If you are a small business owner and currently not listed on Google My Business, you may be losing out on a good chunk of local business. As a matter of fact, up to 76% of local mobile searches result in same-day in-store visits. Online retailers are undoubtedly a tough competition, but if you own a brick-n-mortar shop, it’s in your best interest to take advantage of Google My Business.
Google My Business is free and offers a range of features that consumers use to compare businesses and make purchasing decisions every day. Not only is it convenient, but it provides clarity for users when they are researching local shops that you are still in business. Unfortunately, many of the temporary shut-downs due to Covid-19 have become permanent, resulting in a lot of uncertainty about the status of small businesses. Don’t let users make assumptions that you are either out of business or otherwise nonexistent.
Here’s everything you should know to get started:
Overview of Google My Business
Google My Business is a free marketing tool that makes it easy for customers to find information about your business. It shows your basic business information when searched for. It all sounds very simple, but taking the small step to provide essential information, like hours and website links, is sometimes the difference between making a sale or not.
Your presence on Google Search and Maps will allow you control over your business details, to showcase your photos, and engage with customers. While this is clearly beneficial for brick-n-mortar businesses, it’s also important for service or home-based businesses because you can still list your details without a physical address. Here’s a great resource for any questions you may have about Google My Business.
Reason #1 Visibility
By creating a Google My Business listing, you are boosting your visibility in the search results, giving you an increased chance of more traffic and free advertising. One goal that marketers strive for is to make it into the Google Local Pack. This showcases three business listings that appear under the map when you run a localized search, they’re very prominent, so make sure you take the steps to appear here. For highly competitive industries, like restaurants in a tourist area, it may prove to be more difficult, but if you keep working to improve your Google presence with targeted keywords and positive reviews, it’ll pay off.
We’ve established that you can share your basic business info, but you can also share news, updates, announcements, promotions, and more. Whether you want to raise awareness for a new product or drive more traffic to your website, your customizable call to action will help you meet your goals.
Reason #2 Real-Time Interaction
Among the features of Google My Business is real-time interaction. This feature stands out because it’s a great way for your business to stand out. Users often want a question answered immediately, especially if they are in the market with the intent to purchase. With Google’s messaging feature, you can chat directly with potential customers. This feature allows you to send a customized automated welcome message, share photos, track your response time, and save conversations. If you enable this feature, be ready to monitor it. You may find that you need to edit your business listing if you are receiving the same type of questions about basic information. If not, include some clarity in your automated welcome message.
Reason #2 Manage Reputation
It’s reported that 93% of customers read online reviews before buying a product. Google My Business provides your business an outlet for customer reviews and feedback, and not to mention, Google also uses reviews as a ranking factor. Users are more likely to select businesses that have more reviews, which is associated with credibility. If you are active in responding to reviews, especially the negative ones, you can build trust with users and boost your appeal. This is an easy way to receive feedback and make necessary changes.
How to Set Up Google My Business
Google makes the process of setting up a Google My Business listing simple. Creating the listing involves the following steps:
- Log into, or create, your Google Account
- Click this link and select “start now”
- Enter your business name and address
- Modify your delivery area, if applicable
- Choose your business category
- Add phone number or website
- Verify your business (there are several methods to choose from)
Users trust Google. It’s been a credible source of information for just about anything. Going through the simple process to verify your business information is likely to result in increased sales. You’ll want to update your profile, check in on your reviews, as well add recent photos. This is a great way to get in front of as many potential customers as possible, and it’s free, which means more time for small business owners to focus on other areas of their business with less worrying about their marketing and marketing budget.