Google My Business is a tool that makes it easier for companies to connect with potential customers through search, Google Maps, and Google Plus. So, if you haven’t already set up a listing using the feature, it’s about time you did.
In this guide, we’re going to talk you through everything you need to know about Google My Business, from what it is to how you can ensure you’re getting the most out of your listing. Read on to find out more.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free tool that allows companies to manage their online presence across Google’s platforms, including Maps and Search. You can use the feature to let potential customers know where your company is based, what your opening hours are, and what your brand’s story is. You can even use it to interact with people who take an interest in your company. All of this can help to attract more people to your website or store and, ultimately, earn you more sales.
How do you get started with Google My Business?
To sign up for Google My Business, visit google.com/business and click “Start now”, which you’ll find at the top-right corner of the page. You’ll then need to sign into your existing Google account, or create one if you haven’t already. Enter your details when prompted: you’ll be asked for your company name and business address, as well as information concerning whether you deliver goods to a particular area.
Next, you’ll be asked to choose a category for your business and will need to input your business phone number along with your website’s URL. You’ll then have to verify your connection to the business in order to complete the sign-up process.
Verified businesses are twice as likely to be considered reputable by users, according to Google. Plus, verification can protect you from falling victim to someone posing as a representative of your business. Until you’ve completed this process, you won’t be able to edit the business information that appears on Google’s platforms, but it is very simple to do: for most companies, it will simply entail requesting, receiving, and reading a verification postcard from Google.
How can you get the most out of your Google My Business listing?
Once you’ve completed the Google My Business verification process, you’ll be able to put some real effort into your listing. If you discover that there’s any incorrect information in your listing, or something about your business changes, you should update your information as soon as possible. This will ensure Google is always sharing the most up-to-date details with your customers. Here’s what you’ll be able to edit:
- Your opening hours
- The address of your premises
- Your business’ phone number
- The category of your business
- Your website’s URL
Of course, running a business takes a lot of work, which means you might not have the time to update your Google My Business as often as you would like. Fortunately, you can enlist the help of other staff members to help you. There are three different kinds of users you can add to your account: owners, managers, and communications managers. Owners have the widest range of privileges and can do everything from editing your listing to adding a new member to the Google My Business management team. Managers have a similar list of privileges, although they can’t add or remove anyone from the team. Communications managers can interact with customers using the Google My Business feature.
What can you do with your Google My Business listing?
Besides keeping your general information up to date, you can also use your Google My Business listing to share information and images that are going to attract more people to buy your products or spend money on your services. Here, we’re going to look at how you can make the most of these options.
Google My Business listings that have images receive 35% more clicks through to their websites, according to Google. So, it’s well worth showcasing any images that capture the essence of your work.
As well as your profile picture, brand logo, and whatever photo you would like to appear first on Google Maps, you can keep customers in the know by posting photos of any new products or events you want to tell them about. This will give your business personality and might help to convince users to buy from you.
Replying to customers’ reviews
Customers will be able to leave reviews on your Google My Business listing, and you’ll be given the opportunity to respond. Seventy-eight percent of consumers say that hearing back about their reviews makes them feel like a business cares more about them, according to Review Trackers. So, this is well worth doing, whether a customer’s feedback is positive or negative.
Online reviews can also do a great job of spreading information about your business by word of mouth, so they’ll help others find you online. When you respond, make sure you’re always polite and that you let customers know you value their business (even if you don’t always agree with their opinions).
Use Insights to determine how effective your listing is
Once you’ve created your Google My Business listing, you can use Insights to see how it’s performing. Here, you’ll be able to find out how many people have come across your listing and where they’ve found it, how many people have requested driving directions to your business, and whether people are finding you through “direct” or “discovery” searches. People who found you through a direct search will have specifically been looking for your business, while those who find you through a discovery search will have stumbled across you while looking for a product or service that you offer. If you’re not getting as many people finding you in this way as you would like, it might be worth looking at whether it’s very easy to tell what your business does, just by looking at your listing.
Setting up a Google My Business listing is one of the easiest ways to ensure that potential customers always know where and when they can find you. Follow the process we’ve outlined here to guarantee your information is always up to date, and that more searchers will be inclined to stop by your website or store.