How to Use Google My Business to Boost Sales and Increase Customer Reach
In an increasingly internet-driven world, an online presence is a must if you want your business noticed. And for most people, Google is the one to turn to when searching for anything and everything. You want your name to show up on the results when people search for something that your business does in your area. In short, you want your business to be Googleable. Thankfully, Google My Business exists, and it’s a free tool that will help people find your business, which inevitably translates to more sales, more website traffic, and more brand awareness.
Read on to find out more about Google My Business and how you can use it for business success.
What is Google My Business?
Basically, Google My Business (GMB) lets you create a business listing on Google. It puts your brand name on Google’s directory of businesses, increasing your visibility and helping customers find you. A GMB listing can be super detailed because you can input a lot of information about your business, including your location, business hours, phone number, offered services, photos, videos, customer reviews, and more. Any information that you want your customers to know, you can put on your GMB profile.
For instance, you have a restaurant in New Zealand. When people type on Google search, “Best restaurants in New Zealand,” you want your business to pop up in Google’s results. More specifically, if your business is in a particular city like Auckland, you want your restaurant name to appear when people search for “Best restaurants in Auckland.” Furthermore, all the information that people see together with your business name must be complete and accurate to ensure that customers are getting the right details. (For professional email hosting help in New Zealand, see our recommended list here.)
How To Get Started
Simply log in to the Google Account you want to be linked to your business, go to google.com/business, and select “Start Now” to begin creating a listing. Fill out the details Google asks, such as business name, location, phone number, website, business category, delivery options, and the verification method you want to use. Google allows different ways of verification, such as by postcard, phone, email, instant verification, and bulk verification.
Optimizing Your GMB Profile
After you’ve verified your business, you can now start editing your profile and typing in your business information.
- Business info. On the Google My Business dashboard, select your listing, click “Info” and choose the section you want to fill out. There, you can start adding details such as business hours, website, email address, and other helpful information such as “pet-friendly” or “wheelchair-accessible”. Providing as much information as you can will help customers know everything at a glance, and will also show how reliable your business is.
An important reminder though, anyone can make edits to your business information. Provide updated details to discourage edits, and check back often to see if your business info are still correct and complete.
- In addition to text, it’s also crucial to add photos in your profile. Including photos in your listing grabs customers’ attention and lets your business stand out. Add a profile photo, a cover photo, interior photos, and exterior photos of your business’ building. If you sell products, including product photos will also increase brand awareness. For instance, if your business sells Manuka Honey, a famous New Zealand product, having a photo of it in your listing is going to entice more customers to buy. Remember to upload professional-looking photos as they represent your company. Only when necessary, hire a professional photographer to do the job.
- People love videos. Statistics reveal that Facebook gets over 8 billion average daily video views, and that over 75% of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2020. That being said, adding a video to your GMB listing makes it stronger. Videos are powerful attention-grabbing tools that give your business a distinctive image. For example, if your business is a hotel, a video showing your amenities and rooms will definitely be eye-catching for potential customers. Remember to keep you videos 30 seconds or less, at least 720p in resolution, and at a maximum of 100 mb in file size.
Google My Business Posts
Use GMB posts to keep customers updated about your business. Create sales posts, new product alerts, upcoming event updates, and business news or milestones. Add photos, call-to-action, and your website link to increase effectiveness. While GMB posts are a good way to keep people informed, they also show that you are an active brand with a thriving business.
Google My Business Q&A
GMB Q&A is a platform for your customers to ask questions about your business. It’s a direct way of knowing what you customers want to know, and for you to answer accordingly. When you provide answers to their queries, it gives a positive image that your business is genuine and customer-centered. Keep in mind, however, that anyone can answer the questions posted. Check back often to see if customer-provided answers are correct, and if there are any unanswered questions as well.
Google My Business Reviews
Customers can leave a review on your business, which can impact your ranking and conversion rates. Whether reviews are good or not, it’s good practice to respond to them to encourage other customers to leave feedback as well. Thank people for good comments, and address any issues when people leave negative reviews.
Using Google My Business to Increase Website Traffic
While GMB is a good place to start when improving SEO rankings, having a website is still necessary to enhance credibility and establish business personality.
From your GMB listing, you ultimately want to lead people to your website so they can take action and make the purchase. On that note, web design is an important element of this, as it holds your customers’ attention and encourage navigation. Good web design goes hand in hand with your website’s SEO, which is linked to the primary function of Google My Business. Combining GMB with a well-designed business website creates a powerful strategy for business success.