Local businesses are the backbone of the local economy, they revitalize towns, create jobs & make different communities special. The use of digital tools such as Google My Business drastically boosts small business growth. If you’re a small local business & you’re not utilizing GMB yet, you are missing all the ways Google can help your business shine.
What is Google My Business?
Launched in 2014, Google My Business (GMB) is essentially a free local business listing site for business owners. It is an easy tool designed to help businesses of any size, especially small local businesses build a strong online presence & appearance in Google Search & Google Maps. So, they can be easily found & connect with their customers no matter where they are. Even if you don’t have a storefront, whether you’re a home-based or a service-area business, you can list your details to appear on Google with or without an address.
Google allows business owners to claim & verify their local businesses on GMB listing & create a business profile where they can provide all their key information that shows up in Google search, such as category, address, service area, open hours, phone, website, attributes, photos, menu/services, etc. Google combines the information provided by businesses with information from other sources, including the business’s own website, Google user contributions, & third party websites. The possibilities with GMB are endless. GMB provides you with various tools to update your Business Profile & engage with your customers from any device.
1. Claim your Free Business Website from Google
With Google My Business, in just 10 minutes you can very easily create a great website for your business, for free. Your website automatically generates & updates with info from your business profile. It has many powerful features specially designed to help drive more customers. It is customizable with text, photos, and design themes from any device. So choose a domain and put your site live.
2. Get Social using Google posts
Google Posts are like “mini-ads” that shows up prominently in your GMB listing. They help to improve customer experience by providing timely information. You can promote your sales, share updates about offers, announcements, special event details, highlight a specific product, & even mention your memories with employees & customers. You can have fun with your GMB Posts by adding text descriptions, photos & videos, gifs, link to another page/website & even a call-to-action (CTA) button which provides options like Book, Buy, Order Online, Learn More, & Sign Up. Updates can be made anytime from any device for on-the-go maintenance. Google can even send you reminders about when it’s time to create a new Post.
3. Present your business on Google with rich media
Adding beautiful photos & videos of your business on your local business listing site is a great way to let your customers get a look at what your company/business is actually about. Visuals grab more people’s attention & entice customers to visit you. Businesses with visuals like photos & videos receive 35% more clicks to their website. Draw in customers with photos of your products, favorite menu items, a virtual tour of your business interior pictures to show what’s unique about your business, & you can add as many as you like. Also, you don’t need any professional photographer for this, some of the best photos & videos are with a smartphone!
4. Customer Reviews impacts your business listing
Google My Business shows customer ratings & reviews so that you don’t have to search for them elsewhere. Online, reviews are everything. With Reviews, you’ll hear first-hand feedback from your customers. Review impact you SEO, consumer trust, & click-through rates. 91% of consumers read online reviews before visiting & 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
5. Access Insights to analyze key customer data
As with any marketing tactic, you require to measure the impact of your GMB listing. Google Insights help with that. GMB tracks user actions. It provides key looks into customer activity & interaction, allowing businesses to learn what’s working—and what’s not—on their listing. How did searchers find your business? Where did they come from? How are your photos performing? Even see which photos are getting more noticed. Insights let you review actions your customers are taking on your listing; visiting your site, clicking on directions, browsing the photo gallery, calling. It also tells you how you’re doing compared to similar businesses. Knowing all this will help you adapt & refine your strategy further so you continue to be found.
6. Engage with prospects using Q&A feature
Questions & Answers is a cool feature of Google Local Search. Q&A allows people to ask questions about your business. It is the perfect opportunity to hear directly from “the people” & resolve their queries. Google sends email notifications to let you know that a new question has been asked. You can even create a FAQs list to preempt people’s GMB Q&As.
7. Customers can communicate with you via messaging
90% of the business, leads would receive a text message instead of a phone call.
That’s why mobile messaging can be a highly effective part of your marketing strategy. It can lead to increased customer engagement & can help close the sale. By GMB messaging feature, you unlock the option for customers to ask you a question via SMS text straight from your GMB listing. You can then directly respond in the form of a text message You can even add a “Welcome Message”, which users will receive when they start a message to you. This feature enables you to build a closer connection with your customers. Your business can be perceived as more transparent, which can lead to increased credibility and sales.
8. GMB listing features services or Menu of a business
There is a Services list feature in Google My Business food and drink, health, beauty, and other services businesses that don’t have a third-party “menu” link. The Services list allows you to categorize and list out all your services (or food items) and prices so that potential customers can easily see what you have to offer. You can also add a description of each item
When it comes to empowering small businesses, Google My Business is without any doubt a market pioneer. GMB, not just a place to find basic information about your business, It is a powerful tool that can increase your revenue and provide valuable insights about your customers. It is a remarkable way to align your business goals with the ongoing market & customer trends and are not less than a boon for the current and upcoming small businesses.