Have you ever searched for a local business either on your computer or on your phone? Who hasn’t right?
When you do this, of course, there’s a lot of websites that Google serves up. But especially in the case of local businesses there’s more. There are the businesses pulled from Google’s Google My Business listings. Google My Business, which used to be called Google Places, is essentially a geo-located database of local business listings, which contains all the information a potential customer or client might want when searching for a business like that. Information such as address and phone number, hours of operation, a basic description of the business, and even reviews of the business. (In a way, this is Google’s answer to Yelp.)
Getting your business correctly listed with pertinent information on Google My Business is extremely important for several reasons.
People are currently looking for you, and they can’t find you
Your competitors are already on Google My Business
Your competitors (or anyone really) can alter the information about your business without you knowing about it!
(Yep, item #3 is pretty scary, but it happens all the time! Your hours get modified. Information get changed. And more.)
Bottom line is this. Potential customers and clients are already looking for you online and on their phones. Why not make life easier for them, and more profitable for you? Get your business listed correctly on Google My Business! I can help you with this. My information is at the beginning and end of this report. Contact me!
How Google My Business Works and Why You Want to Be There!
Whenever anyone searches for your business, or for anything related to the business niche you’re in through Google Search or Google Maps, they will normally see, right at the top of the search results, listings that are pulled from Google My Business. If you haven’t claimed your listing, or even if you have, but you haven’t filled out your profile sufficiently, you’re losing business! Potential customers/clients/ patients are trying to find you, but you’re either not there, or your listing isn’t selling them on calling you instead of your competitors.
With your Google My Business listing, you not only show up in the search results of Google Search and Maps, but you also have the ability to add information about your business that will entice people to reach out to you and consider doing business with you. Your Google My Business listing isn’t a one-time thing that you do and forget. It’s not static! Smart business owners and managers consistently update their listings with pertinent information about their business…changes in hours for holidays, new products or services, new locations, discounts and various coupons. When you periodically update your listing, you’re showing people who find you (potential customers) that you’re a thriving enterprise. People like to do business where other people are already doing business. In today’s terms, it’s called social proof! An active, lively Google My Business listing is worth far more than the money and time it takes to create it and maintain it.
It gets better, too!
Speaking of social proof, your Google My Business listing allows your customers and potential customers to interact with you. They can ask questions and make comments. You can answer their questions and address their issues on your listing. Unlike some other social platforms, with Google My Business, you have the ability to address issues publicly, if you want. Thus, you’ll keep bad, spiteful reviews down to a minimum. Nobody expects you to be perfect. If you address issues with your customers when they’re small, you’ll keep the damage down to a minimum. Often you can turn lemons into lemonade by gaining the trust of customers who were unhappy but who now recognise that you solved whatever their problem was.
Speaking of publicly…there’s more than just your listing that you get with Google My Business!
In addition to everything else, Google also gives you a free mini-site. Now, you probably already have your own website, and you may or may not want to take advantage of Google’s free mini-site. If you do, you’ll have even more places where people can find you and learn about you and your products and services.
Another important part of Google My Business is it’s a very visual platform. The internet has moved from a text-based platform to a visual platform (think YouTube). And, that’s apparent on Google My Business. Pictures go a long way towards selling people on contacting you over your competitors. Savvy business managers post pictures of products, their workspace, employees, and more. This gives potential customers/clients/patients a feeling of honesty about your business and transparency. They get to see “behind the scenes”, as it were!
So far, I’ve covered what the public sees of your Google My Business listing. Another exciting feature of Google My Business, though, is called Insights. With Google My Business Insights, you get a wealth of information about how people found your listing, what they saw, and how they interacted with it. You can use this information to dial in your listing so that it reaches more and more people, and so that it converts more of them into paying customers. In addition to the Insights you get with Google My Business, you can also hook up your listing to your Google Analytics account, thus getting even more in-depth knowledge about how people related to your business online. If you know how to interpret this information, this can be a gold mine of insight, which you can use to get more customers, and make more sales!
Although Google My Business is now open to more than just retail businesses, you can see that consumer-focused retail businesses should be very interested in leveraging this platform. I’ve just scratched the surface of what you can learn about your customer behavior through Google My Business. For instance, you can learn an amazing amount about where your business is pulling from geographically. It’s all in Insights waiting for you to dive in and learn about!
I’ve helped many, many business owners and managers just like you optimise their Google My Business listing. Reach out to me for more information. Below, you’re going to see answers to a few questions I normally get from new users.
Q: Is Google My Business free to set up?
A: This much reach, power, and insight should cost a ton of money…but Google makes it free! Though, like everything in life, you do have to spend time or money to optimise your listing to ensure you stay above your competitors.
Q: What’s the different between Google My Business, Google Places, and your Google + page?
A: If you previously used Google Places or your Google + page to manage your business’s information, it’s all been updated to Google My Business. Both Google Places and your Google + dashboard are earlier incarnations of the same concept as Google My Business.
Q: Do I need a Google My Business listing if I already have a website?
A: Yes. Your Google My Business listing complements your website. Not only that, but you probably already have a listing! It may or may not be claimed, and it may or may not have accurate information. It’s probably already there, courtesy of Google. Why not claim it and optimise it, and then start using it to drive more traffic to your existing website and make your phone ring more?
Q: What if I don’t have a store front? Can I still use Google My Business?
A: Yes! You don’t even have to have a physical store! Look at this as yet another way for you to get the word out about you and your business.
Q: I’ve heard that verifying my business with Google is difficult. Is that true?
A: I don’t know your definition of difficult, but if you can get a postcard in the mail, you’re golden. If, for some reason that won’t work for you, there are several other ways to verify your business. Ask me, if this is important to you.
Claiming, optimising, and actually using your Google My Business listing is one of the most important things you can do to get more business.
Reach out to me for help! I’ve helped many, many businesses just like yours with their Google listings.
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