A Small Business Guide to Google My Business
Google My Business is a relatively new marketing tool that gives business owners more control over the way their company appears in search results.
Although it has been around since June 2014, Google My Business is truly coming of age at the start of 2019, in part due to the closure of Google+ on April 2nd. But with brands utilizing social media and other forms of online marketing to make a splash, small business owners may be wondering what Google My Business can do for them – and how to go about establishing a profile.
The fact is that 4 out of 5 customers use search engines such as Google to find out local information, and 85% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
So for business owners having the power to manage what comes up about them in search results is a big, big deal. Small businesses can catch customers’ attention in the search results, manage their own reputation, and reap the rewards of cleaner, bolder web presence.
How to Start with Google My Business
Setting up a profile with Google My Business is as simple as creating a profile on any regular social media site. You can even do it through an app on your phone if that’s how you prefer to work.
First head to google.com/business to check if your company is listed. If it is, you can claim it. If not, just fill in a few details to get it up and running. When you’re all done, you’ll need to verify that you have permission to manage the business’s Google listing – but that’s a straightforward matter of having a code sent to you by text, email, or postcard.
Creating a Great Google My Business Profile
The more you put into making your business profile look good, the better results you’ll get.
Have your business logo ready to upload, and use colorful, professional-looking photos to entice customers in. It can be effective to put a human face on things: show your employees or the business owner smiling and being helpful. Businesses that provide photographs receive 42% more enquiries for directions and 35% more website clicks than businesses that don’t.
And the work doesn’t end once your profile looks ready. Businesses get better results when they check in regularly to update information, respond to reviews, and write status updates. This way, search users get the sense that the business is active, and they may be seduced by limited-term offers or events that you share.
Setting up a Google My Business profile is easy. But making a success of it requires a bit more effort – so we’ve put together this step-by-step plan to help make yours a winner.
Google has become the 21st century shopping window for nearly every type of business out there. Your competition will be hard at work trying to look good on Google My Business – so why not get started on showing what makes your business so special?
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