How To Draw More Customers Using Google My Business?
Updated on: 20/05/2022
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Google is considered to be the most visited website in the world. Currently, the website holds over 92% of the search engine market share. It is very important to create a Google business profile, formerly known as Google My Business (GMB) as it helps to attract new customers to your business via Google Maps and Google Search. In this article, we will know what this Google Business Profile is, what are its benefits and downsides, and how you can create and optimize your listings drawing more potential customers.
Table of Contents
- What Is Google My Business / Google Business Profile?
- Why Do You Require A Google My Business Account?
- Step By Step Guide On How To Set Up A Google My Business
- How Can You Optimize Your Google Business Profile?
- How To Create And Share My Business Posts?
- How To Add Special Features & Attributes?
- How To Add Your Products On Google My Business Listings?
What Is Google My Business / Google Business Profile?
The Google Business Profile is an absolutely free business listing offered by Google. It permits you to provide details as well as photos of your business which includes the products, services and location. Creating this Google My Business free profile on one of the top rated search engines increases your visibility across the Google services. The information from your GMB might appear in Google Search, Google Shopping and Google Maps.
Unfortunately, Google My Business is solely available to all the businesses who have contact with their customers. This comprises businesses possessing a physical location such as a store or a restaurant and the businesses that offer services by meeting with the clients in different locations such as plumbers or consultants.
Thus, if you are one of those businesses who possess online-only business, then you will have to take help from the other tools from Google such as Google Analytics and Google Ads.
Why Do You Require A Google My Business Account?
There are a couple of reasons that will make you indulge in the Google Business Profile at the earliest. In this segment, we will talk about three most important ones.
Gets You Discovered In Google & Google Maps
Google is the ultimate search referrer irrespective of the fact whether you are looking for web traffic or foot traffic. A profile on Google My Business ensures that people easily find your business when looking for the products and services just like what you offer in their local area.
Your Google Business profile listing offers to show the searchers where and how to visit your business. The online profile on Google also improves your local SEO. It has been seen that a listing for a local business is more likely to appear when people search for the business “near me” using Google Maps.
Controls Your Online Business Information
If you have your GMB profile, it will permit you to control and update your business hours, contact information and the related information as required.
Additionally, you can also post updates to let the people searching for you online know that you have expanded your services or product line, changes in the business hours, temporarily closed or completely reopened. This serves as an essential feature especially in the Covid-19 scenarios.
This also enables you to have a strong local SEO, so the information that you will share will rank above the various third-party websites that might possess outdated information.
Builds Trust Via Reviews
The reviews from the customers as well as through the local guide program of Google serves as the key element of social proof and it's a meaningful method to build trust as well as credibility. The combined star rating as well as space for the detailed reviews from the house of Google permits the customers to share as little or as much information regarding their experience with your business as they would want to. All of these help the future potential customers decide which businesses they must visit and the products they must purchase.
It can be pretty intimidating to think about the reviews that are coming in on such a public platform, especially since you can choose which Google My Business reviews you want to share, although you can also respond to all the other reviews.
If you find negative reviews online, do not panic. Google mentions that a business having a mix of the positive and the negative comments or reviews are more trustworthy than a page that contains all the positive reviews, recommendations and highest ratings.
Step By Step Guide On How To Set Up A Google My Business
If you have not yet set up your online business on Google Business Profile, then this is the right time. If you have been wondering how to put my business on Google, then this is the right place. In this segment you will find the step by step guide that will help you to set up your business online on Google My Business very easily.
Step 1: Sign In To The Google Business Profile Manager
If you have already logged into your Google account, then you will automatically be logged into the Google Business Profile Manager. If you are not logged in, then you have to enter your usual Google account login details or create a new Google account to receive Google My Business login. You can create a new Google account using the name of your business, whatever you prefer.
Step 2: Add Your Business
In this step, you have to enter the name of your business. If that does not appear in the drop down list while you are trying to enter your business name, then you are required to click the option “Add your business to Google”. Then, you have to click and select on the appropriate category that your business belongs to. After you are done till this, you have to click “Next”.
Step 3: Add Your Location
In this step, you are required to enter the location of your business or shop or company. If you have a physical location of your business where people can visit you, then select “Yes”. Next, you have to add your business address. You might also be required to mark the location on the Google map. However, if your business is completely online and does not possess any physical location but offers deliveries and in-person services, then you can list your services areas. Now, you have to click “Next”.
