People go into business for themselves for a variety of reasons. With that in mind, making sure you do all you can to put your small business in a position to succeed is key. So, why is it smart on your end to create a Google business listing?
From appearing in online searches to being an authority in your field, be recognizable on the web. The bottom line is, you’ll want and have to stand out for all the right reasons. If you do not feel confident that enough consumers know about you, what do you plan on doing about this?
In being recognized on Google, here are ways to go about securing a free business listing and why it is critical.
First, you may or may not be an online whiz. If you are the latter; learn why you need your business to be recognizable when it comes to online searches. Whether a consumer buys goods and services in person or on the web, they often go online to do research.
According to Oberlo.com, 63 percent of shopping occasions start with the Internet. That translates to a lot of folks beginning the buying journey online and often via a Google search.
Meantime, localmarketinginstitute.com reported less than 50 percent of local retailers have taken time to claim a business listing on Google. Without that listing, it can be hard for some businesses to stand out from their competition.
Now, stop for a moment and think about all the potential revenue and sales you’d be passing by. That is if consumers could not find your brand on a simple search of Google. So, the key is to make sure you are noticed on Google and that your business listing is worth a look.
Start by creating a Google business listing. It will describe your company and enhance your profile.
Among the things you’d want in the Google My Business (GMB) listing would be information such as:
- Full company name.
- Business address (If you work from home, decide if you are okay with giving out a home address. You may want to keep that private. That is unless you will be having customers coming to your home for goods and/or services).
- Office phone and cell phone if you have both. Make sure any phone numbers you make public are correct. Being even one digit off can leave you missing out on potential business.
- Hours that your business is open to the public. Make sure your hours are known. If one sees your Google listing and that you close in the next half hour, they can always make note of it. They can reach out to you the next morning etc. when you open again for business. Don’t leave consumers guessing as it relates to when you are open for business.
- Your company’s website and any social media links to your brand. The latter can include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
Once you have the general information as it relates to your small business, the work is not done yet. Have you done Google searches for businesses anytime recently or even in the past? For example, say you did a Google search for dry cleaners in the San Diego area.
The first listing or two you will find are paid Google Adwords ads for such businesses in San Diego. Since they are at or near the top of a Google inquiry for dry cleaners in San Diego, those brands will be in a prime search location.
The first page of a Google listing no matter the industry can also end up with Yelp reviews for area businesses. After those spots are taken, you have the next listings down to the bottom of the first page. Okay, not being at the top of the first page is not necessarily the end of the world.
Even being on page two or three of a Google search for a specific product or service is not a killer. That said, you do not want to end up on pages 5, 10, 15, and so on. The further down in the listings your business is, the less chance you have of attracting new customers.
With all you have to do as a business owner, you may be thinking you do not have a lot of time available to mess with Google. If that is your line of thinking, it needs to change and relatively soon. Even when you’ve created a Google My Business page listing, the work does not end there. Take note that providing info beyond the basics of who you are, where you are at, hours of operation etc. is key.
Having images of your business and even you are not a bad thing. Should you post images, make sure they define what your business is about and are clear to the eye.
If you post some reviews from satisfied customers, this can also help your listing pick up steam. In the event that one or more customers write less than stellar reviews of your business, do your best to address them in a professional manner.
Finally, it is worth your time to review your company’s Google ranking.
See if it is experiencing any notable changes. Such changes can be due to good or bad influences on your ranking. The good would be more sales and revenue etc. The bad would be negative online reviews, not getting much traction with social media, etc.
If all this Google work sounds like a lot for you to handle, hire help. There is the option of hiring a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) pro to oversee this part of your business.
At the end of the day, having your business be a force on Google is good for your business image, and ultimately, your wallet.
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