The goal of marketing is to reach customers, and your customers are online. Over 80% of shoppers research online before going to a store to make a purchase - and 64% of shoppers search locally on Google My Business when they are ready to visit their local dealer Ensuring that your Google My Business profile is complete is a critical step (and free tool!) to make sure your business is found when people are searching online. Google My Business impacts local SEO and increases the opportunity for your business to be displayed at the top of the search page.
Business owners often question how to prioritize the many marketing initiatives available to them. Prioritize your Google My Business profile within your local marketing plans to reach more online shoppers. Learn three tips to maximize the impact of your Google My Business listing.
Step 1: Complete your entire profile
Provide as much information as possible about your business to enhance your ranking within Google search results. Local results typically rank well due to the relevance of local keyword or “near me” searches. Google determines local ranking based on three factors: relevance, distance, and prominence. Update your Google My Business listing to share your contact details, business category, photos and reviews to rank higher within Google results.
Your profile also allows you to select from a long list of attributes to highlight the special features of your business. Do you offer curbside pick-up? Is your business handicap accessible, pet friendly and do you offer free wi-fi? Is your business family owned, or do you have staff available who speak multiple languages? These are attributes, among many others, that can be added to your profile to enhance your listing and your online reputation. And don’t stop with Google My Business - consistent contact information listed across all platforms, including social media accounts and websites, signals to search engines that your business should be showing up in relevant local searches.
Pro Tip: Get Verified! If you are eligible, act quickly to verify your Google My Business page; this allows you to control the contact information, display prominently on Google Maps local results and be notified of customer reviews. Follow these simple steps to verify your business listing.
Step 2: Encourage and interact with customer reviews
Customer reviews help build confidence and trust that your business is the right choice for local shoppers. Encourage your best customers to review your business on Google - those reviews have an immense impact on shopper’s buying decisions. Businesses with more reviews are more likely to rank higher on search results, which means better visibility to searchers. Customers can leave reviews through their mobile device or computer - to encourage additional reviews, you can also create and share a link to direct customers to write reviews.
Pro Tip: Respond to reviews! Interacting with customers via reviews shows you're engaged and helps build customer loyalty, especially the more positive reviews and interactions you have. See the Pro Tip in Step 1 - only verified businesses can respond to reviews!
Step 3: Stand out with news, photos, updates and special offers
Over 80% of local searches are discovery - the shopper is learning what local businesses are available for their product needs. Make sure you stand out from the competition by adding your store logo to your profile. Your logo makes your business more recognizable, and keeps you top of mind as the shopper makes their final purchase decisions.
Photos of your business, your staff and examples of your work build confidence that you are trustworthy and able to help get the job done! Your Google My Business listing provides a glimpse into your overall business - and the use of photos allows you to engage shoppers immediately. In fact, Google found that businesses with photos are more likely to receive requests for driving directions to their location. Profiles that include photos are also 2x more likely to be considered reputable and receive 35% more clicks.
Pro Tip: Update and Maintain! Updating and maintaining your Google My Business profile helps you stay relevant throughout the year and engage with your customer base. Be sure to stay on top of your contact information, address and store hours if anything changes. Consider scheduling an appointment for yourself every three to six months to review and update your profile details.
Effectively using Google My Business gives you the advantage to be displayed at the top of search engine results, a prominent placement for shoppers seeking to purchase from a local business. Your listing helps you gain new customers and build loyalty among existing customers by showcasing what sets you apart from the competition. Attract customers by adding quality photos, highlighting promotions and interacting with customer reviews all within your verified Google My Business listing.
Need help setting up your Google My Business account? Check out this article.
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