To get traffic on your business website you need to optimize the Google My Business to its full strength. It is your gateway to convert a brick and mortar store into an online business or to directly start an online one. You must be thinking that Google My Business has been in the market for long, then why are we discussing about it now. This is because the tool has gained tremendous importance during this COVD 19 pandemic. It helps to rank your business locally. So, when people near you search for something that you offer, Google shows them your information, and most of the time, this leads to sales.
Search Engine Land has declared that about 78% of local business searches lead to a purchase from online stores. These are the people interested in your business and you need to attract them.
If you haven’t submitted your business page or haven’t optimized it, then it’s the best time to do so.
Did you know, it is estimated that Google processesaround 70,000 searches query every second, that simply means approximately 5.8 billion searches are made on a daily basis. So, if you haven’t claimed your my Business page then chances of you getting searched locally are very less i.e. near to zero.
Importance of local searches –
Google My Business helps you to get identified locally, and as per the current survey, it is found that 46% of Google searches look for local information. This is because people want someone that is easy to reach and can be trusted.
You might like to know: 5 Secrets of Making Google Love Your Website
Let’s take an example – if you crave a burger, and want to try something new from your daily preference, what action do you take?
You might simply search for a restaurant near you that serves ample varieties of burgers, right?
So, why do people search for nearby locations?
It is maybe so that they can reach a particular place easily. Or even order from them and get the delivery faster. The reason can be anything, but the motto is to remain in front of other food providers/competitors for such customers. Thus, submitting your business on Google helps you a lot with the local SEO.
What is meant by Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free tool that helps local businesses to get listed on search engines and is powered by Google itself. You can use this tool by simply having some sort of face-to-face interaction with your customers. That simply means if you operate 100% online then you can’t really have a Google My Business listing.
It manages your Google listing that appears when anyone finds businesses on Google search and Maps. When you search for anything locally on Google, then you may see the result like this :
So, if you have a cake business in the UK and someone fires a query of “cakes & bakes” (anything related to cake) then Google shows them your business in a result. This can happen only when you claim your business to Google.
Working of Google My Business
Listing of your business is very easy as Google allows you to claim your business and get started immediately. Thus, after submitting your business, when people search for something that you offer, Google shows your website in their search results.
In addition to listing your services, Google My Business also allows you to add images and gives authority to your customers to leave reviews about your business.
You can see it also allows you to mention attributes like Website, Directions, etc. to make it easy for potential customers and clients to gain knowledge about your business.
Importance of Google My Business
We all know that Google dominates the search service and especially, the local search.
We have often heard people saying ‘let me Google’ or ‘Google this and find the answer’ and they search for queries on Google over other search engines. That’s the weightage Google held in the searches, which estimates that 70% of all searches happen on Google.
Any size of business must have Google My Business updated, as research shows that 92% of online buyers like to compare brands online before buying. So, 96% of the listings are seen 25 times per month, which helps you to stay in front of your audience.
Let’s see why it is important to submit Google My Business.
According to the stats shared by Kinsta, we can say that 56% of the people who see your Google My Business listing are likely to click through your website, whereas, another 24% will directly call you for enquires.
That is a lot of scope for businesses to survive in the cut-throat competition during the economically challenged condition.
This stat simply acknowledges that Google My Business listing can also drive local SEO success for small businesses by guaranteeing the visibility on Google Maps and Google Search for SMEs.
Setting Up Google My Business
So, to get started you will first go through the crucial steps of setting up your Google My Business profile to get listed on Google. Following steps will guide you on how to set up Google My Business profile :
Step 1: Official Google My Business
Visit the official Google My Business page and Sign in.
If you have already signed-in into your Google account then click on Manage Now button.
Always remember to sign-in from the account to which you need to get associated with Google My Business listing you are creating.
Step 2: Finding Business Or Creating New Listing
To claim your business, first, you can search for the name of your business or click on add a new listing.
If you are sure that you are doing it for the first time then it’s very uncommon to already have your business listed. If anything of this sort happens then you can see your business gets displayed, and if it doesn’t then click on Add your business to Google.
Step 3: Setup Name
It is time to add your business name.
Mention your business name under ‘What is your business?’ section and click on Next.
Step 4: Select Category
Select a category that best describes your business on Google My Business.
This is an important step to get appeared on Google results page, so make the selection carefully.
Google My Business allows you to set primary and secondary categories.
Under the category for ‘Business’, type what your business offers, and Google My Business will show you some auto-generated suggestions.
