Picture: You’ve been working all day without a break.
You eventually get off work and realize that you’re so hungry, you’re upset; it’so-called hangry.
Those hangry rumblings make you want to find the nearest restaurant, so that you can fill yourself up.
Where do you turn?
Most likely you’ll turn to Google, and then a Google My Business listing, on your smartphone to find a close restaurant with great reviews and some yummy photos.
Now imagine you own that restaurant. You just scored a new client!
According to Google, every month there are over five billion searches for restaurants, three billion searches for hotels, one billion searches for clothing stores, and another 600 million searches for beauty and hair salons.
As a marketer, it’s your job to turn those searches into new customers. When prospects are looking for a particular solution, service or type of business, Google My Business helps them readily connect on both Google Search and Maps.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free tool which enables small business owners (and nonprofits) to promote their business information on Google Search and Maps. With Google My Business, you can connect with your customers, post updates to your business profile, and see how customers are interacting with your company on Google.
Consider Google My Business like your own piece of property on Google local. When clients find themselves in a moment of need (also called a micro-moment) they turn to Google search to satisfy that need as fast as possible.
For those who have a Google My Business profile, then the potential customer might very well find and contact your business to fulfill that need.
It’s important to remember that Google My Business doesn’t replace your website; rather, it’s a complementary advertising profile to help drive more eyes on your own site.
Google My Business features give you the ability to attract, engage, and convert customers. With a verified Google My Business profile, you can:
- Connect with clients via phone calls, messaging, or responding to reviews
- See how customers interact and connect with your brand on Google
- Feature products, photographs, or menu items right on Google
Before you can do anything, you need to create a Google My Business profile, so let’s walk through the process. Note: This is the same process you’d follow if a listing already exists for your company and you clicked on the”Own this business?” Link within the listing.
How to make a Google My Business profile
Now you understand the marketing potential that Google My Business provides, but how can you make a new profile? Below are nine steps to creating a Google My Business profile. If you’re a visual learner, I’ve made this handy video to guide you along the way.
For people who like to read directions, follow the procedure below to build out your company profile.
Step 1: Start by visiting google.com/business
Be sure to bookmark this speech, as you’ll need it to access your Google My Business profile in the future.
Step 2: Log in with your Google account
If you don’t have a Google account, visit google.com/accounts. You’ll be able to create a free account with any email address.
Step 3: Enter your business name
Be sure that you spell your name correctly and use Title Case (where you capitalize the first letter of every word.) This is the first impression for a customer, and you want to be certain it’s a positive experience.
Step 4: Enter your business address
This screen is where you’ll enter your company address, so Google can confirm that your company exists. This cannot be a post office box or mailbox in a storefront like Postal Annex or UPS Store. You may also only have one company per residence.
Step 5: Choose whether you’re a storefront or a service supplier
This ’s where you choose whether you want customers to go to your storefront or if you work at home or would like your clients don’t visit your office, you may select a mile radius around your company, a specific state or city, or a group of zip codes.
Step 6: Pick your Main business category
Choosing your main category is essential as it dictates where and when you will show up on Google searches. Google is all about value, so if a potential customer searches for “Italian Restaurant” but you’re a pizza place, then you might not show up. If the customer searches for “Best pizza near me,” then you’d have a much better prospect of your business profile showing up in the search results.
Step 7: Insert your phone number and website
Both phone calls and site clicks are tracked by Google My Business, so ensure that your information is right here.
Step 8: Verify your local listing (probably with a postcard)
According to Google, to manage your business information in Maps, Search, along with other Google properties, you must verify your business listing. The verification procedure helps Google make sure your enterprise information is accurate and that only you, the company owner or manager, has access to it.
Step 9: Finish populating your Google My Business profile
I’ll talk more about optimizing your Google My Business profile in another installment of our Google My Business series.
Putting it all together
Envision a brand new customer coming into your shop and telling you they found you on Google. They found YOU. Now, stop imagining because it’s all potential with Google My Business. Take advantage of this free tool brought to you by Google, so you can start attracting, engaging, and converting new customers straight away.
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