A basic marketing strategy dictates that visibility is required for a business to thrive. In this modern age, an integral part of making a business visible to attract customers is having an online presence for that business. To really drive consumers to your business, you need more than just any online presence. You need a relevant presence. This is where Google My Business comes in. Here is all you must know about Google My Business and how to optimize it to get maximum business results.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a channel to drive customer engagement. It is simply a way for consumers to find your business using a simple search. And if your business matches what they are looking for, then your business shows up. This essentially creates a portfolio for you where you can show pictures of your work, opening and closing hours, your contact information, and such.
Features of Google My Business
Several useful features greatly help businesses using Google My Business. These features are:
Book an Appointment feature - Google My Business has a quick feature that takes a customer straight to a “book an appointment” page of the business in question. This smoothly guides customers where they want to go without the hassle of searching for it.
The FAQ feature - One of the most useful tools provided by Google my business is the Q and A bar. Here, customers may make inquiries about your services and you can answer these questions by logging in and replying. You even have the option to flag comments that are unnecessary or unrelated. What makes this feature ahead of the others is that it allows the owner of a business to tailor his/her product in line with what customers want or need.
Request a Quote feature - This feature allows potential customers to ask for a quote on the price of services. A business owner may also reply to these requests with answers. In a few short steps, you can complete a business transaction.
Messaging/ Call feature - To ease the flow of business, Google My Business has a feature that allows the customers to talk to the business owner. Should the customer choose, he/she can text or send a text message inquiring about specific services that the business owner may have.
How Google My Business improves SEO in the Local
Google is arguably the most used search engine in the world. It is clear that putting your business on such a powerful platform will greatly increase the flow of customers to your business.
Having a Google My Business profile puts your name on the map and makes it easier to find your business. All a person has to do is search for a related keyword that links to your business. As long as you provide all the necessary information, customers can contact you directly. Google My Business also factors in the distance when showing results for businesses. This means that the closer you are to the person looking for services like yours, the higher up your profile will appear.
How to Create an Account with Google My Business
Creating a Google My Business account is a simple and straightforward process. The steps are as follows:
1.) Set up a Google account
Since the tool is a product of Google, if you want to create a Google My Business account, then you need to have a Google account. If you already have one, then you can go ahead and sign in.
2.) Go to google.com/Business
You can search for the above text in your browser or you could search for Google My Business. Either way, you will see a search result for Google My Business. Then you click on “Manage Now”. You will find this button on the top right corner of the page.
3.) Insert your business name
In this step, you are to input your business name in the column available. There is a chance that while you are typing, other businesses pop up in the suggestion bar. If this happens, it is because your business shares the same name as theirs.
With this process, you can also check if you already have a business listing. You can add a new location to your existing Google My Business, too.
4.) Choose your business category
This is an important step that will directly affect the kind of search results you show up in. Whichever category you select will also be reflected in your Google My Business profile.
5.) Add location and Enter the address of the business
Next, you type in the address of the physical location of your business. This is assuming your business involves face to face interaction with customers. If you run a service area business then you can indicate if customers can visit your business. There is also the option to hide your address if you do not have a location where customers can see you.
After Clicking Next, you will access a page to input the location where you render your services. This is optional, but it makes it easier for your target customers to find you.
6.) Contact details
Here, you add your business contact information. This can include a phone number, an email, and even a website.
7.) Verify all you have entered
After you ensure that all your entries are correct, you can then submit your application for an account by clicking the 'finish' button. Next, you will be taken to a page to verify your mailing address. You can choose to do that right away or later. Click Next after inputting your business detail and your account is created. Now you can access Google My Business Page that manages your business.
Managing Google My Business Page
Now that you have set up your Google My Business account, Google provides a simple platform to manage the business page and optimize it for your customers.
On the left-hand side of the screen, you can access the menu. The Easy-to-use Options on the Menu helps you manage the features of your Google My Business account. This includes posts management, business information, marketing insights, reading and replying reviews, messaging, ad creation, product and service display as well as giving others access to manage your Google My Business accounts.
The Home page links you to most of the features of your account. From sharing posts to replying reviews, to editing details of the business, and including pictures and videos to your business listing, you can do so much from here.
This page helps you create and manage posts and business offers.
