that can help further amplify your business’ searchability and engagement. This new feature now allows you to post links to posts or articles. You may even post links to upcoming events your business is planning to hold.
The best part? You can get all these free of charge which is a huge bonus considering the benefits you stand to gain by using this amazing tool.
As mentioned, Google My Business is an essential tool that can help you boost your business’s local presence while also improving your client engagement online. The truth is, there’s more to it than just improving presence and engagement. Below are some of the other benefits you could gain by using Google My Business.
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is crucial when it comes to anything online. For a local business, the goal is to appear in the top three search results that you’ll see if you do a search for businesses near you as an example.
You’ll usually see this list appear just below the Google Maps picture showing the businesses that correspond to your search criteria. This list is made up of businesses that are listed under Google My Business.
So, what does this mean?
This means that getting your business listed under Google My Business already gives you a huge advantage. You just need to make sure that everything is completely filled out, optimized, and verified.
Can you imagine how competitive your business can get if your business is listed compared to when it’s not? It’s an opportunity you can’t afford to miss.
Gone are the days when people use the yellow pages to find a certain business. Nowadays, people use their smartphones and apps like Google Maps to find what they’re looking for.
This is one of the reasons why you should get your business listed under Google My Business. By adding your physical address to the information your customers will see online, you are helping them find your business faster and easier.
Whether they’re driving or on foot, the directions Google provides will lead them to your doorstep. This is how you convert online viewers to paying customers because when it comes to anything online, the business that makes things easier always wins.
We know full well how powerful reviews can get. It’s almost comparable to the good old “word of mouth.”
As a paying customer, you want to make sure that you’re going to get your money’s worth and that you’ll not be wasting your time. This is the reason why most people tend to check out reviews first before trying a certain service.
According to dropshipping company Oberlo, 9 out of 10 consumers consult online reviews before making a purchase. This is not surprising considering the high level of confidence and trust people have in fellow consumers.
It’s like getting a recommendation from a friend or a family member. If more people trust a product or service, it must really be that good. Knowing that people found them satisfying gives you confidence that it would live up to your standards too.
Online reviews serve as social proof too. The more positive reviews you have, the more people will likely avail of your services.
We all know how crucial communication is when it comes to building relationships with customers. Getting to have a dialogue with customers can be crucial to the success of any business.
This is one of the opportunities Google My Business has to offer because it allows you to respond to every customer review your business may acquire. This is big considering how it has the potential to turn negative reviews into positive ones.
One can’t underestimate the huge impact one positive (or negative, for that matter) review can have on a business’s reputation. A lot of people rely on your reviews when it comes to their buying decisions.
How you respond to these reviews will give potential customers an idea about how you treat your customers as well as the benefits they will get by getting into a relationship with you.
More than anything, reviews can be a good research tool you can use to study your customers’ behavior. It can give you insight into what turns them on, what ticks them off, and what kind of products and services they usually go for.
This will allow you to modify your marketing strategy as well as the products and services you offer so they’d satisfy your customer’s needs even more.
So, how exactly do you set up a Google My Business Page for your business? The first and perhaps, the most important step is to claim your business listing.
With its massive database of listed businesses, chances are, Google already has one available for yours. Just do a Google search and once it displays all the results and shows all the information relevant to your business, you’ll see an option that says “Own this Business?”
Select that option, sign in to your Gmail account, and choose “Manage Now.” You can then confirm that you are the verified owner or representative of your business either via phone, email, or postcard.
If you find that your business isn’t listed yet, you can always create a new one using the following steps.
Click “Start Now” after signing in to the Google account associated with your business.
Provide all the basic information Google will ask for like your business name as well as your location. There are a few location settings you may need to consider should your business fall under a specific category.
If your business doesn’t have a physical storefront or you operate on a delivery-only basis, you may choose the option that says “I deliver goods and services to my customers.”
If your business operates from your home and you don’t wish for your location to be listed, you may choose the “Hide my address (it’s not a store)” option so Google won’t display your full address.
For the “Select a Service Area” option, make sure to be as precise as you possibly can when it comes to the information you provide because this will determine your search relevancy. If your service only covers a particular city, then be specific instead of using an entire state as your service area.
The next option is for the Business Category which needs to be as clearly defined as possible. This is because the vaguer the information you provide, the less likely your business will appear in searches relevant to the type of service you provide.
The good news is Google provides hundreds of possible business categories you can choose from. All you need to do is find the one that perfectly suits the type of service you provide.
Fill out and provide all the important information that will help potential customers easily find your business. Below are some of them.
And there you have it. Your business listing should be up and ready once you’ve provided all the information required. Your business should now be more competitive because you will likely appear in search results potential customers make.
Making people aware of your business as well as the products and services it offers has never been this easy. While the good old word of mouth may no longer be applicable with the internet and social media upon us, you definitely have the next best thing by having a Google My Business Listing.
All that’s needed is due diligence and strategy to convert online viewers to paying customers because Google My Business already comes with everything you need to lead people to your doorstep.
Looking for more tips to help boost your business? Check out our blog post to learn about the best digital marketing tools.
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