Remember the last time you were looking for a local bakery because you forgot a friend’s birthday and had to purchase a cake at the last minute.
Maybe your car broke down, and you looked up a car mechanic nearby to fix the issue as soon as possible. I bet it hasn’t been long.
The number of people searching online for a product or a service has been increasing every single day.
“Near me” Google searches have increased tremendously over recent years.
Google estimated a 900% increase in “Near me” or “Close by” searches in the last couple of years.
Just as we prefer to search about a shop or a service provider nearby, before actually visiting it, almost everybody likes to check out a business on the internet before deciding to make a purchase.
This provides a great opportunity for all business owners.
Using Google My Business, you can make sure that anyone searching nearby for a business like yours finds it.
You have to provide all the necessary information about your business to help potential customers.
Almost a 78percent of cell phone searches about local businesses generate an offline purchase.
If you are not already using Google My Business, this is the right time to begin.
Still not convinced? Read the below-mentioned statistics, and I assure you; you’ll be persuaded in no time.
Important statistics regarding Google My Business
- Four out of every five internet users, Use search engines to get information about local businesses.-Think with google
- 70percentof consumers who search for a local shop online will visit it.
- 28percent of local searches generate a sale.
- Cell phones have influenced almost 1.4 trillion USD in purchases.
- 97 percent of people prefer using the internet to get information about a business.
Let’s see how we can create and optimize our Google my business account.
Google my business account is a crucial part of SEO. The information listed should be accurate and up to date.
Almost 80 percent of users reported mistrust in a business if the information on the internet is false.
You may be missing out on a lot of potential customers if you don’t have an online presence.
We see lemonade stands on our sidewalks all the time.
Have you ever wondered why people open these stalls outside on the sidewalk rather than their lawns? Because if you are not visible to the people, they will be clueless about your existence.
To be seen by people, you must exist where they do. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that nowadays, people exist online, so that is where your business should be visible.
We will learn all about the creation of google my business account.
Make sure you follow all the steps, and I assure you this process will be smooth sailing.
After setting up a new google account or opening a previous one, log onto google.com/business.
Click on the Manage now button on the top right corner. Now enter the name of your business. If your name is identical to other local businesses, auto-complete will suggest them to you.
There is a chance that someone might have already created a listing for your business. In this case, auto-complete helps in avoiding duplication of listing. It is also useful if you want to add a new location to an existing business profile.
If your business name is not shown in auto-complete suggestion, click on the blue text shown in the image that states” Add your business to Google.”
Please enter your business name carefully; you can add one or two top keywords relating to your business in the name itself. Make sure that the keywords you are using have a connection to your already existing business name. If you are not cautious, your profile can get flagged by your competitors or even customers. Keyword stuffing in the business name often results in the suspension of a listing.
Choosing a category for business
It is vital to choose a business category that perfectly describes your business.
Business category influences the kind of search results you appear in. It is displayed on your Google my business profile as well.
Some of you may already know the category your business fits in.
If you are unsure, look it up on Google. You can also search profiles of your competitors to determine the category that is the right fit for your business.
Providing Potential customers the right address is very important for a brick and mortar business. The term Brick and mortar refers to businesses with a physical location where they entertain their customers.
If you have a brick-and-mortar business, make sure you add the correct location of the business. Also, remember that you have to update any changes in your physical location on your google my business profile.
In the case of a service area business, you can choose to hide your address. As you might have already guessed, A service area business delivers goods and services to its buyers. Service area business doesn’t own a physical location where a customer arrives and buys a product or a service.
Service area businesses have to specify the areas they serve; this helps Google in displaying that Google my business profile if someone searches for a product or a service in a particular area.
Add the regions and cities that you provide your service in. Also, make sure that you add zip codes as well.
As you can see in the image attached above, Google provides you an option between displaying an address on the profile or not displaying any address.
This page will further redirect you to adding a service area or adding a physical address for your business, depending upon the option you choose. If you choose not to provide an address, you’ll be asked to identify the region you operate in.
In contact details, you are required to provide your contact number and website address. You can skip both of these categories, but it is highly recommended that you add a contact number for your customers.
88% of local consumer searches result in a store visit or a call within 24 hours.
Recalling all the times you might have called a business after collecting their contact number from Google will help you in realizing the importance of a contact number in your business profile.
Add a website address if you own a website. If not, no worries. A website address is not compulsory.
Mailing address (optional)
A mailing address is only required if you do not add an address to your business profile. This mailing address is hidden from the public and is for your use only. Google will send a postcard to you at this mailing address if you choose to verify your profile with the postcard option.
Adding business hours
You can change your business hours anytime. Keep your working hours up to date, because they help your customers in deciding the date and time, they want to give your shop or office a visit. If your business is closed on the days you have mentioned as open on your profile, make sure you update this piece of information.
We have covered all the basics steps you need to get right for creating your Google my business profile.
Here is an additional feature that you can use for your convenience.
Add a free messaging option to your profile
This messaging feature provided by Google is optional and fairly new. It allows people to send you free messages using your profile. It is a great feature for you if you want to connect with customers more personally.
You may also use this as an opportunity to inform people about a new product or service added to your portfolio.
Your basic Google my business profile is complete. Here are some additional points you should follow.
Add some photos and videos to your profile; great photos or videos may convince someone to visit your shop.
Add a business description that not only describes your business but is also captivating for the visitors.
Create a post in your profile whenever a promotion is coming up. You can also add a list of your products or services to your profile.
Your Google my business profile is ready to be shown in search results, but our work here is not done. We also have to make sure that our profile is ranked well within the sea of business listings.
Excluding the advertisements, almost 26 percent of all people searching for local business click on the first result in the list.
Showing up in the 3-pack is our best chance at generating more leads. 3-pack refers to the top three searches Google generates as a result of a local search.
Here are some tips to improve your chances of appearing in a 3-pack.
- Your profile should contain all the necessary information.
- If your business has a website, make sure it is optimized.
- Increase your social media engagement and link it to your profile.
- Encourage customers to leave reviews on your profile.
- Keep your profile updated.
Lastly, if you encounter any issues, you can always get a solution to your problems through Google my business help forum.