Get Your Business Noticed Online With Google My Business
New business owners often ask me how to get their businesses noticed online. With so many options for consumers to purchase products or services, it can be difficult for new entrepreneurs to get noticed. After you’ve hung your “open sign” on the door, how do you get people to get in your store? You’ve done all the work necessary to get your business organized and off the ground; now you just need the customers. Well, one really awesome tool that is available to all business owners, big or small, that’s completely free is Google My Business. It is, in my humble opinion, one of the most untapped resources by new entrepreneurs out there. While a business website is very important, a topic I’ll go over in detail in other blogs, this blog will focus on the positive aspects of using Google My Business.
What Is Google My Business?
Google My Business is one of the most important tools available to business owners who want to get noticed online, get customers to in their stores, and on their website. It’s a completely free service and only costs you a little time and sweat equity. Google My Business offers a variety of different online business tools that businesses can use to enhance their marketability to customers.
Why Is Google My Business Important For Your Business?
You may be asking yourself “Why do I need a Google My Business page?” Simple. Google My Business allows you to give potential customers a brief snapshot story about your business, and the services that you provide to people who are in search of that particular service. Think of Google My Business as a business directory with extra details. Entrepreneurs can use the tools offered by the service to tell a very specific story about your business. A lot of times when people are searching for products or services, they want to know that the companies they find can provide the service or quality product that they need. Customers want to know when a business is open and whether they can get the services they want. More importantly, potential customers want to know a business has had other customers who liked their products or services. For newly established businesses, one of the best features provided by Google My Business is Google Reviews. This service allows customers who have utilized your products or services to leave reviews of your business’s products or services for other customers to view. FYI: Five-star reviews are awesome! Let me repeat, five-star reviews are awesome! Additionally, positive reviews will help with your business’s SEO (search engine optimization) efforts, getting noticed by new customers, and getting more people to come in your store or website.
Don’t believe in the power of reviews? Think about it. How many times in the past month have you looked at reviews of products or services on Amazon or Google to see if a certain product or service was what it portended to be? Utilizing this tool in your business will give you the opportunity to see for yourself how the power of customer reviews can help grow your business. An additional aspect of the review feature is that allows business owners to reply to every customer review, whether its a positive or negative review. When a business responds to a customer’s review, Google recognizes that as positive. Google wants the businesses it recommends on its search engine results pages (SERP) to be interested in interacting with its customers.
How To Get A Google My Business Page?
Easy. The first thing you need to do is sign up for a Google account and is claim your business. The process is short but takes a couple of days to complete. Google requires business owners to verify ownership by mail. Business owners can submit other identifying information online to complete the initial set up of the page. On occassion, Google my have your business listed online as “unclaimed.” All you will need to do as the owner of the business is claim the business and complete the process through a couple steps. Once you’ve received the verification information in the mail, claim your business and start updating your business page.
What Information Do You Need To Create Your Google My Business Page?
The main thing you need to do is to make sure your business’s name is spelled correctly. If you have a physical location, be sure that the correct address is listed. For those who work from home and do not want their home address online, you can use a geographic area instead. If you are working from home, I also suggest getting a post office box to serve as your business’s mailing address if you don’t have a physical location. No matter your geographic area, the point is that all of your contact information needs to be there. You should also link your website information there if you have a website already set up. Other key information you should include is details regarding whatever products or services you provide so that customers will find your business when they search for specific products or services. Another thing that you need to make sure you do when setting up your Google My Business page is to use high-quality images. Your logo should be in the correct format and any photos that help showcase your business must be in pristine order. Put simply, the quality of any photos that you upload must be high-quality.
Another thing to consider when setting up your Google My Business page is who will have administrative access to the page? Not only for security purposes, it is also important that someone is constantly keeping your information up-to-date. Now more than ever during this COVID pandemic, one of the things that I’ve noticed is that there are a lot of companies that do not ensure that they keep their business pages up-to-date with the latest information, especially when it comes to their hours of operation. You’ve probably noticed that many of the stores you normally patronize are opening later or closing earlier than they did before the pandemic. What do you do as a customer if a business changes its hours of operation but does not update its information to reflect the change. That’s why it’s very important that whoever you give administrative access to, that person is not only trustworthy in the content the put on your page, but also are vigilant in keeping the page current.
