If the sheer volume of consumers using Google to find companies and products isn’t enough to convince you to use Google My Business, the number of other benefits the online directory can bring to local businesses just might. Check out the biggest benefits of using this online directory before signing up for it and getting your company listed.
Marketing costs money. In fact, it’s one of the biggest expenses in running any business. So why would you not use something that’s completely free to use? Any profits that are gained from using Google My Business are just that – 100 percent profit – because it’s a free service. Even business owners that aren’t sure about the effectiveness of the online directory have nothing to lose just by trying it!
Google My Business doesn’t just tell customers that your business is somewhere nearby. It gives them the exact location along with a map making it much easier for them to find you. And in order for any business to make a profit, customers need to find them first.
If you’ve ever searched before on Google, particularly for a business or product, you’ve likely noticed that there are three options that appear below the paid ads and above the organic (non-paid) search results. These are business listings and Google generates them for users by using information in Google My Business. By having a listing that is complete and optimized, business owners can get their businesses listed in these first three spaces, which will give them more exposure within the search results. With one click, customers can find out more information about the business, or even call the business directly.
When customers do see a business listed within those first three listings, they’ll see more than just the name of a business. Customers will be able to see a business’ hours of operation, get directions, see photos of the business, get a description of the business, and call the business all with just one click or touch of their screen. With more information at the consumer’s fingertips, they can make an informed decision – and purchase – faster and easier.
There’s a reason blog posts, Twitter accounts, and Facebook pages are becoming increasingly popular among business owners. They all provide an easy way for business owners to connect with their customers instantly. Customers can tweet business owners about a problem they’re having, or leave a quick review on their Facebook page and the business owner can answer them instantly. This interaction is of huge importance because by knowing what consumers want, business owners can give it to them more easily. Now, this can all be done on Google My Business as well, giving you one more way to reach out to your customers, and one more way they can reach out to you.
Google My Business does more than just tell your customers about your business – it also tells you about your customers through the Insights tab. Under this tab you can learn a lot of information about your customers. That information includes visibility, engagement, and audience. The visibility section will tell you how many views your profile has received, and how many views posts and photos within Google My Business are getting.
The engagement section will let you know at a glance how customers are interacting with your posts, and how many clicks, shares, and comments they’re getting. Both the visibility and engagement sections can include stats for the past 7, 30, or 90 days. They can both also be shown in chart form, giving you all the information at a glance.
The audience section will show you the breakdown of who’s following you, showing the ages, genders, and countries of people that follow you. A quick glance at this can show you exactly who your target audience is.
While the Insights tab will give you a lot of information about your posts and your audience, the Google analytic tool in Google My Business will give you even more. While Insights is good, Google Analytics will give you even more in-depth information and break it down for you even more so, letting you really fine tune your posts and content to the audiences that are following you.
Consumers today love online reviews. In fact, 74 percent of people say that a positive review increases their trust in a local business. And 56 percent of consumers say that they first go to the search engines to find reviews about a business. 90 percent of people state that online reviews greatly affect their buying decisions and 70 percent of consumers will leave a review for a business; all the business owner has to do is ask!
All of this is important because Google My Business allows customers to leave a review for a business and, when customers search for a business, they’ll see those reviews potentially seconds within entering their search query. The more positive reviews a business has, the more trustworthy the business will seem to other customers.
The dashboard within Google My Business will also allow you to monitor and respond to reviews, and responding to reviews is very important. It lets customers know that you truly care about your customers and that you’ll take the necessary time for them. When responding to positive reviews, thank customers for taking the time out to review your business. And when there are negative reviews (which you won’t be able to stop), respond by telling your customers what you plan to do to address their concerns.
As a business owner, you don’t have the time to be going from place to place checking analytics and stats. And luckily, Google My Business eliminates the need for you to do that. Google My Business will tie in with Google AdWords, Insights, Google+, Maps, and Search, so you can customize and optimize everything you do online through Google all in the same place!