Online visibility is a must in today’s modern business set-up, where internet presence is as vital, if not more so, as the actual brick and mortar store. Every day, thousands of people would Google a type of service or store near them. Restaurants, specialty shops, and local professionals such as lawyers, doctors, dentists, even mechanics and plumbers are just some of the products and services we need on a daily basis. Consumers already have the intention to avail of a service, or a product. It’s just a matter of finding the most suitable location for them, or even just to know where to start checking things out.
And this is where a Google My Business account would serve you well. Potential clients can easily see what your business can offer. Everything a client would want to know initially: business name, location, website, operating hours, photos and customer reviews.
Google My Business is completely free, user-friendly and one of the easiest way to verify your business existence, thus boosting your credibility in the eyes of your target market.
Many advantages of Google My Business for local businesses
Increased visibility both online and offline – As the Google My Business focuses on location-based strategy, local businesses would directly feel its effectiveness: increased actual store visits and online inquiries. Google My Business SEO ensures your online presence across the Google search engine, including Google Search, Google Maps and Google+. If your business name is within the local search, there is higher conversion rate or sales.
It gives your potential customers an overview of what your business is about by giving a brief background or history, and relevant photos and / or videos. If you already have a company website, Google My Business is a great complementary tool.
Customer reviews can make our break your business. Clients can leave reviews and comments in Google My Business, and it is highly advisable that you respond to them. Customer interaction is always one of the best ways to promote your business, generate repeat sales and increase word of mouth referrals and sales. Conversely, responding professionally, constructively and with empathy to bad reviews can salvage your company’s image.
How to set up a Google My Business account & create a listing?
Firstly, check that your business doesn’t already have a Google My Business listing, which might be the case if you’ve been using Google for business for some time now. If so, you’d just need to claim and edit as necessary.
Go to Google My Business page and fill up the necessary details. If someone else is using the business name, it will inform you of it and the next steps. Make sure all details are complete and accurate. Choose the most suitable business category so you have higher chances in the search.
It is recommended to add photos to your listing, like your business logo, storefront and store ambience, a sample of your products or service. According to Google studies, this translates to higher inquiries and subsequent Google Map searches.
For better visibility or search optimization, you’ll need to verify your listing. Otherwise, Google will not put it up on the web. One of the recommended ways to do this is via post mail and should take less than a week. Google will send a postcard to the business address and you’ll have to enter the enclosed verification code. Only then are you all set and good to go.
For multiple business locations, you can manage location groups so it is easier to manage and organize in Google My Business. To do that, sign in, click “Manage Locations”, click “Create location group”, enter group name, click “Create”, add locations. If you have more than 10 businesses, you can also opt for bulk verification.
Setting up a Google My Business account is one of the easiest and cheapest way to promote your business, increase online visibility and boost sales.