Hardly anyone searches the phone book for businesses. They do an internet search. Learn how Google My Business Profile should be your new local listing.
Why Your Business Should Claim Your Google My Business Profile
There are so many ways to advertise and increase awareness for your business or brand. It can feel overwhelming for small business owners to keep up with the seemingly complicated options and know which ones are worthwhile investments. One simple, free marketing strategy every business should do is claim their Google My Business location and create a profile.
What Is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free feature on Google available only to local businesses, service area businesses, and brick-and-mortar companies. It allows you to promote your company on Google Search and Maps. With your Google My Business account, you can share information and updates about your business and see how potential customers are interacting with your business on Google.
In short, if you have a business in a particular geographic location, you can (and should) claim a Google My Business profile for that area.
What Is a Google My Business Profile?
Think of your Google My Business profile as the new listing in the Yellow Pages. Instead of searching the phone book for a company or service, most people "Google it." Your Google My Business profile lets you manage your business’s online presence across the entire Google platform.
When a potential customer searches for a business or service, your Google My Business profile will come up as one of the options, just like if they flipped through the Yellow Pages.
With your Google My Business Profile, you will be able to manage and edit all the information about your business that appears on your Google My Business listing. Current and potential customers need to access accurate, updated information about your geographic location, business hours, service areas, and other essential information.
Benefits of Having a Google My Business Profile
In addition to advertising and updating the necessary information about your business, Google My Business lets you interact directly with your current and potential customers.
You will be able to manage and respond to Google Reviews. Online reviews are an increasingly influential part of how customers choose where to do business or what products to purchase. One study found that 93% of customers used online reviews to guide their purchasing decisions.
Savvy small businesses cannot just sit back and let the Google reviews pile up. Instead, the best practice is to read and respond to customer reviews—especially negative ones! It is essential to post apologies and engage in discussions with clients who shared about a bad experience they had with your business. This signals to people reading the review that you care about your clients, and you genuinely want to offer an excellent, trustworthy product or service.
It is also important to thank customers for positive reviews and encourage everyone to remain loyal to your company.
It is also critical for small businesses to understand how your customers discover you. Google My Business lets you track data about how many people are looking at your business listing, what people are "Googling" to find your business page, and what people do once they discover you (click on your profile, go to your website, etc.). All this information can dramatically influence your overall marketing strategy and help you choose the best ways to attract new clients!
In short, having a Google My Business profile gives you control over the necessary information (location, business hours, etc.) listed on Google. It also equips you with a new, effective platform through which you can connect with your current and potential customers. Every business owner—and especially small businesses—should be using this free service.
We will share some easy steps to set up your Google My Business Profile in our next post.