One of the finest ways to earn a living today and maintain your independence in the current economic climate is to run your own business. But that doesn’t negate the fact that accomplishing this is a difficult and demanding process as well. On the contrary, it most certainly is. If you want your company to expand and continue to be profitable, you must outperform your rivals and continually succeed.
You must come up with new strategies to draw attention to yourself and encourage customers to buy your goods and services. The most effective method to achieve this is probably by utilising new technologies and maximising the power of the internet, which is why many business owners are looking at Google My Business, also known as Google Business Profile.
The first things that come to most business owners’ minds when we mention improving the reputation, visibility and reachability of their business are usually increasing exposure through paid social media ads and improving their SEO strategy to rank higher in Google searches and therefore receive the most visits.
This is one of those decisions that makes a lot of sense right now, but it might also turn out to make even more sense in the years to come given how many people use Google to research products before buying them. The best and most efficient method to manage and optimise your Google Business listings is by exploring this notion right away.
Most, however, overlook the potential that Google My Business (GMB) offers to businesses in terms of improving the quality and quantity of the interactions they have with their clients. Improving the GMB listings of a company is a sure, simple, effective and free method to drive sales and keep clients.
So what’s in it for you
As we’ve already mentioned, a Google My Business profile is crucial because it offers loads of benefits, which we will cover here in more detail. First off, a GMB account offers improved local SEO, meaning that, based on your customers’ search, your business will show up on their Google Maps, which will in turn lead to increased foot traffic.
Your business will be ranked based on relevance and location, but an incomplete GMB profile will inevitably rank lower in the GMB rankings. The next benefit up for grabs is improved engagement. With the Google search engine more optimised than ever to the most relevant results based on the users’ intent, it’s safe to say that a GMB account can come a long way in helping you stay competitive.
It will allow users to interact with it, which will lead to an increased conversion rate. Speaking of conversions, another benefit is the boosted number of customers. Since a GMB account will let your users read what other people think of your business and services, schedule an appointment and see what services you provide, it is a great customer acquisition tool.
Set up a five-star profile
Now that the benefits are clear, it’s time to present some actionable steps. As the thousand-mile journey starts with a single step, so does improving your GMB ranking start with setting up an account. This is fairly easy to do since the process is quite natural, but there are some important details that might easily get overlooked.
Be sure to add your business location and fill in all your contact information. Once that’s done, verify your business and you’re almost good to go. Before you do a GMB audit make sure to customise your profile as best you can as it will definitely influence the type of interaction your customers have with your business.
You should add your logo and background photo to your profile, set up working hours and any other relevant information such as your business contact and address. Once that’s done, you’ll also want to use the specific benefits GMB has to offer depending on your industry. For example, as a restaurant, you can add the most popular dishes and post pictures of the interior and the meals that you make, as it will attract new customers and build trust with existing ones.
Stay active, become automated
Setting up the profile is only half the battle, the other half is keeping it updated and staying active. You’ll want to keep your customers informed and let them know about any updates, special offers, discount codes, new service launches, and anything else that might interest them. You can treat your GMB profile just like any other social media profile and apply the same rules. However, the added benefit is the fact that, as opposed to other social networks, your GMB profile is actually easy to find in search results. There are also ways to automate your activity on your GMB profile, saving you both time and effort.
If everyone likes you, you’re doing something wrong
The reviews your customers leave on your GMB profile are a wonderful way to build trust and authority and any business should strive to incorporate reviews into its overall strategy. Encourage reviews from your customers regardless of whether they are positive or negative, as it will show them your care.
Notice how negative reviews should also be included, as a multitude of exclusively positive reviews will actually make your business less trustworthy to both new clients and Google. On the same note, you’ll want to reply to your reviews, whether positive or negative, thank your customers, interact with them and correct your mistakes if possible. This way, you can turn a negative review into a win, show your customers you value their opinion and increase your GMB ranking.
As is now more than evident, a GMB profile is easy to make and easier to maintain and can offer many benefits, which is why some might be tempted to try and exploit the system with spammy tactics or fake reviews. This is categorically discouraged as Google has the means to recognise such behaviour and punish it by flagging your business as dishonest, which can shatter its reputation into smithereens.