You can add, edit and delete any information that will appeal to your customers on this page.
Just as with most Google services, you can gain an insight as to how your Google My Business account is faring, who visits, and what they are clicking on.
Give your customers an idea of what is going on with your business through photos and videos on this page.
Here you can showcase all the available products you have in stock and let your customers purchase with ease.
From the Services page, you can include the other services rendered by your business. This ensures that relevant customers find you with ease.
Create an Ad
Creating an Ad on Google takes your business to a whole new level. The Ad creation feature makes it easy to create a business Ad right from your Google My Business account page. All it does is redirect you to your Google Ads page, where you can create a new ad campaign.
Benefits of Google My Business
Google My Business puts your business on one of the most used search engines. Using Google My Business literally puts your business on the map. Most people who search for services online do not have a particular business they are looking for. This allows you to draw such customers to your business. Using Google my business is a huge part of SEO and your efforts at driving consumers to your business will be incomplete without using it.
Google My Business allows customers who have used your business to leave comments and reviews; even rate your business. It is a known fact that services that are rated highly portray an image of trustworthiness. People will see the reviews and will be more inclined to do business with you.
This also allows a business owner to fine-tune his/her services to what is required. Customers may leave reviews and comments that indicate what is highly in demand or what will bring in more customers.
One of the ways with which Google filters results when someone searches for something is by using keywords. If a person is searching for a car repair shop, for example, and you have the requisite keywords, then you will show up in the search results whether or not your business is for car repairs.
Gives a great first impression
Google My Business serves up your business in a readable and pleasant-to-read format. It also allows you to include images and links. This means you can show potential customers your work. For instance, if you have a business in selling wedding dresses, Google My Business will allow you to have images included in your profile. These pictures could include some of your previous works, all to entice the customers.
It is free
With all the great benefits that Google My Business has, the best is that it is free. This means that the ability to boost traffic to your business will come at no cost at all. If you are skeptical of the number of customers you will get, you should feel assured. There is absolutely no loss from using Google My Business. While there are a lot of benefits to be gained, there is nothing to lose. At the very least, you do not get the inflow of customers you desire. All you have to do is tweak the settings of your Google My Business to draw customers.
Although Google My Business remains an amazing tool to promote your business. This, however, does not mean it is perfect. It has a few shortcomings and they are as follows:
Google My Business places businesses according to how highly they are reviewed. This can prove to be a problem with new businesses. It would mean that these new businesses would have to struggle to appear on search results. Customers will be more inclined to pick businesses highly rated than others.
It can be overwhelming
Searching for a service and seeing people who offer such services can be a blessing. However, in some scenarios, there may be too many of these people offering the same service. While this presents tough competition for the businesses, it makes decision-making difficult for the customers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the frequently asked questions about Google My Business, as well as their answers.
Can I still use Google My Business even though I have a business website?
Yes. Your website may give your business some visibility but not like Google My Business. Using Google My Business will greatly boost the odds of people seeing your business. You can use Google My Business and York website in conjunction. All you have to do is include a link to your website in your Google My Business profile.
Why must I verify my business?
Security is a serious issue and it is treated with top priority when using Google My Business. The reason to verify your business is to prove you are the rightful owner of the business and, as such, you have the right to operate your Google business profile.
Is there an app for Google My Business?
Yes, there is. You can configure your account any way you want on the web. There are also more intricate settings that may be used while using the app. Using these enhanced features in the app allows you to create a more distinct profile than others.
How can I obtain a business email?
You can get a business email using G Suite, another business tool from Google. Using a business email creates trust from the customer as to the legitimacy of your business.
Can I edit my previous answers?
Yes, you can. However, it is going to be indicated that the answer has been edited. The best advice is that you give a well-thought-out answer, making it as clear as possible.
In this modern-day and age, it is critical that a business must have a sort of online presence. It would be rather odd for a business to not have one. Google My Business is one of the free tools available to business owners to help them achieve the needed presence. As expected, this tool proves that Google is indispensable as a search engine. The few downsides to using the tool are far outweighed by the many benefits reaped. Primarily, it provides the one thing that anyone inquiring into the services is interested in - business growth. Using Google My Business, thus, connects you to an unlimited range of potential customers. So, if you aim to put your business out there on a global scale, you should consider Google My Business.