Now more than ever, small businesses need to be considering their entire digital footprint. From scrolling through a website to interacting on social media, customers want to be able to engage with businesses online. It’s no surprise that customers are heading to Google to start their purchase journey, with 60% of consumers beginning their research on a search engine before making their way to a website. This means small businesses have to be playing competitively in the search engine space, and mainly they need to be on Google.
Google owns 77% of the search engine market share worldwide. I mean, who doesn’t look up “Best tacos” on Google or Google Maps before heading out for tacos?! Google knows that consumers want to know where to go, whether they’re looking for a dog walker, a new restaurant, or the best yoga studio.
With that, they’ve created Google My Business – a free tool for businesses that allows the physical location of your business to be found on Google and Google Maps. But, like all things Google, it does so much more than just physically show customers how to find you. Google My Business is a service that allows you to rank on SEO, showcases reviews, and encourage one-click interaction. Need we say more?
Here’s why as a small business, you need to be on Google My Business.
1. It’s free
Seriously. Setting up a Google My Business page takes a matter of seconds and then you’re live. Ensure all the information is correct and start focusing on getting some reviews.
2. It makes things easy for potential customers
Google My Business shows your exact address, phone number, and website and gives everything a one-click access. If someone is on mobile, they can simply hit “call” and be connected with your business. Also, it shows the peak times of business for your business, allowing customers to choose when they might want to come in. Google My Business makes Google Maps a breeze, with one-click directions.
3. Boost ranking with reviews
Google My Business grabs reviews for your business from all relevant review sites, including Google Reviews. If you’re a restaurant, it will pull in and show Yelp, OpenTable, TripAdvisor, or Facebook, for example. If you’re a service, it might grab your reviews from Facebook and Yelp. Hotels, for example, grab from Hotels.com, Expedia, etc. – you get the gist.
This feature is great for consumers, because they can quickly skim businesses and see who has the most reviews and best star rating. As a small business, this also means that you should try and get your customers to leave you reviews. Do some research on what review sites your competitors are on to ensure you’re prompting the right reviews. A safe bet is to focus on Google reviews, as Google uses these to rank your business in simple searches and can help your SEO.
Monitor and care for your Page
Google My Business shouldn’t be a “set it and forget it” strategy. Ensure that you have the right keywords, some nice images, and all the information it needs to thrive. Also, monitor and respond tactfully to reviews. Google My Business can be a powerful tool for small businesses when used correctly, and you want to make sure that when people see your business pop up in their search or map, that they want to head over to your space or website.
Lastly, Google My Business is not a replacement for a landing page or website. Think of it instead of a driver to your website! People will end up on your website or social media to learn more about your business, so create a seamless experience and watch your business and traffic grow.
This week, we are celebrating Small Business Week. Follow #SBW2017 to get informed.