Every business is built on the hope that people will find the product or the service the business owner offers. With the advent of the digital age, online marketing for a business, whatever it might be, is of utmost importance.
You have to accustom yourself to the digital tools that help your business grow online. You can’t look over the fact. Well, if you ask how to do it, Google My Business (GMB) recently known as Google Business Profile is the way. GMB is most beneficial to small and local businesses.
By listing your business with Google My Business, you have an edge over your competitors who haven’t listed their business. It helps you get more traffic to your business when someone searches on Google for the products or services you offer. The visitors also get navigated to your services through Google Maps.
Setting up the account
Let us see how to set up a Google My Business account
- Create a Google account
- Name your business
- Select the appropriate category
- Add the location of your business
- Contact information
1. Create a Google account
First of all, what you need is a Google account to create your listing. If you don’t have a Google account, create one. Search “create Google account” on Google. It will take you to the screen above and from there on it is easy to create a Google account with basic details.
2. Name your business
Once you have logged in with your Google account, go to the page “google.com/business”. Type the name of your business in the search bar and see if your business shows up. If it does, you can claim the ownership of the business. If it doesn’t, it means that you have to create your listing.
3. Select the appropriate category
Then, select the category of your business. Select the closest category to avoid any confusion for the visitor.
4. Add the location of your business
In this step, you can add the location if you have an on-location shop. If you have an outlet, you can add the location of your store. If your business is a service-based one, you can add the area around which you offer your services.
5. Contact information
Add your contact information such as the contact number of your business for the visitors to contact you if they want to. You can add the URL of your website where you can showcase your products or services better to your visitors who may be your potential customers.
Verify your ownership with a mail that arrives at your address with a PIN which you have to use to confirm your ownership of the business. You have to provide your name while verifying the account through the mail.
It is better if you collect the data that each section of the setting up process asks you to fill out. The more detailed your listing is, the more likely it is to perform well in the search engine results.
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After setting up, a Google My Business profile looks like this.
After setting up the account, you need to optimize your Business profile for Google which is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for it to work at its maximum potential.
There are some features in the GMB platform which you need to use properly for the optimization of your business profile. Let us see why you need to take care of these details when you are optimizing your business profile and what role they play in the performance of your business online.
- Complete every section, leave no stone unturned
- On-point contact information
- Categories & Attributes
- Reviews & Queries
- Be regular with posts
1. Complete every section, leave no stone unturned
Try to fill every detail of your business that the platform asks for. Because a complete profile or listing is likely to perform better in Google rankings.
2. On-point contact information
Provide the name of your business as it is on the board of your store or outlet. The inconsistencies that may arise due to the name are also taken into account by Google. So, ensure that the name of your business is consistent on all platforms. And also, give your business contact number.
Add your business hours and holiday hours. And regularly update the timings of your outlet. Due to any emergency, if the store cannot remain open during business hours, make sure you update the status of your availability. Otherwise, you might run the risk of losing a customer who navigates to your store and returns dissatisfied if he finds it closed.
Profile with photos is an indication that the business listing is genuine. It also adds to the visibility of the listing. A business listing is more likely to get suggested in search results if it has photos. Regularly adding photos to your profile shows that you are up-to-date and active on the platform. There is also a provision for people to add photos to your Business profile. With the photos you add and the ones people add, you’ll have a rich (in terms of diversity) collection of photos. The more photos you have, the more customers there will be that are going to request directions on Google Maps and those people are likely to visit your website where they can know your business better. You can add videos to further enhance your visibility.
4. Categories & Attributes
Be as specific as possible with your categories. This is very crucial for your listing when people search for something related to your business. A huge chunk of views a Business profile gets on Google are from indirect searches. According to statistics of GMB released by Bright Local, 84% of the searches for a business come through discovery searches. A customer searches with a term related to your business and Google might show your Business profile if you have chosen the specific category. Try to add features that are specific to that category. For example, if you have a restaurant and you offer Chinese cuisine, choose “Chinese restaurant” instead of just “restaurant”. If you have a hair salon, mention if it is gender-specific. And also, choose secondary categories. For a restaurant, “Home Delivery” might be a category that a restaurant owner should consider adding. If you have a salon, mention if it is gender-specific.
After selecting the relevant categories, add attributes that apply to your category. For a restaurant, “dine-in” or “take-out” attributes might be applicable.
5. Reviews & Queries
Reviews indicate the buzz around your business. Ask the customers that are within your reach to review the products they have purchased or the services they availed. Most people will agree to review if asked. Reviews influence the decision of the customers who visit your business profile. If you have to choose between a business listing with reviews and one without reviews, which one will you choose? If your Business profile has reviews, that gives you an advantage over your competitors who have no reviews.
Take out time and respond to every query or comment. It will benefit your business. Reply very courteously to your customers who are not satisfied with your service or product and try to take feedback from them. All this interaction will boost your credibility in the eyes of Google as well as customers.
6. Be regular with posts
Post the offers you have, events that you organize, and any updates related to your business. Make sure to post any increase in the accommodation capacity and similar details.
If you wish, you can edit the details of your business listing according to your requirement. And also, you have a dashboard where you can monitor your GMB profile.
All these features mentioned above make your business profile look complete. These might look like trivial details but the impact these details have on the overall performance of the business listing is huge. These tiny details make the business more discoverable on the search engine.
Given the pace at which businesses are growing online post-pandemic, online presence is of utmost importance to local businesses (or any business for that matter). Triggered by the lockdown due to COVID-19, digital marketing is at its peak now. If you wish to be ahead of your competitors, you must focus on the online growth of your business.
Google My Business helps you build that presence by converting the people on the radar of your location, who are looking for services that you offer, into your customers.
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