Google my business listing is the free Local SEO business listing service provided by Google to help businesses and customers connect easily.
Operating a successful business requires effective marketing strategies to attract and retain customers, and generate constant sales.
A good way to achieve this is to take advantage of the free digital marketing tool of the world’s latest search engine (Google).
By setting up your Google my business listing, you make it possible for your business to appear on Google search or Google map when potential customers are searching on Google for that product or service you’re offering, and you stand a chance of making more sales.
In this my how to set up Google my business listing and get more customers step-by-step guide, I will show you how to set up your Google my business profile, and how you can use it to get more customers for your business.
Who needs Google my business listing?
Google my business (GMB) is a free digital marketing tool for local businesses that want to improve their visibility and online presence.
It’s an effective local SEO strategy that helps your business show up on Google when potential customers nearby are searching for a product or service you’re selling.
So having your restaurant, hotel, car dealer shop, book store, boutique, or any other business you operate appear on Google is a good marketing strategy you can use to grow your business.
How Google my business listing can benefit your business
Is Google my business (GMB) a good digital marketing tool as people claim?
And how do I know this?
Consumer buying behaviors have changed drastically. According to a study, 87% of consumers now conduct an online search before purchasing a product or service. This search is done over the internet and search engines.
According to BrightLocal, 84% of these business searches are discovery (where people search for a product, service, or a business category, and your listing shows up on Google), and the remaining 16% are direct searches (meaning that a consumer directly Googled your business name or address)
Google is the world’s largest search engine, handling over 3.5 billion searches per day, with searches containing “near me” or “close by” (example: a restaurant near me) reported to have increased by more than 900%, coupled with reports that these type of searches results in people buying something 28% of the time.
What a good thing it will be for you if your business appears on Google when potential customers are searching for that product or service you’re selling.
So how will GMB listing help you attract and retain customers for your business?
Google my business listing makes your business discoverable
Having your local business listed on Google helps to improve your visibility. With over 90% of search engine market share being controlled by Google, you can trust that whether it’s web or foot traffic, Google is the master traffic referer.
An accurate, complete, and optimized listing is an effective local SEO strategy, that makes it possible for people to find your business on Google search or Google map.
If potential customers nearby can find your business on Google, your listing show the products or service you offer, where you are, and how they can get to your shop.
Google my business listing help you keep customers informed
A good customer experience is an effective way to retain existing customers. With Google my business listing, customers can get legitimate information about important details of your business straight from horse’s mouth. Customers will be able to see your posts, any events, notices, and any ongoing promotions like flash sales, or holiday discounts.
Google my business listing helps you build trust
Trust is a key factor that influences buying decisions. Customers are more likely to buy from you if they trust you.
Having a Google my business profile adds credibility to your brand. According to a study, businesses that show up on Google are 2.7 times more likely to be trusted by consumers.
Another study revealed that credibility gained from Google can sway people, and make them 38% likely to visit your store, and 29% more likely to buy from you.
Reviews also help to build customer trust. More than 63% of people are more likely to check out Google reviews before they visit any business.
When customers scroll through the reviews and the responses on your listing, their perception of your brand can be greatly improved, and this helps to build trust which gets them closer to making a purchase.
How to set up your Google my business profile
Setting up a GMB profile is something you or anyone can easily do. What you need to get started is a Google account. Follow these steps to create a Google my business profile and get your business on Google.
step 1: create a Google account but if you already have one, then you’re good to go.
Step 2: Go to www.Google.com/business, click on “manage now”
Step 3: enter your business name. After entering the business name, click the ‘create a business with name’ that pops up.
Step 4: Choose your business category
By choosing a business category, you’re telling Google the kind of customers that should see your business. So try to narrow down and choose a business category that describes your business as accurately as possible.
Step 5: Enter your business Location
If you have a physical address that you want Google to display, thick yes, and Google will bring you to a page where you will enter your business address. But if you don’t have a physical address, or you don’t want your address showing up on Google, then thick no.
Step 6: specify service delivery area
Google will ask you to specify the areas you deliver to. The reason for this is to help Google to display your business on searches in those areas. You have the option of entering the regions that your business serves.
Step 7: Add your contact details
Add your phone number and your website URL
Step 8: finish and manage your listing
Step 9: Verify your account
As a new account, there are three options through which Google can verify your account.
- Postcard verification (Google sends a postcard containing a verification code to the address you provided)
- Phone verification (Google sends a verification code to the phone number you provided)
- Email verification ( your verification code will be sent to your email)
When you get your code through any of these means, you will need to enter it into your account to verify the account.
How to get more customers with Google my business listing
Using your GMB listing as a digital marketing tool for business requires that you optimize your listing. To optimize your GMB listing, you need to:
Add relevant photos and videos to the business profile.
Using quality photos and videos is a good way to engage your audience and help them see what your business is all about. Google reported that businesses with photos receive 35% more visits to their website, and 42% higher requests for driving directions to their shops on Google map.
Videos are equally effective marketing tools. 64% of users are more likely to buy a product after watching a video. You can use videos to explain what your business is all about, and inform searchers of any event or promotions.
Write a well-optimized and compelling business description.
Writing persuasive content that tells users about your product or services, and informs them of any special offers or any benefit they stand to gain if they buy from you is a powerful way you can convince people to make a purchase.
Use the question and answer (Q&A) feature
Answering questions people have about your brand, product or service is a way you can engage customers, better customer experience, improve consumer’s perception of your business, and build trust.
According to Brightlocals, helping potential customers find relevant and timely answers to their questions will directly influence their decision to call or visit your website or store.
Create posts to showcase your offers or promotions.
Creating posts that advertise your offers and any ongoing promotion is a good way to engage potential customers who are searching for that product or service you’re offering.
People can easily be swayed to call, visit your shop or website if they see you’re offering any special discounts or promo for a particular product or service they are interested in. This form of digital advertising is a sure way you draw more people to your business.
Add your product collections or service menu.
With this, readers can scroll through and view a list of product or services you’re offering, it helps them view your business as authentic, and can also influence their buying decision.
People who click your listing because of one product or service displayed by Google, end up seeing other products or services they may be interested in when they browse through your product or service catalog.
Even if they’re not willing to purchase any of the other listed products immediately, you have a greater chance of popping up in their head when the need for any of those other products arise.
Get customer reviews, and also respond to reviews
Reading what people are saying about you and your responses affects consumer’s perception of your brand and influence their buying decision. 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from their friends or family members.
Encourage your loyal customers to leave reviews. On your part, try as much as possible to respond to every review, whether they’re positive or negative.
Because the more reviews you have on your GMB listing, the more trustworthy you appear, and the more people will be convinced to buy from you.
Let’s wrap this up
There’s no single business (big or small) without competition.
Running a successful business in this generation is not just about what you’re selling, rather, it’s about how you sell whatever you’re selling.
If you leave the growth of your business to chance or lady luck, then your business may be the next titanic to sink.
A lot of business owners already know this and are leveraging several marketing strategies to survive, grow, and boost sales, and stay ahead of the competition.
If you want the same results, you should claim your Google my business listing and get your business to appear on Google.
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