Let’s face it, technology is becoming an integral part of our daily lives, so much so that now we couldn’t imagine doing even menial tasks without it, like reading the news, waking up on time, or communicating with our friends. If a person wants to normally participate in society, then they have to accept that there is no running away from technology and the internet. That is a fact every serious business should know. Gone are the days of phonebooks and rolodex, now most people turn to google when looking for information about your business. This means that having an online presence is a must for any serious company.
What is Google My Business?
Interestingly enough, 97% of people find more information about a local company online than anywhere else, and the search engine the vast majority uses is Google. That’s why having an online directory that will make your business easy to find online is crucial for attracting new customers, and that is where Google My Business steps in.
In short, GMB is like a virtual phonebook. It’s a free tool that helps your business show up alongside other results whenever someone looks up your business name or other related keywords. Making a Google business profile lets you put up important details like your location, phone number, photos, link to a website, hours, review ratings, and many more. Not just that, but Google business messages and calls help you interact with potential customers, since all it takes to contact you is a click of a button.
How do I set up an account?
A properly set-up Google My Business listing is the easiest way of making sure that your business comes higher up on google searches. The way things are set up now, more and more search results are becoming geographically specific. If you type in keywords for any business, like ‘restaurants near me’, you’ll see local listings of businesses near you based on your location before you see organic results. This is because these listings have provided their location and are visible on Google Maps. Obviously, a Google Business Profile is only available to businesses that have a location and meet with clients in other locations, like electricians. Besides appearing on Google Maps, you should include your contact, working hours, website, reviews, and other info, as well as a detailed description of your business. Your GMB description can be up to 750 characters but it’s best if you put the most relevant information in the first couple of sentences. T
ry to include 2-3 keywords that describe your business best. To help you set up a good profile, there are plenty of google my business audit tools for profile completeness that tell you what needs improving. However, just setting up a profile is not enough, you need to constantly update it and add new posts and even upcoming events, if you want to stay relevant and attract even more customers.
Is GMB worth it?
You may be wondering whether it’s worth going through the trouble, but let me tell you – it most definitely is. Every business needs a boost, both in website traffic and in-store visits. The way you set up your profile will determine whether you’ll benefit from your GMB listing or not. There are a few things you should consider, so let’s go through some of the benefits of being easy to find online.
Customers go online to find new places near them
Did you know that 85% of people use their mobile phones to narrow down their options and locate businesses nearby? When it’s more convenient for customers to come to your business if they find you on Google Maps near their location, you’re more likely to make that sale. It was also shown that people are more likely to go to a place that showed up in their search results. By completing all the verification steps, your business location will pop up even for local searches in Maps, as well. Think of it as free advertising, if you will.
Customers tend to trust businesses with GMB listings more
Interestingly enough, but you can make our addiction to the internet work to your advantage. These days, building trust with your customers has become very difficult. Instead of asking their friends and family for recommendations, customers are more likely to rely on a business’s online reviews and other information available for viewing. This is partially due to the legitimacy of the verification process of setting up an account, and people trust that Google is a reliable source of information.
Ratings and reviews boost appeal
This may seem like a double-edged sword since you cannot actually choose which reviews to share, but having reviews is a key element of social proof, and it builds trust and credibility with your customers. Google’s star ratings mixed with detailed reviews will provide your potential customers with all the information they need to help them decide whether they want to do business with you. Having a combination of both good and bad reviews is a great way to seem more authentic, in contrast to only having good reviews. But the thing that boosts your appeal the most is interaction – acknowledge and thank the customers that leave good reviews, and try to respond kindly to those who leave bad ones. This will make you seem more reputable and reliable as a brand.
You will learn a lot about your customers
It goes without saying that reviews, while providing great insight to your potential customers, also give you the chance to learn about your customers, as well. It’s no secret that the more you know about what your customers want, the better your service will be. Additionally, navigating the Insights section of your GMB page will give you a wealth of valuable analytics that break down of who your target customers are, and how they’re engaging with your business.
Every business can use all the help they can get with engagement, even the most successful ones, let alone small up-and-coming businesses. Setting up a free GMB profile will only bring you more traffic, make your brand more visible, and help you grow your company in the right direction. The content you provide will help you stand out from your competition and it makes you easier to find and trust. It doesn’t take up much time to maintain it once it’s up, so a Google My Business account is something you should definitely consider.