A Few More Thoughts On Google Reviews.
Something that I encourage all business owners to do is to look at the reviews customers leave. Read them! For starters, it’s reaffirming to see what your customers have to say about you, your business, your products or service. And as I mentioned before, be sure to respond to every review. Your response does not have to be long, but it should be made close to the time the review was left but the customer. Even if you get a negative review, you especially need to write a response. Stay professional in your response, but be sure to get your side of the story out in the ether. This lets Google know that you are engaging with the customers that they send to your business and that you are willing to do what is necessary to make it right. Another quick tip that I have for those of you who are collecting reviews from your customers is to make sure that every customer gets an opportunity to leave a review about your product or service. You can do this by providing a link to your review page in your thank you email, on your invoice, or in a newsletter. However, you decide to communicate with your customer, include the link to your Google My Business page. That gives customers easy access to click on that link to your review page and leave a message. Don’t make your customers have to search for that link themselves because chances are, they won’t do it. Be proactive and give it to them. Your goal here to let Google see that you care about your customers and that your goal is to interact with them and to provide the products or services that you put on your Google My Business page.
Posting On Your Google My Business Page
Another great tool available on your Google My Business page is your ability to post blogs, coupons, or updates directly on the page just like you do on other social media websites or your personal website blog. For example, maybe a person is looking for a locksmith but they do not put the term “locksmith” in the search box. Instead, they may google, “how to fix a lock” or “how much does it cost to fix a lock.” If you have a post on your Google My Business page that directly answers these questions, your business may be one of the top search results for those keywords. Using your content to your advantage when posting on your Google My Business page by answering questions that are common in your industry, will help customers easily find your business and the products or services that you provide.
Not Sure If You Need A Google My Business Page?
You may be thinking, “Google My Business seems okay, and that might be something that you could do down the road, but right now, what’s the point?” I get it. You’ve already got your social media pages up. You’re posting daily on Facebook and Instagram and YouTube and on your website. Why do you need Google My Business? Well, the answer to that is very simple. Everyone’s not on Facebook. Everyone’s not on Instagram. Everyone’s not on Twitter or YouTube. Everyone doesn’t know about your website. So why not make sure that you can reach the broadest audience? Think about it; when someone is looking for a specific product or service, they don’t necessarily search social media to find that product or service. Most people go to their favorite search engine and they search there for the particular product or service that they need at that time. The other great feature about Google My Business is it allows for a person to not only find your business, but get directions to your business, to locate your business on a map so that they can find out if you’re local, and they are able to support a local business. It’s not always clear when you’re on Facebook or Instagram or even YouTube whether a business is locally owned. One of the best things about Google My Business is that for local businesses, in particular, it helps them stand out above some of the national brands.
I think one of the most important things that I want you to take away from this blog post is the importance of getting the most accurate and current information about your business to the most potential customers. You’ve taken the big step of starting your company and becoming an entrepreneur. Why not let people know about it? News about your business must go beyond your small circle of friends and family. You need to cast your net a lot wider to get more customers so that you can have the financial independence and freedom that you seek to have through your new business. Hoping, wishing, and praying that people find your company is not the way to go when you’re just starting out. A lot of small businesses have failed partly because no one knew that they existed. The best way to give yourself that extra push forward is to make sure that your Google My Business page, a totally free product, is created, ready, and able to be the answer that someone is searching for. Google My Business is a great tool in your arsenal of multiple tools to get your business, your services, your products out in front of new customers.
Your Action Steps: Set Up Your Google My Business Page
I encourage you to do this today or as soon as possible. You will thank me a million times over when you start seeing people coming into your business or to your website, and customers telling you that they did a search and I found your company on Google. I’m right there with you, rooting for you, going through those same processes just as you are. If you’ve got any questions, please leave them in the comments section below. Keep a lookout for more posts regarding different tools and tips that you can have in your entrepreneurial arsenal to help you grow your business and make the life that you want. I am all about you building your legacies. We are Legacy Builders. So let’s build together!