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Google is a Free Tool for Your Business S o Why Not Use It?

Ithink it’s pretty obvious that we loveGooglehere at OMG.Can you blame us? We love that they’re always rolling out new features that local businesses can take advantage of.Of course that means that, as business owners, you’ll actually need to stay on top of these new features to make them work for you.

By staying up to date, you can find ways to easily (and inexpensively) enhance your marketing. It’s also good to ensure none of the new roll outs are detrimental to our marketing strategy. So with that, we’re going to talk about one of our favourite Google goodies, Google My Business

WhyIs ItImportant to Keep Your Google My Business Profile Up to Date?

First off, do you have a business? OK, great. Now, do you have a Google My Business profile? If not, you need to get one! It’s a free way to connect with your customers and market yourself on Google… but only if you keep it up to date.

A complete Google My Business listing helps gain more trust with your customers. When they search for your business, it makes a good impression if your phone number, address, opening hours, and more are all up to date. It shows you’re on the ball and probably won’t disappoint them when they visit your business in person.

It’s vital to make that first online impression a great one. Nowadays, more than 80% of people search the web to find information about local businesses. Those with complete listings on Google are twice as likely to gain customers’ trust, 30% more likely to attract in-store visits, and are 20% more likely to see a purchase from that searcher.

Another reason to have a current profile because it makes Google happy. When they’re happy, they’ll rank you higher in their search results. See, they want to remain the top search engine on the internet. To do that, Google’s robots scan everything on the internet and index it a way that’s appealing to searchers. By knowing the criteria they use to rank businesses, we can take advantage and make our profiles more appealing.

Below is a screenshot of a Google search. If you look at the top you’ll see what we like to call The LocalThree Pack. These are what Google sees as the three most relevant results in a search.

Google ranks these businesses based on location, reviews, as well as the accuracy and consistency of the information found across the internet. For instance, if the address and contact info on your website matches exactly with your Google My Business profile and any other directory listings across the web, the search engine will see that consistency. When this happens, Google’salgorithm is programmed to rank you higher because it shows competency and attention to detail. Why? Because they want to give searcher the business result that will most likelyserveGooglethe best(good results mean you’ll use Google again) and will make the customer happy.

As a business owner, you can work this to your benefit as it gives you an opportunityto rank in the LocalThree Pack without needing a large SEO campaign

The 3 Benefits of Google Review

Another great aspect of Google MyBusiness is the review section. There are several benefits to these but the three main ones are:

  1. They build confidence with potential customers. Each search shows how many reviews a business has in the Local Three Pack. More reviews create more confidence when a customer is deciding which business to visit.
  2. They increase online exposure by ranking higher in organic and local search results(e.g. maps).
  3. You can gain customer intelligence by using the reviews as a feedback loop on what you’re doing right (or wrong). It’s a great way to hear what people are saying about your business.

As a business owner,it’s extremely important to manage the reviews. Whenever you receive feedback, regardless if its positive or negative, it’s a great idea to respond because it shows you’re a business owner who’s willing to engage with your customers and gives you an opportunity to speak on behalf of your business.

What Should I do with a Negative Google Review?

Unfortunately, there’s a good chance you’ll get a negative review whether you deserve it or not. Don’tworry though! This is a great opportunity for you. We always recommend responding to negative reviews in a constructive manner. Even if it’s a wildly inaccurate review, take time to create your response. This is your chance to speak to the reviewer directly, take care of the issue, and potentially have them change their rating.

If you get a fake review, respond and say it’s a fake. Explain that it’s not connected to any of your customers and that it looks like spam. That way, as searchers are reading through your reviews, they’ve seen that you’ve reacted to it in a constructive way and will dismiss it.

Because Google reviews are so valuable, you’ll want as many as possible. How do you make that happen? Simple… ask your customers for them! If they give you a beaming review in person, there’s no harm in asking them to leave a positive review on your Google My Business profile as well. Often, happy customers will do that for you.

Google My Business Questions and Answers

This is another great new feature on your Google My Business profile. Questions and Answersisjustthat; it allows business owners to receive questions directly from potential and current customers andlets you respond. It’s such an efficient way to create frequently asked questions database researchers

Plus, you can add your own in ahead of time by including commonly asked questions. It’s also a great way to see if you’re missing anything on the profile.If you see a lot of questions coming in, it could be a clue that your profile isn’t quite complete

Create Posts on Google My Business

One last little bonus feature we want to highlight is the ability to create posts on Google My Business. This is a little social media-esque but it’s quite helpful. You are now able to create posts(with an image!)for your business that’ll be featured whenever people look at your profile. This is a great way to showcase an event, announcement, sale, or anything else that your attracts your customers’ interest. These posts expire after seven days so if you want something up for a long time, you’ll have to repost it.

OK, OK, we’ll stop there! You know we could go on about how Google can help your business but that’s just because there are so many outstanding benefits to it.If you’re interested in learning more about Google My Business, contact us. As Kelowna’s premiere boutique DigitalMarketing & Web DesignAgency, we’ve got a lot to say and we’d love to hear from you.