There are a few basic activities you can do to promote your business online and make your business more visible to potential customers. One of these is signing up to Google My Business. It’s free to add your listing and gives you much greater control over how your business appears on searches and in Google Maps.
What is Google My Business?
Most searches on the internet in the UK are carried out using Google. The Google My Business service is a free business listing which gives you the opportunity to give searchers vital information about your business, show them where it is located via a map, when your opening times are, what special offers you have and how to contact you.
The listing also allows people to review your business which helps potential customers decide whether they want to engage with you or not.
When Google users undertake a search for a local business, they receive listings of companies along with a map showing their location near you, their star rating, address and an image. It appears at the top of the organic page results and is highly visible.
Who is Google My Business for?
It’s for bricks and mortar businesses that have at least some direct contact with its customers. You might, for example, be a local builder or a restaurant or bar, a legal firm, shop or retail store. Perhaps you’re a local chiropractor, gym, yoga studio or charity. It is also very useful for businesses who serve other businesses like accountants, security companies, marketing agencies and so on. If you run a business, big or small, you should consider utilising the tools that Google My Business has to offer!
What Features Does It Have?
Google My Business is more than just a basic address and contact information listing. It has features which can help your business stand out in the search results. You can include a 750 character description of your company. This gives you the opportunity to create an eye-catching opening to your listing. You can also add images and videos to your listing. Listings with images and videos get a lot more traction and adding them is a great way to make your content a lot more visual and appealing to potential customers.
There is an area where you can enable public listing of Q&As for your business to further help potential customers. This is useful if you offer a service where the same questions come up again and again. Customers can also use your Google My Business listing to click through to your website, book appointments or make reservations.
You can manage visitor expectations by adding your opening hours. These can be updated for events, like during the festive season, with temporary opening times.
Google reviews of your business are vital! We cannot stress enough how important gaining reviews are for your organic positioning. Through the My Business dashboard, you can manage and respond to these reviews. It is always advisable to respond to reviews, you will want to thank positive reviewers for taking the time to leave a great review for your business, but perhaps, more importantly, you will want to address any negative reviews in a positive manner.
In this section of your listing, you can add products with links where the user can click through to buy the product. You can add update posts, which is great for sharing your blogs and news, be aware these only last for 7 days and in this section, you can also add offers and events. Explore this area, you will find it is well worth utilising!
Here you can list all the services you offer with a short description for each one.
You can activate the Google messaging service allowing potential customers to contact you directly with their enquiry before they even land on your website! Making that journey to enquiry much shorter.
You can even create a website in your Google My Business, which is updated every time you add content to your My Business listing. This free service is great for startups that don’t yet have a website to direct traffic to.
Google also provides simple and easy to understand analytics through My Business Insights which includes how people got to your listing and what they did once they found it. Whilst not as comprehensive as Google Analytics, this snapshot data does give you a good indication of how your business is performing online compared to others like you.
How to Get Started
It’s simple to add your business to Google My Business. A simple listing can be created in just a few minutes. All you need to do is sign up and then verify your business and you are ready to go.
The mistake most business make is simply filling in the initial details and forgetting about their listing. Don’t treat this as a mere box-ticking exercise. You should be looking to optimise your entry with the right content, update it regularly with posts and add new and engaging images or video whenever you can. Encouraging customers to leave reviews (and replying to them) can also boost your reputation and bring in more business.
Done well, a Google My Business listing should make your business more visible to potential customers. If you are searching for an uncomplicated way to make your business stand out from the crowd, this is it! It’s free and easy to maintain so what are you waiting for? Go explore Google My Business and increase your business visibility!