How to Use Google My Business to Get More Customers
In case you haven't heard, Google is King of the world we call the internet. Billions of people all over the world use Google’s search engine to find information, businesses, advice to problems and much, much more. So it makes sense that if you have something, such as a small business, that you would like to be found, you might think about posting information about your business that would get picked up by the search engine. This is where Google My Business steps in. Called GMB for short, this tiny but mighty platform is rapidly moving up in the ranks of social media. Below, we will be discussing what GMB is, how to get started, and how to utilize it to help grow your small business or nonprofit.
What Exactly is Google My Business and Why Should I Use it?
Google My Business is an extension of Google in which businesses with a physical retail location can post information such as location, hours, photos, menus and other general business information. Adding your physical address allows customers and potential clients to find your small business or nonprofit more easily, as the information on Google My Business is directly tied to Google Search and Google Maps. Google My Business makes it simple for customers to find your exact location without having to rely on dated or unclear directions provided by other sources.
In addition to making it easier for customers to find you, having a presence on GMB can greatly improve your search visibility. For example, if someone types into a Google search bar, “vegetarian restaurants in Galveston, Texas”, Google’s high-visibility panel will pop up above even the organic and paid listings. So if you’re running a vegetarian restaurant in Galveston, Texas, and have created your GMB profile, your business is going to show up on this panel, increasing your search visibility.
Aside from allowing customers to find you quickly and easily, Google My Business also makes it easy for you to add general business information such as hours, menus, phone number and website, thus giving your potential clients even more information. Even more of a bonus, GMB makes it easy for customers to leave you Google reviews. Having an arsenal of Google reviews helps form your reputation and build trust with potential customers or donors.
Last, but certainly not least, Google My Business is completely free to use! That’s right, free. All you have to do is set up your listing, add the necessary information, and the rest is up to you.
How do I Get Started?
Claiming your business listing on Google is pretty quick and easy. Click on this link* to navigate to the GMB homepage.
Step 1: Once you’ve arrived, click “Sign in” at the top right corner of the page, using your email address.
Step 2: GMB will ask what the name of your business is. Simply type in your business name and click next.
Step 3: You’ll be asked if you want to add your business location where customers can visit. I highly recommend clicking yes. This will take you to a new window where you will be asked to enter the physical address of your business.
Step 4: Most of the time, entering your address will do the trick. But just to make sure customers will be able to find you, I recommend dragging and dropping the red pin on the map to your exact location. This way customers can zoom into the map if they’re trying to find you but feeling a little lost.
Step 5: Next, you’ll be able to let your customers know which areas you serve. If you deliver, click “Yes, I also serve them outside my location.” You’ll be able to add exactly which zip codes you deliver to.
Step 6: Now it’s time to select your business category. You’ll want to be as accurate as possible in this section. This will help ensure customers are finding exactly what they’re looking for when they search for your business.
Step 7: This is just as simple as adding your business phone number or website so customers can get in touch with you.
Step 8: Verify your GMB account. This is a necessary step in order to proceed with all the hard work you just did. There are a few ways this can be done- via phone call, email, or postcard. The quickest way to do this is by requesting a phone call. Unfortunately this does not always work. GMB prefers businesses to verify themselves via postcard, as this is a more accurate way to prove that your business does in fact have a physical location.
Google will most likely ask you to verify via postcard. To proceed with this, you’ll want to double check to make sure your business name and address are correct. Your postcard may take up to 5 business days to arrive. Once you have it, you’ll need to sign back in to your GMB account and enter the verification code listed on the postcard.
Once you have gone through the steps listed above and have verified your Google My Business account, you’re all set to get started! Just like many of the other social media platforms, Google My Business allows you to create posts, add photos, events, and offers, as well as other general business information. It is truly a must for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.
A Few Tips to Get the Most out of your GMB Profile
A sure way to keep up with your Google My Business profile is by downloading the app on your phone. This will allow you to stay more up to date with tasks such as responding to reviews, posting pictures, and adding updates.
One of the many huge benefits of having a presence on Google My Business is to build trust with your audience. Ask your customers to leave reviews about their experience. When a customer does leave you a review, be sure to respond to them in a timely manner. Keeping up with reviews helps your business or nonprofit quickly grow trust with new and returning customers. Additionally, businesses who have a bank of positive reviews land higher on the page when being searched.
When adding a photo to Google My Business, be sure to upload a clean, high resolution shot that really captures the message you’re trying to get across. According to Google, businesses who upload photos to their GMB profile receive 35% more clicks to their websites and 42% more requests for driving directions as opposed to businesses who don’t post photos.
While this may seem like a lot of information and too many steps, claiming your business on Google and posting company updates is easy and FREE! Get in front of those billions of people who use Google’s search engine every day.
It is important to note that, while most of this information remains consistently true, Google, along with many other platforms, regularly revise their algorithms which can alter the way the platform operates. We will be updating this blog as needed with any information we receive regarding Google My Business’s updates and algorithms.
Amongst many other services, JanMar Agency helps businesses and nonprofit organizations set up and manage their Google My Business profiles. Call us today to see how we can create cutting-edge marketing campaigns and help manage your business’s social media presence.