Increasing Your Business and Brand Awareness with Google My Business

You need a Google My Business page.

Why?

Well, what’s one of the first things you do when you’re looking for something online?

You Google it.

In an age when Google is a verb in the dictionary, it’s commonplace for one to “google” what he or she needs to find information on it. Which brings us to Google My Business.

Businesses, in general, will benefit from a fully developed Google Business page because it gives you the power to gain more customers when they search for your business online. It’s a gateway, a landing site, a portal to your business that gives key information to the potential customer.

How does it work?

This free tool elevates your business by promoting it through Google Maps and Google Search. It makes it clickable and gives you another entry way into managing your business’s online footprint.

Not sure where to start?

We’ve put together a checklist for any business owner to start this process on their own. While this may seem overwhelming, taking it step by step is the best way to get started:

  1. First, go to https://business.google.com/create. There you can search your business name or follow the prompts to list your business if it’s not on the dropdown menu.
  2. Then, follow the prompts to fill out the necessary information. Below we’ve outlined what’s important and why.
  3. NAP – Stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number. See, looks more difficult than it is! One of the most important parts of any online business profile is the Name, Address & Phone number. There are tools, such as Yext, that run through all of your online profiles and update your NAP to be consistent throughout the internet. This helps with your visibility and customer trust. It is vital that your NAP is correct on Google Business, Bing Business, Yelp, and any other online profiles you might have.
  4. Store Hours – Hours of operation, goes without saying why this is an important section to fill out on Google Business or any other profile. On top of regular store hours, you especially want to make sure you add any special holiday hours or days that you will be closed. It’s never a good feeling for a customer to show up to your place of business and find that you’re closed. The frustration and inconvenience stick and make it very rare for them to come back again, unless they’ve already invested in your products.
  5. Photos – This section of your profile is expansive.
    • Logo – It’s important that you have a clear logo uploaded and it is selected as your “logo” for Google to use first and foremost when customers search for you.This helps promote brand association, brand loyalty, and brand awareness. In short, it makes people recognise your brand and therefore create top of mind status.
    • Cover Photo – The cover photo is usually an image of your storefront or your main brand, again, promoting brand awareness and brand association.
    • Quick tip – Customers will recognize your store when they’re driving to it!
    • Store Photos – This should include photos of the inside of your store, any products you sell, special rooms for product testing, and if possible, a picture of your staff.
    • Product Photos – These can range from a variety of in-store products to professional products provided by the manufacturer
  6. Videos – Oftentimes, the only videos we have are provided by the manufacturer. If the manufacturer does not provide any videos, it is highly recommended that you take some internal footage to add to your page. This can mean deliveries of your product to a customer’s house, technicians working on servicing a product or just a simple tour of your store always helps. Videos help promote interaction and allow people to engage with your product even if they aren’t personally doing anything.
  7. Service Areas – This is a big one that allows Google to show you to the correct areas. It is recommended that the owner of the business provides this to the marketing company or you will have to do the research on your own. You can use zip codes, city or county names or just name an entire state if the service area stretches that far.
  8. Services – For example, if you own a hot tub store, here you could put in “hot tub store, hot tub service, pool contractor, sports equipment store, etc.”
  9. Company Description – Many times this can be pulled from the website’s About Us page. If not, then it is best to include information about how long the company has been in business, if it is family owned, the services that you are best known for and any awards you may have won in the last year or two.
  10. Products – This section on Google Business has been in beta for a couple of months now. It may not be available to every business page. If it is available for you, then we highly recommend using it. You can post pictures of your products and give price ranges or you can choose to provide no prices. Either way, this section allows your customers to see exactly what you offer before stepping into your store, creating efficiency and convenience for your customers.
  11. Posts – Always post promos as an offer or event. If you don’t have any promotions, then use any free brochures, free services or quotes you offer to get the customer to sign up or go to your website.
  12. Reviews – Reviews are the bread and butter of Google pages. Having a large quantity of great reviews is the first step to being featured more by Google when customers search in your area for your products. It is true that we can’t all have 500 5-star reviews. The biggest game changer when that happens is responding to all reviews in a timely manner. You may not want to respond to every single star rating but if the customer took time to write feedback, then you should take the time to respond. Remember, even if you receive a poor review, it’s best to not let your emotions get the best of you.
    • Tips for Negative Reviews: Truth is, they happen. Think of negative reviews as a chance to take ownership over a situation. When responding, keep it short and sweet; thank them for their feedback or ask them to give you a call for a full recall of the events. This way you can take action to redeem yourself with the customer or fix the issue at hand. It never hurts to offer your manager as point of contact here. “Give us a call and ask for [insert name of manager] so we can help resolve the issue”.
    • Tips for Positive Reviews: Appreciate the fact that someone took the time to write a review and use this as an opportunity to build the relationship further with the customer. It never hurts to agree with the customer: “We also think Matt is a great employee and we’re happy you were able to experience his product knowledge”. Offer them a chance to receive your excellent service again, “This review made our day! We hope we get the chance to assist you again in the future.”
      • Quick tip! It’s never a bad idea to have a list of canned responses to choose from when responding to reviews.

As you can see, Google My Business is an important, enriching tool that gives “free” visibility to your business. Ok, so it’s important. But did we mention it’s free?

It simply takes some startup time and ongoing maintenance to keep this vital part of your business operating.

So I have one question for you, “Where’s your Google My Business page?

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