When people say “Google it”, instead of “search it”, you know it’s a big deal. Google is synonymous with searching for something using the internet. Think about that for a second. Google has become a daily part of our lives in how we interact with businesses, people, buying things, our mobile devices, and so much more. If Google did not exist, how would anyone find things easily?
This blog is about the importance of placing your business on Google and being prominently found so your local business can increase eyeballs, online presence, branding, sales, walking traffic, online reviews, and the reach of your ideal target customer.
I know this may sound silly, but here are a few questions:
Do you turn on your TV to watch commercials to buy from those businesses? No, you fast forward, watch Netflix, or skip ads all together unless it’s the World Cup or the Super Bowl. Even then, many still skip ads because internet ads are so much funnier.
Do you turn on the radio to find that mortgage broker, dentist, or local restaurant?
Do you go running to your mailbox to look for an offer when you want something right now?
Do you go driving around the freeway to look for billboards to find what you are looking for?
Do you read magazines for the ads?
The answer is most likely “no” to all the above. It may seem obvious but I just wanted to put into context how silly it sounds, so that what comes next has more logic behind it.
About 3.5 million Google searches occur in one day. This is 40,000 searches per second! You can see how many people are doing Google searches in real time here. It’s pretty crazy and amazing! What’s even crazier is that each year, Google searches increase about 10%. Google is going nowhere, and it will be extremely difficult for another search engine to take over.
If the average Google search lasts less than a minute, this means that your business needs to be ranked to even be seen. If you are searching “grocery store Calabasas” in Google and you aren’t somewhere at the top, guess what…you aren’t being seen and won’t be visited by that person (unless they are driving and run into you coincidentally). It’s likely that the person will see the top 3 results that pop up in Maps and head over to one of those, click Directions, and then the search is over. Thanks, Google!
If this hasn’t convinced you to be on Google My Business yet, half of the searches that have “near me” in them end in the person visiting the store. Google is the search engine that is used on 95% of mobile devices. (The others being Bing, Yahoo, MSN, etc.)
Claim and verify your listing– Use your Google Account and enter in your business names and address. Verify your listing by entering in your address for a postcard to be sent (it should take about 14 days). Verify it with the code that’s on the card.
Add details to your listing (address, phone number, hours, etc.)– Add your URL so that people can go to your website easily to learn more, categories that relate to your business, and the hours of operation. Think about how many times you’ve used Google to find what time a store closes. Frustrating when you had to search multiple pages to find it, isn’t it? But I’m sure there were instances where you found it with one Google search and it automatically says, “Closes 10PM”. Let’s make this process easy as pie for your consumers looking for you!
These are the top 2 places that come up when I search “Mexican restaurant San Jose.” Under the name of the restaurant, it tells me when it closes. This search took 10 seconds at the most!
Optimize your listing (photos, attributes, and menu)- Add photos so that people searching you can see what products or services you have. If you are a restaurant, this would benefit you a lot! The attributes you put gives the consumer an idea about what to expect when they go into your store. Is it indoors or outdoors? Do you have wi-fi? Are you a pet-friendly shop?
Engage with the community– Add posts to your dashboard, which could include offers, photos, announcements, videos, etc. On the mobile app, turn on Messaging so that your customers can send you a message easily.
Manage your reviews- Ask your customers to leave you a review! 84% of people trust online reviews just as if it were a recommendation from a friend. 91% of people read online reviews regularly! Share a link with them or give them a scan code in store to direct them to the review page. Good or bad, don’t forget to respond to the reviews! This will help you rank higher as well as create more of a relationship with the person who wrote the review.
Go to the GOOGLE MY BUSINESS GUIDE here to see the checklist and steps to take in order for you to be ranked on Google
Now if this seems like a lot, take things in baby steps! Start by simply claiming your listing and fill in all the information you know and have access to. Next, plan to update your Google My Business listing at least once a week so you can start to see the results start pouring in. Like anything worthwhile, it will take time. You won’t get a 6-pack from a day in the gym and you won’t immediately rank high unless you follow the instructions in the guide and stay consistent.
PRO TIP: Download the google my business app from the app store. Update posts, events, offers, and pictures, and reply to reviews while you have free time such as in line at Starbucks, the grocery store, waiting for your food, when a commercial comes on television, etc. They point is, we want everyone using Google My Business since the world searches on google and your customers are trying to find you. Let’s make you the best option by having your business pop up and win those clients over the SEA of competitors.
Do you want help from the pros? By now you must realize the importance of Google My Business, so claim your free consultation and don’t procrastinate. “Procrastination is the enemy of success.” Use this link and click it now before it goes away forever: https://calendly.com/customcreatives/30min