If you have not added any physical address, then Google will ask you to specify the region you are based in. You have to choose the region from the drop down menu. When you are done, click “Next”.
Step 4: Provide Your Contact Details
This step will ask you to provide all the relevant contact details. You have to enter the business phone number as well as the website address so that the customers can easily reach you. If you prefer customers to not reach by phone, you can omit entering a phone number. After furnishing all the relevant information, click “Next”.
Step 5: Verify Your Business
For this step, you are required to enter the real physical address and not a post office box. This information is just used to verify your business and is never displayed on your Google My Business profile or shared with the public.
After you have entered your address, you must click on “Next”. In this step you would receive applicable options for Google My Business verification for your account. The physical businesses would require to get a postcard by mail for verifying their location. The service-area businesses can be verified via an email address.
As soon as you receive the five digit code, you will have to enter it on the next screen or visit Google My Business website and click on the “Verify” or “Verify Business”. After you are done with this, you will receive a confirmation screen that shows you are verified. On the same screen. Click on “Next”.
Step 6: Customize Your Business Profile
This step offers you the opportunity to customize your business profile where you can enter the business hours, business description, messaging preferences and photos. When you are ready. You have to click on the “Continue” option. As you do this, you will land in the Business Profile Manager dashboard.
From the dashboard, you can manage your business profile, manage reviews and messages, view insights and create the Google Ads.
How Can You Optimize Your Google Business Profile?
Google determines the local search rankings of the business depending on a specific set of factors which include:
✅ Distance: How far you are located from the search or the searcher.
✅ Prominence: How well-known your business is depending on certain factors like the number of reviews, links, SEO and review score.
✅ Relevance: How well your Google Business listing matches a search.
Here are a couple of steps that you are required to follow if you want to optimize your listing on Google My Business and maximize your score for all of the above-mentioned factors.
1. Complete All The Elements Of Your Profile
The customers are 2.7 times more likely to consider your business to be reputable if you possess a complete Google My Business profile. It has been seen that they have been 70% more likely to actually visit your location.
Specifically, Google says that,
“Businesses with complete and accurate information are easier to match with the right searches. This improves your score for relevance. The key here is to tell Google visitors what you do, where you are, and when they can visit.”
In case your business hours change around the peak seasons or the holidays, you are required to make sure that you keep all such details updated.
2. Verify Your Location(s)
The verified business locations are -
“More likely to show in local search results across Google products, like Maps and Search.”
Thus, including a verified location also helps to improve your score for the distance ranking factor. If you have somehow skipped over verifying your location in the account creation steps, then you can request your verification postcard at the above mentioned web address.
3. Add The Real Images As Well As Videos Of Your Business
Your Google My Business profile consists of a cover photo and a logo. You must use such images consistent with those that are there on your social media handles or the social media profiles of your company. This would make it a lot easier for the people searching for your brand online to locate you and contact you.
This is not all. You must add images and videos for showcasing your location, team and work environment. If you run a restaurant, you must post images of your meals, dining room and menus. Additionally, you have to make sure that the images look professional, appetizing and are high resolution. As per Google, the businesses offering images receive more requests for their directions and even more clicks via their websites.
How To Edit Or Add Photos To Your Google Profile
Here are neat and clean steps that you have to follow in the bid to add or edit photos to your business profile on Google.
- Click on the “Photos” in the left menu from the dashboard.
- Add your business logo and cover photo. You can also upload an image by choosing one from the Business Profile albums or you can also choose a photo in which your business is tagged.
- In order to add more photos, you must click “Team” or “At Work” in the top menu of the photos page.
- In the bid to add videos, you must click on the “Video” tab at the top of the photos page.
4. Include Relevant Keywords In Your Profile
Using the correct keyword that aligns with your business will improve the relevance. If you are not sure where to start, you can socider using Google Trends or Google Keyword Planner.
Google Analytics and several social monitoring tools can also aid you to uncover the terms that people use to search for your business. You must incorporate them in a very natural method into the description of your business. Make sure you never stuff keywords or use the relevant ones. If you do so, then this might hurt your search rankings.
