Every online business that intends to attract new customers must have its business listed in Google my business. Your business profile pops when consumers are searching for your business or businesses like yours.
What is Google My Business?
Google my business is a free tool that helps small businesses to create and manage business profiles that will appear to when customers find such businesses in Google search and maps.
This tool is essential if you want your business to appear in Google maps and local listing when customers search for businesses like yours in your area.
Why your business needs GMB
The internet provides endless possibilities for businesses. Today, 75% of online shoppers search online for businesses whenever they intend to purchase a product. While an estimated 7 out of every 10 go-ahead to purchase products from these businesses.
Listing your business on Google means your business simply means your products or services can appear to customers when they search for products or services you offer. This is good because interested customers learn more about your business and possibly get in touch with you.
Additionally, Google My Business allows more customers to leave reviews so whenever a customer enjoys the services you offer, they simply tell others about it.
What will Google my business do?
Communicate with customers: GMB tool can allow customers to reach out to small businesses, share stories, and leave reviews about the product or services the received. Google my business also lets business owners like you respond to reviews, provide answers to questions among others. Another channel of communication can be through WhatsApp or other Apps. Our post on 10 Best Alternatives to WhatsApp will give insight.
Responding to questions helps to build trust between you and your customers. Also, encourage your customers to leave you a review. According to Google, more reviews and positive ranking will improve your business ranking.
Share the latest and useful information: Every day, customers search the net looking for various forms of information such as photos, promo offers, or even compare businesses. Google my business will help you share more information about your products or services. You can tell your customers what makes you special.
Create a free mobile-optimized website: GMB provides you with the opportunity to create a business website in less than 10 minutes with a free website builder. This makes it easy to create and build your website from your personal computer or mobile phone.
Understand how customers find your business: with Google my business tool, you keep track of the volume of searches for your business from monthly insights email from Google. You receive vital information such as the number of people who viewed your listings, click on your listing, call you, or ask for directions. You also get information on where your customers come from or which of your photos that got noticed.
How to list your business on Google
Setting up GMB is pretty simple and free. You can get yours by following these simple steps.
Go to Google my Business page and click the “Start Now” tab.
Enter your Google account info to log in. If you don’t have a Google account, then create a new Google account.
Add your new Business Name and fill in other details like Contact Address, Phone number, and Category.
You will be required to add your business location using the Google marker on Google maps. Simply drag the marker and drop it on your address.
Google will prompt you to verify if your business is located where you said it is. You will have to wait up to 30 days after submission for a postcard with your verification PIN.
Complete the verification process and you are through.
If your business turns up on the local listing, you can claim your business by completing the verification process to prove it is yours.
These steps are really easy but simple mistakes can seriously affect your visibility or how you rank. Here is a quick rundown of things you should avoid.
- Using an incorrect business category for your business
- Mismatched phone numbers or business address information
- Inaccurate business information with scanty details
However, if you can avoid these mistakes then your business listing stands a good chance to be ranked high
Tips to optimize your Google listing
There are a couple of ways you can optimize and get the best out of these free Google features.
The good news is that these features are still among the best practices.
List all your business locations:
Some companies have multiple business locations but the make the mistake by registering their headquarters ’ addresses only.
This is wrong!
If you have two offices, one in Milwaukee and another in Idaho — which of these locations do you think someone in Wisconsin would prefer to check out? Milwaukee, of course. But if your business address visible on Google is the one in Idaho, the customer will be less likely to contact you.
This simple illustration is simply why it’s important to have all your business addresses registered. By this, Google will show the closest one depending on the origin of the search. We recommend you manage all these locations from one account.
Your information should be consistent
The information on your website must be the same as the information you entered in your Google My Business and Google Maps pages.
Google doesn’t like contradictions. Whenever you update any piece of information on your website, do it on all media else Google will try to harmonize all data on the various platforms.
Ensure that you provide detailed information because the more information you give, the easier it is for customers to find you and your business. It is more likely that they choose you over your competitors especially those who haven’t taken the time to properly manage their listings.
Use the insights feature to dig deeper. You can view and analyze keywords people use to find you or others, spikes in traffic, number, and its origin of calls. Knowledge of these elements will help you to adapt and refine your strategy.
As at the time of writing this post, Google my business remains a free service although according to a post by Seroundtable, Google might decide to charge for its business listing service soon.
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Also, check out this post Why you should use WhatsApp for business.