People are so attached to their phones today that many of them struggle to look away from them for more than a few seconds.
We’ve all seen it – people walking into walls and other pedestrians or refusing to look up from their phones even when crossing a busy intersection.
If these people can’t even look up from their phones when crossing the street, they’re not going to look up from them to find a local business.
So, as a business owner, you need to make sure that mobile users in your area will be able to find you.
This is where Google My Business comes in.
Since Google is the leading search engine, having a Google My Business listing ensures that people will be able to find you when they’re searching for local businesses, and it also provides several tools to promote your business and entice potential customers to choose you instead of the competition.
Among other things, a Google My Business account allows you to show up on Google Maps, provides a place for people to post reviews of your business, and allows you to post information about your business, including menus, hours of operation, addresses, phone numbers, and more.
If you have a brand new site and are looking for help on setting up your Google My Business account, check out our article on how to register your site with Google My Business.
As you can tell, this platform offers an overwhelming number of options for promoting your business, but we’ve listed a few of the most important aspects below.
Without some sort of navigation app, smartphone zombies could get lost, or worse – have to look away from their phones.
Even those who haven’t fully turned and can still stand to look up from their handsets are likely to use some sort of navigation app. In fact, the vast majority of smartphone owners use these apps.
A survey from The Manifest found that 77 per cent of smartphone users use some sort of navigation app on a regular basis.
In that same survey, 67 per cent of respondents said Google Maps is their preferred app.
And there were no thin margins here either. Almost six times more people prefer Google Maps than the second-most popular application on the list.
So, given the statistics above, it’s easy to see that if your business can’t be found on Google Maps, you’re at a severe disadvantage.
For example, when people are out looking for a bite to eat, they’re likely to use Google Maps to find restaurants in the area, and if you’re not on there then good luck getting their business.
This is what shows up when you search for The Best Media on Google Maps:
At this point, you’re probably asking yourself, ‘How do I show up on this damn thing, already?’
The answer: you need a Google My Business account.
Without one, you’re not going to show up on Google Maps.
Another great promotional tool provided by Google My Business is the ability to post content, such as photos, videos and links to blog posts.
Posting great content will engage those who are considering your business and keep the hordes of mobile undead satiated and salivating for more material.
If you own a restaurant, for instance, some great food photography will keep them drooling right to your doorstep.
If you’ve just released new merchandise, why not post a product video to showcase what you have to offer?
Posting content adds a nice touch to your listing that can encourage interaction from prospective customers.
If you’re wondering what this looks like, The Best Media’s Google My Business listing is shown below.
If you don’t have a Google My Business account yet, click the link to our guide above and get on that!
For those of you who already have an account, adding content is easy.
First, log in and go to your dashboard and then click on ‘Posts’.
From here, click on the dialog box where it says, ‘Write your post’.
This will allow you to choose what kind of content you want to post, and then add videos, photos, buttons and other information, if necessary.
In addition to posting things like a product video or food photography, from here, you can also promote events, special offers and more.
With labour day fast approaching, now would be a great opportunity to start promoting any deals you’re going to be offering.
And no matter what kind of content you’re posting, if you don’t want to run into any trouble, make sure to follow Google’s guidelines for representing your business.
Google also provides guidelines for adding photos and videos, including things like recommended file sizes, formats and resolutions.
The reviews are arguably the most important feature of a Google My Business account, as having a bad rating can be a deal-breaker for potential customers.
You’d think the walking dead would eat just about anything, but smartphone zombies are a different breed. They can be very picky, and don’t like to sink their teeth into anything that doesn’t have a good review.
A BrightLocal survey found that 49 per cent of consumers won’t choose a business unless it has at least a four-star rating.
But, before you can even receive a rating, you need to have reviews.
If you have a Google My Business listing, anyone can post a review of your business, as long as they have a Gmail account.
So, how do you get reviews? Well, besides providing great products and/or services, the best way to get reviews is to just ask your customers to leave them.
You’d be surprised how willing people are to do this. 68 per cent of respondents to the survey referenced above said they left a review of a local business when they were asked, so don’t be shy.
But don’t incentivize your customers with discounts or anything like that, because if Google finds out, they might suspend or even terminate your account, as Google wants these reviews to be genuine.
You should provide a prompt, polite response to any reviews, regardless of whether they’re good or bad, thanking them for the review if it’s good, and responding to their concerns if it’s bad.
If you want to look at your reviews, or leave a response, it’s super simple.
From your dashboard, click on ‘Reviews’ and then click on the reply button underneath the review you want to respond to.