by Phil Chow
Did you know that you can list your business on Google My Business and thus connect with your customers whether they are searching for you on Google’s Map, Search or Google+?
Listing is free and also gives you bonus access to other Google tools like YouTube and Google Analytics.
By listing with Google My Business, you give Google extra information about your business such as your hours of business, what you do, etc. to Google’s Search, Maps and Google+ so that customers can find you, no matter what device they’re using.
This extra information also signals to Google that you are a real, live business for its search algorithm, potentially giving you an edge over your competitors who have not listed with Google My Business.
Google My Business’ Benefits
Here’s a quick video overview of what Google My Business can do for your business:
It’s easy to register on Google My Business. Just go to Google My Business (opens in a new window). If you already have a Google account or email address, click on the sign in button; otherwise, click on Get on Google and follow the prompts. You can verify to Google:
- which businesses you own (Google likely already indexed your business, but by claiming it, no one else can then claim ownership and high jack your businesses);
- help customers get in touch with you as you create your Google+ Business Page (and your Google+ Personal Page) by filling in your phone number, address, hours and business description.
Once done, you get a Google My Business Dashboard to coordinate all your activities across Google, from seeing how many people visited your page, access your YouTube channel (it’s free to create one) to upload your business videos, manage your reviews, share your posts, etc.
Your Google+ business page
Here’s a quick story of how a local business uses its Google Plus Business Page to attract customers:
A Google+ Business Page is especially important to have for your business. As mentioned above, you can add extra information about your business, but having a Google+ page for your business lets you interact with your customers; you can continuously post information about your business to it, like your latest specials, events, products, etc. without having to know any code.
Also, customers can comment on your posts (and you can respond to theirs), write reviews of your business, “plus” (i.e. like) and share your business to their Google circles (i.e. their network of Google “friends”), so encourage them to visit your page to develop your local fan base.
Moreover, encourage your customers to write reviews of you on your Google+ Business page. Get at least ten reviews on your page and Goggle will display your number of Google reviews with your listing when people search for your type of businesses on Google. As well, it will priority display your listing over your competitors who do not have ten reviews. People tend to click on listings with more reviews, so this means you increase your chances they will click on your listing over your competitors.
Fill out Google+’s form as completely as possible; such as, upload the maximum number of pictures of your business that Google allows. And in the business description section, add your business’ keywords into your business description as you create Google+ business page optimizes your page. But it’s also important that you:
- enter your business name, address and phone number as they exactly appear on your website (being a local business, your website should display your business name, address and phone number);
- frequently share information about your business that educates, interests and/or entertains your customers; such as, your specials, events, humour, tips, how tos, ask a question, thank customers for their reviews, respond to bad reviews with offer to address them, share customer success stories of your business, etc., etc. Just use your imagination! Google will notice your customer engagement and will tend to rank your page higher in its search results; and
- as mentioned before, get at least ten reviews of your business, if not more, on your Google+ business page to also rank your page higher in Google’s search results.
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