5. Go Ahead And Answer The Questions And Reviews
With the plethora of questions from the consumers, reviews, answers and counter questions, it is prominent that people mostly rely on the point of view of other people than they trust the businesses. A good review can be the deciding factor that tips the prospective customers in the favour of your business. Reviews also help to improve your overall Google ranking.
The best time for asking your customers to provide their review after offering them a great experience. For making it easier, Google offers a direct link to ask the customers to review your business.
In order to share your review request link, you are required to do the following:
- From the dashboard, scroll down to the button that mentions “Share Review Form”.
- Copy and paste the link into a message to the customers or into your autoresponder and the online receipts.
Unfortunately, you cannot turn off the reviews for your Google My Business page. And this would not be in your interest to do that anyway as the reviews display to customers that your business is authenticated. However, you can flag and report the inappropriate reviews.
Additionally, you can and should respond to both the positive and negative reviews. According to a survey by Ipsos Connect and Google, the businesses that respond to the reviews are considered 1.7 times more reliable than those that do not.
Thus, you are required to respond professionally in the voice of your brand. While responding to a negative review, you must be honest and also offer an apology when it is warranted. For viewing and responding to reviews, you must click the “Reviews” tab in the left menu of your Business Profile Manager.
6. Keep All Your Business Information Updated
Ensure that you have edited your business profile when you have changed your hours of operation, contact information and more. The customers are more often annoyed when they search for you in your hours of operation but find you are closed. If you have any special hours of operation even for the holidays or the other days, make sure that they are well reflected in your Google My Business Profile.
Additionally, you can also create Google My Business posts to share the updates, news, products, offers and events. If you want to edit your information, you can do that from your dashboard at any time. You can also directly edit your business information from Google Maps or Google Search.
How To Create And Share My Business Posts?
The following are the steps that you have to follow in order to create the share the business posts:
- Go to the “Dashboard” and click “Posts” in the left menu.
- Click “Create Post”.
- Choose the kind of post that you want to create such as an offer, a Covid-19 update, an event, information regarding What’s New or a product. Each type of the post possesses different information to complete.
How To Add Special Features & Attributes?
The special attributes and features are available for Google Business accounts based on the category that you have chosen. Here are a couple of category-specific features that are available:
- The hotels can display their class ratings, highlights, sustainability practices, amenities, check in and check out times.
- The bars and restaurants can upload the dish photos, menus and the most popular dishes.
- The service oriented businesses can display a list of the available services.
- The healthcare providers can add the health insurance information.
- The businesses also possess access to the various kinds of the buttons depending on their category like the reservations, appointment bookings and the orders.
If you think that your business is available for one of these features, but you do not see them, then you might have selected the wrong category. You can also choose upto 10 categories for your business.
Additionally, you can also add the factual attributes to your profile for sharing more information that your customers might care about. If you run a restaurant or a shop, you might be looking forward to sharing whether your restaurant is wheelchair accessible or offers outdoor seating or free Wi-Fi. You can also go ahead and share if your company is owned by a woman or if the place is LGBTQ+ friendly.
For adding the attributes, you have to follow the below-mentioned steps:
- Go to the “Dashboard” and click “Info”.
- Click “Add Attributes” from under “From The Business”. If you have already added some attributes and want to include some more, go to “From The Business'' and click on the “pencil” icon next to it.
- Now, scroll through the list of available options for your business and check the applicable attributes. Then click “Apply”.
How To Add Your Products On Google My Business Listings?
If you are selling products, you need to ensure that you add an updated inventory to your Google Business profile. Your products might appear in Google Shopping in addition to the profile itself. You can add products to your Business Profile manually. For that, you have to click on the “Products” in the left menu and then click on the “Get Started” for adding your very first product.
If you are a retail business owner from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia or Ireland, then you can make use of the barcode scanner to sell the products possessing the manufacturer barcodes. You can also engage in some free marketing tools offering free marketing kits. The free marketing kit from Google comes with printable posters, stickers and social posts with which you can even create a custom video. But for this, you are required to possess a proper business profile.
The previously known Google My Business (GMB) or newly termed Google Business Profile (GBP) is a great idea to almost rule the Google search engine results page and the Google Maps. This feature offers visibility to the local businesses and helps nearby customers to easily find out the brand and contact them if they wish to. If you have a physical store, your customers might want to find out on Google SERPs or maps and visit you physically. If you want to get your business listed on the go, you can choose to use Google My Business app.