You know that strong online marketing is essential to establishing and growing your presence as a retailer. When it comes to local SEO, Google My Business is one of the easiest (and free) ways to get your business on customers’ radar and set yourself apart from your competition. Despite this, a 2016 study found that just 44 percent of local retailers have created a Google My Business listing. If you’re part of the majority of businesses that are missing out, no need to worry: we break down the basics below.
Google My Business: What is It?
If you’ve ever googled a business, you have likely seen a Google My Business listing. It’s a box of key information including a quick description, store hours, location, contact information and photos. It also shows popular busy times at the business along with reviews from customers. Here’s an example, which appeared at the top of search results after searching “West Elm Chicago”:
Look familiar? A Google My Business listing organizes important information into a neat package, and it’s often what customers see before they’ve been to your website or brick-and-mortar.
Setting Up Your Listing
The process is pretty simple. First, you’ll head to www.google.com/business and make an account. Google will send you a postcard to verify your business and that you are the owner. After this, you’ll need to gather your company information and fill out as much as possible on Google My Business. Beyond the company name, address, phone number and website, make sure to include your logo and at least three photos.
While there isn’t much upkeep involved, you should check in on your listing from time to time to keep your account information up to date. A listing that has all the right information will show up higher in search results. If you move or change your website, making sure your listing is accurate will not only help your SEO, it’ll increase consumer confidence in your company. If your business is hard to pin down, customers are less likely to pay you a visit.
With Google My Business, you’re meeting customers where they are: online. Gone are the days of using phone books and newspapers to look up local businesses. The Internet has disrupted all of that, and made it easier for customers to quickly find you. 96 percent of all PC owners conduct local searches and an impressive 78 percent of local mobile searches end in an offline purchase, according to a comScore study. As you know, visibility is directly correlated to sales.
Google My Business also lets you see how people are interacting with your business online. You’ll see the number of clicks on your phone number or website, where visitors to your page are coming from and how many people are clicking to get directions to your showroom. This data can help you understand what you’re doing well, and what you need to work on.
You can also stay connected with your customers on the go, with the ability to respond to reviews, update your business hours and post photos from any location.
For more details, visit www.google.com/business or call 1-844-491-9665.
Photo: Negative Space