Step 5: Setup Business Address
Set up the business address that gets incorporated with your listing.
You need to select any one option :
(1) Yes: Brick and Mortar Business Listing
This is to set up a listing for your physical business so the location needs to be mentioned here ;
(2) No: Service Area Business Listing
In case you don’t have a physical business but still serve customers in any area, then mention that location here;
You are allowed to search for your area or use it from the suggested options.
Step 6: Add Contact Details
Contact details are a must as it the best way for clients and customers to get in touch with you. You can add phone and website details here, as it will drive potential customers to your website which helps in conversion. Similarly, adding a phone number gives a direct point of contact to your audience.
Step 7: Verify Your Listing
After filling all the relevant information in Google My Business, you can submit your listing.
Make sure to Verify your listing, in order to get appeared on search results by Google My Business.
This might take a couple of days for approval. Meanwhile, you can optimize your listing while you are waiting.
Google will send you a postcard with a verification code on it to get your listing verified.
Secret Tips to optimize Google My Business
1. Update Listing Information
Keeping the listing information up to date is one of the best ways to optimize your Google My Business listing.
Make sure you always fill the correct information about :
- Phone Number
Display the contact information in a way that makes it feasible for your audience to reach out to you. Make it as easy as possible. The correct address can help your clients to approach your business area quickly.
Always update the working phone number. On online platforms, many people tend to reach out to you via telephonic calls. In case, you forgot to update the working number then chances are high that your potential customer can turn to your competitor.
Do not mention any fake or invalid information, as it may lose your audience. Providing genuine information is a first step to build a strong rapport between customer and you. So, if you are still waiting to get your business verified, then once again check if you have mentioned all the valid information.
Uploading photos to your listing gains more attention and trust from the audience. While checking your business listing, chances are very high that the audience may check your photos to find out if you are genuine. Even if you work online, still people want to know with whom they are dealing for the business.
Additionally, Google My Business is a perfect way to show off your business products and services photos. You can also upload appealing images that give a sneak peek of your business, just to attract people’s attention. Tempt your audience by showing as many images as possible, of the different products you offer. This will grab their attention and chances are very high that the person will land on your website, from where you can make good sales.
Once your business listing gets verified, it will display the combination of uploaded and tagged photos. That means, not only you, but your customers can also show your pictures by tagging you. Thus, always strive to deliver what you promise, to avoid negative comments with the tag.
To upload images in Google My Business, try to keep file size between 10KB and 5MB and use PNG or JPG formats.
Best Google my Business image sizes :
For profile image: 250 x 250 pixels
For cover photo: 1080 x 608 pixels
For shared images: 497 x 373 pixels
3. Add Product/Service Information
It is a better idea to promote your business by showing off what you do and offer.
Just like how we have shown a piece of crisp information about us.
For hotels, resorts, etc. it is always beneficial to add the service charges and rooms available so that people can give you a call.
It will be easy for anyone to make a booking in few clicks.
4. Questions and Answers
The best thing about Google My Business is that it comes with an in-built FAQ tool. So that you can create an FAQ section online to attend your customers. It allows your audience to ask doubts so that you can answer them immediately. This is important so that in future people with the same doubt can find their answer immediately.
5. Customer Reviews
Your customers are the lifeline of your business. So, make sure that you value their comments and feedbacks by responding to them from time to time.
With Google My Business your customers can add reviews about your business profile that helps other potentials customers to read them.
Sharing reviews is the strongest trust-building factor and is as good as mentioning testimonials on your website.
Reviews highlight the trust and confidence that your customers show towards your business. Google reviews directly help in improving search results. It is a good way to engage with your audience and customers by providing more information about your products or services.
6. Get Help
Sometimes, you may need help in setting up your business listing, so don’t worry and just get help from Google My Business support team.
In case you want to report the fake listing or any fraudulent information, then register a complaint with Google My Business’ official Business Redressal Complaint Form.
Also, you can raise the “inappropriate” flag against invalid or fake customer reviews, so that Google ensures that only reliable and honest review stays.
Many people don’t give much importance to claim their business in Google, but as now you know its importance, join hands with us to spread the awareness.
Wrapping Up :
Most of the time the hidden purpose behind creating an online presence of a business is to generate leads and make sales. Also, people want to get noticed for their brand and thus Google My Business plays a crucial role in it. It gives your brand a professional look and also makes people believe in you. Claiming Google My Business would cost you nothing, and still yield you a lot of profit.