Looking for a simple way to help potential customers discover your business online? A Google Business profile can help your business stand out from the crowd and attract local customers. This free service can offer many benefits to small business owners – keep reading to discover how to best take advantage of it.
What is Google Business?
A Google Business profile allows you to control the information about your business that gets displayed across all of Google’s services, including Google Reviews and Google Maps. If you change the information in your Google Business profile (like hours or location), it automatically updates everywhere, helping you provide consistent and clear information to your customers.
Benefits of Google Business
Google Business is an effective tool to have in your marketing toolbox because it helps potential customers discover important information about your small business online. Its many benefits make it a worthwhile online marketing strategy to implement. Here’s a quick look at what a Google Business account can enable you to do:
- Get discovered. Just having a Google Business account gives potential clients easy access to your hours of operation, phone number, website and directions in one place. Google Business increases your reach and chance of getting discovered with local searches.
- Appear in Maps & Google Local 3-Pack listings. Having a Google Maps presence is one of the best marketing strategies for small businesses, as a majority of consumers use Google Maps to locate a business nearby. There is also an opportunity to show up in Google’s local 3-pack, which is how Google displays the top results for a local business search. It promotes the three local businesses that Google believes to be relevant and close in proximity to the user.
- Control online business information. Google Business allows you to easily update your business information so your users will have a seamless and positive experience. You can check that your operating hours are accurate, your service category is appropriate and confirm there are no errors in your payment methods or other fields.
- Take advantage of Offer Posts. Offer posts are a great opportunity for small business owners to promote any seasonal promotions or service offers. Typically, the title of the offer is displayed, along with the date range of the offer and a Call-To-Action button. You can even add a photo or video, a coupon code, a link and terms & conditions to the post.
- Leverage customer reviews to build trust. Having a Google Business account makes it easier for customers to leave reviews. Reviews are very important for gaining new customers, as 77% of people regularly read reviews when looking at local businesses. Above all, reviews are a great way to interact with your customers and ensure their needs are being met.
- Gain valuable insights. Google Business comes with tools that provide essential insights and highlight opportunities for your small business. Google Business data looks at who is engaging with your business, where your audience is located, how many views your content is receiving and what keywords people are using to search for your business.
Best of all, Google Business is free and easy to use! It helps highlight your business in a high traffic area on Google when people search in your location, all at no cost to you. Keep reading to learn how to set up a Google Business account today.
How to Set Up and Optimize your Google Business Account
The process for setting up your account is fairly simple – complete all the steps below to optimize your Google Business account and start getting noticed.
Set Up Steps
- Step 1: Create an account with Google Business. This easy-to-follow process will ask you for various pieces of information, including your business name, your physical address (if applicable), region and business category.
- Step 2: Verify your account. You will receive a postcard in the mail within a week that contains the verification code needed. Verification allows you to add posts/photos, respond to reviews and track analytics.
- Step 3: Review your profile. Once you are all set up, get in the habit of checking your profile regularly to make sure your information is up to date.
Tips to Update and Optimize your Account
- Tip 1: Use keywords. Once you verify your Google Business account, make sure your profile incorporate search terms so you are sure to be found. The use of key search words in your profile will earn you SEO bonus points with Google.
- Tip 2: Update consistently. Any online user can suggest edits at any time so it is important to keep your information current. Having inconsistent information can confuse and upset customers. It is crucial to keep up with responding to suggested edits and ensure that your information stays consistent across all parts of your account.
- Tip 3: Stay active. It is important to stay active by adding new pictures and videos and responding to questions and reviews in a timely fashion. These are small things that can have a big effect on customer engagement.
- Tip 4: Turn on messaging feature. For a quick, easy way to be in contact with your customers, turn on the messaging feature in your Google Business dashboard. Once enabled, this feature will show up on your Google Business profile as a clickable icon, allowing customers to contact you directly.
The Google platform is increasingly important for businesses of all sizes – maintaining a Google Business profile is a great way to connect with customers and boost the visibility of your small business online. Take the first step and set up your profile today!