A Vital Part of Managing Your Web Presence
Short and sweet, a Google My Business listing can be a significant part of your presence on the web. When customers are searching for a product or service, Google My Business provides the directional arrow to you. The benefits of claiming your Google My Business listing are many, and it would be more than a missed opportunity not to claim it and actively manage it.
When you’re searching for a local business, you appreciate listings that provide you with all your local options. This allows you to quickly scan through locations and hours and find a business that has the products and services you’re looking for. That’s exactly what your small business needs to provide to users conducting an online search. That’s exactly what Google My Business provides you.
Benefit #1: Increased Visibility from a Single Dashboard
You have a brick and mortar store. Perhaps you have more than one. You have a website. How do potential customers actually find you online?
Google My Business is your entrée into increased visibility on the web. Your online options have grown with Google Search, Google +, and Google Maps. In addition, you need to coordinate your online presence for desktop, laptop, and mobile. Claiming a My Business listing allows you to seamlessly manage your business listing with a single dashboard. It’s Google’s “one and done” gift to small business owners.
Why wouldn’t you take advantage of this benefit?
Benefit #2: Expanded Content and Reach
The more information you are able to share with Google regarding your business, the better you will be able to reach your target audience. Your potential customers will have a clearer picture of your business and your unique niche in a crowded marketplace. Expanded content and reach will allow you to:
- Update your business hours and location, as well as provide more detailed information about your business, including photos or video.
- Interact more fully with your customers or potential customers by offering coupons or responding to business reviews. You can even create a “hangout” where you can chat live with your customers.
You wouldn’t ignore someone who walks in the door of your business, so it’s smart to take advantage of opportunities to interact with potential customers online.
Benefit #3: Free and Easy
The fact that Google My Business is free shouldn’t lessen its worth in your eyes. It’s a great asset to your business when you claim it and make it your own. Especially when Google makes it so easy to do.
True, when you don’t, you’ll still have a listing. As Chris Kelley notes in Things You Need to Know About Google My Business, Google’s business listings are compiled from “user edits, third party providers, verified business owner information, and several other sources.” However, your business listing is better when you can enhance it with information only you can provide. Don’t leave your business profile in someone else’s hand.
Claiming a My Business Listing
Now that you know why you should claim your Google My Business listing, you need to know how to claim it. Google makes claiming a My Business listing simple. Do a simple search for “Google My Business” and then click on the link to “Add or claim your business.” Follow the online instructions to verify your business and you’re up and running.
It’s All About the Dashboard
You’ve claimed your listing. Now it’s time to update your listing profile and manage it. If you have had to update Search, Google +, and Maps separately, you will truly appreciate having a dashboard that combines it all in one place. Here’s what you get:
- Business Info Editor: This is the nuts and bolts section where you update your business profile. It also allows you to view your listings on different platforms.
- Insights: Get all the information and analytics you need to track your audience. The better you know who your customers are in terms of gender, age, and location among other demographics, the better insight you have in making business decisions.
- Reviews: Just like you monitor your credit report, you need to monitor what others are saying about your business. You can check and respond to your business reviews here as well as check your analytics.
- YouTube: Analytics and direct access to your channel is also included on your dashboard.
Your Google My Business dashboard also integrates with AdWords Express so you can track the analytics of your SEM ad campaigns.
What Google My Business Can and Can’t Do For You
As simple as Google is trying to make it for small business owners, you still have to put time into updating and maintaining your web presence. Maintaining a single profile through the dashboard rather than having to update Google Search, Google + and Google Maps separately is a great advantage. However, it doesn’t eliminate all your work.
- There are still only 24 hours in a day. You have a brick-and-mortar business to run. You have a life outside of business – if you’re lucky. Google can help you with a less time-consuming, integrated dashboard, but they can’t help you with the rest of your life.
- Content doesn’t write itself. While in Everything You Need to Know About Google My Business, Navneet Kaushal recommends blending curated content with your original content, you still need time to find appropriate curated content and even more time to develop your own content.
- You still need to provide the photos and videos to promote your business. If your photography skills are lacking, you’ll need to hire a photographer or videographer. The effort will pay off, but good quality visuals take time to produce.
If your business operates in more than one location, it will demand a bit more time to manage them online, depending upon the differences between locations. Likewise, if you own more than one small business, you need time for maintaining each listing.
Where to Go from Here
If free and easy is beginning to sound a bit more complicated given the complexity of your business, Solutio can help. Complexity doesn’t give us a headache. We thrive on the challenge of finding a simple, elegant solution to a complicated Google My Business listing.
If limitations on the time you can devote to maintaining your listing frustrate you, Solutio can help. Our team can make time to maintain your Google My Business listing the way you would do it yourself if you had more hours in a day to do it. Delegate the task to us.
If words like technology, cyber, and digital don’t excite you, Solutio can help. We’ll admit it. We’re geeks! Technology, cyber and digital are our middle names. We follow all the trends and upgrades, so you won’t feel like you’re always playing catch-up. You can devote as much or as little time as you want on the digital side of your business.
Contact us by phone or email. Or stop in for an old-fashioned, low-tech, face-to-face meeting. We’ll have a cup of coffee waiting for you. Isn’t it about time you claim your Google My Business listing?