Let's begin by offering a general overview of what it is, then I'll go into the benefits, how it works and more importantly why your business should be using Google My Business.
In brief, Google My Business (https://www.google.com/business/) is a priceless service/tool by Google that should be as essential to your business' marketing strategy as a website, social media, phone number, email address as well as a mobile app in my opinion. Having your business hours, phone number and directions correct is critical if you are interested in remaining relevant, discoverable and gain new business. If you have doubts, place your business in any of these examples. If your business is all of that, that none of the examples matter then I applaud you and invite you to share with everyone your secret.
According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, a vast majority of Americans – 95% – now own a smartphone. The share of Americans that own smartphones are now 77%, up from just 35% in Pew Research Center’s first survey of smartphone ownership conducted in 2011. (Source: http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile/)
Making Your Business Standout Online
If 70% of mobile searches lead to online action within an hour, wouldn't it be wise to ensure you make every effort to ensure your business is easily discoverable? Now if you question how to do that if I don't know what they're using to search, then I would strongly recommend you go to this site called Google and another called Bing and begin there.
In “Mobile Path-to-Purchase,” it was found that mobile search behavior – by people who search the Internet for good food using their phones or tablets – has a nearly 90% conversion rate. This only goes to show that location is extremely critical in driving mobile searchers to restaurants as well as it will be in your chosen industry. (Source: https://www.reviewtrackers.com/mobile-customers-food/)
When people search for your business where do they go? Typically Google or Bing. So the first question is if your phone number show up? Is the right address and website listed? This allows them to use find you, call your business or visit your website or offers a greater opportunity to gain a new follower on social media.
Razzle Dazzle Them
A great picture is great, but give them more by offering a virtual tour or even a 360 photo. This is an opportunity to sell without selling. So try to razzle dazzle them.
Reviews Matter What people say or think about you personally may not matter, but when it comes to a business their opinion matters. How you respond matters. If you're not routinely monitoring, acknowledging and responding to what people are saying about your business online, then you are missing out on an even bigger opportunity. Managing your business listing on Google Search and Google Maps is not difficult, free and more importantly, it should be an essential piece of your social media strategy and marketing plan.
Data Counts Now when you're working with a Google product, you know there's going to be some sort of measurement tool and Google My Business is not different. Leverage this tool to help you learn more about your customers and how they’re interacting with your business. How did people find you? Where are they coming from? This information can help you in so many different areas of your marketing strategy that it's too easy not to utilize.
Mobility is Key Although it's not a social networking site, you can include it in your social marketing efforts. Whether you're in the office or on the go, post pictures to show what’s happening now. If you're like me, managing a social media account isn't a regular 9 to 5, you've got to be able to respond in a reasonable amount of time depending on the platform. Being mobile is just as important as being responsive. So if you need to update business hours to accommodate circumstances around an event or season it's all at your fingertips with the Google My Business app.
So take a moment to inquire with your company's social media manager to learn how they're utilizing the Google My Business tool in the organization's social media marketing plan. If your business doesn't have someone doing this or knowledgeable of it, perhaps I can be of service.