When you’re running a business, there’s no denying how much is involved in the process. From organising insurance, selecting the right staff and building a website, it can all seem very overwhelming, especially if you’ve never dealt with a start-up business before.
If you have a business, one way to start getting discovered in your local area is via your Google Business. This listing that is created directly with Google. If you do a search for a business in your local area, you may see a map and the various businesses placed on the map. This is a part of the Google Business listing. It’s one of the easiest ways for your business to appear on the first page of Google search results when people search for your type of business locally.
Recently, there have been a few different additions to this particular listing, helping you to showcase your business and be found when people do a search for your type of business. With the new features coming into play, optimising your Google Business listing is an important part of being found online.
Ensure you have created a listing
One thing that many people don’t do is create a Google Business listing in the first place. Creating one is simple and is just like registering your business with a directory such as the Yellow Pages. Head to https://business.google.com/ and do a search for your business. If it’s listed, claim it and claim ownership of the business. If you’ve acquired the business and it is already registered by someone else, you may need to wait 7 days to claim it back off the previous manager. You may need to validate your listing with Google, which requires sending a code via postcard to the business.
Update your details
Once you have claimed the business, it’s time to start optimising. The key here is to ensure everything is up to date. Something as simple as your opening hours can help potential customers know when you’re open. It’s never fun to see a business is open only to head to their store and it’s closed, all because the opening times were listed incorrectly on Google. Make sure your address details are up to date and people can contact you with the right phone number. We all know how annoying it is to ring the wrong phone number, for personal or business reasons (and how embarrassing it can be to explain that you’ve called the wrong number. Ick!)
A new feature added to the Google Business listing is highlights. Generally, you can add specific highlights to your listing that apply to your business. One such highlight is one added by Google named “women-led”. It’s designed to showcase a business that is led by women and helps you to find businesses that are run by other women, too. Be sure to add it to your listing! It’s always great to see strong women running their business, so why not make a point of it?
No matter what business you’re in, adding a list of services can help other people understand what you do. If you own a day spa, services might include facials, massages and therapies. If you run an internet marketing business, you may include copywriting services, website building, and so on. Whatever service you’re offering, be sure to add a great description of what you can offer and a price if applicable.
Add a description
Your description is a great way to let the world know what you do, who you’re doing it for and why. It’s also a great way to add some excellent copy and provide a call to action to get people to contact you. Whether you want more people in your door, people to call or want some online enquiries, explain in this section what you have to offer and how to get in touch.
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Get creative: This is also a good opportunity to show off a little bit of your personality. Create a description that not only tells people what you do, but what sets you apart from your competitors. Whether you regularly donate to charity, have funky wallpaper in your store or your hair colour matches your shoes, whatever it is, don’t be afraid to include these interesting perks about your business!
Provide some great photos
People love to see who you are and what your business is all about! If you can, provide and upload some photos to share on your listing. Team photos work well to show people who they’re contacting, but if you’re a one-woman-band, some photos of your interior is also a nice touch. Not relevant to you? Even some simple, nice-looking stock images can work. Depending on your business, you can upload some great images to show a little bit of personality. Adding regular photos also helps your business listing tremendously.
Get creative: Take a photo of customers in your store, your favourite item for sale or even some great images of your team. If all else fails, upload an image of your business logo to help improve your branding.
Posts via Google Business are like short social posts to help people who find you on Google to read about your latest news. Whether you have a special offer, a sale or just want to let everyone know about a great new blog post on your website, here’s an opportunity to do so. You can add a post with an image and include a button to head to your website or blog page. Whatever it is you want to share, this is a great place to post it. Just note that these posts don’t last forever and become greyed out after approximately 7 days. Therefore, this makes them a great opportunity for short promotions and news updates.
Get creative: Tell people online about something interesting that happened at your business or perhaps share the news of a new client. Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to add a splash of who you are and write in a conversational tone if it’s appropriate to your business.
Attend to reviews
If you’ve just started your listing, chances are there won’t be any reviews. However, after some time, you may find people start to add reviews on your listing about your business. Of course, you will want 5-star ratings all round. But, there will come a time when people give you a bad rating when they may have a not-so-nice experience. If this happens, the best way to deal with it is to address the concern.
You can respond to reviews in your listing and offer support where it’s needed. Your rater might find they change their tune or they may remain unsatisfied. Either way, by responding to the review, you can show other searchers online that you’ve made an effort to address an issue and you are actively trying to help.
A Google Business listing is something that many business owners forget about or don’t understand the potential it has to create more traffic for your website. With regular updates and attention to some of the boring bits on this listing, you’ll be able to help people find you, find out more about how amazing you are and get people onto your website to find out more about you.
Valerie Inkersole is the owner of online marketing and SEO agency, Ink Marketing. She has been involved in the world of SEO and content creation for over 5 years and aims to provide businesses with the knowledge and skills to succeed online. She’s passionate about helping small businesses and empowering women to reach their goals.