As a small business owner in the internet age, there are so many marketing tools at your disposal, and many of them won’t cost you a dime to use. One of the most powerful free small business marketing tools out there is your Google My Business listing. If you don’t have one, or you haven’t claimed your listing, you’re missing out! Even if you have claimed your listing, there are a few steps you should take to optimize your Google My Business listing.
Add or Claim Your Listing
Google gives priority to My Business listings (especially for local searches), so if you don’t have one, you’ll be getting pushed down on search engine results pages by other businesses that do. Time to get to work! First things first: you need to have a listing, and you need to have control over it. Google your business and if a listing shows up, follow the instructions to claim it. If not, you’ll need to create a listing.
Fill Out Your Profile Completely
Once you have control of your Google My Business listing, it’s time to start optimizing. The more information you have on your profile, the higher priority Google will give you on search engine results. Start with basic information like your location, hours, website, and phone number so that potential customers can find you.
Your My Business listing can be used in similar fashion to a social media page for your business. According to Google, businesses that add photos to their profiles receive 42% more requests for directions on Google maps, and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t. Make sure you have at least a dozen or so pics on your listing. You can also make posts on your profile, so take some time to make announcements that could be relevant to potential customers, like information about special offers and promotions.
Respond to Reviews
Whether your profile was auto-generated or you made it yourself, you’re going to get some reviews eventually. Good, bad, or ugly, it’s always good practice to respond to every review. When you see good reviews, thank them for taking the time to share their thoughts about your business. If you see bad reviews, don’t get defensive or insulting; simply respond by apologizing and implore the reviewer to give your business a second chance. Either way, potential customers will see that you’re responsive to their needs and that you’re willing to give them the personalized service they’re looking for.
Ask Customers for Google My Business Reviews
Profiles that have lots of reviews get priority over those that don’t. If you want more reviews to help optimize your Google My Business listing, all you have to do is ask! In most cases, satisfied customers will be more than happy to leave you a good review. Not only will a flood of positive reviews help you get closer to a 5-star overall rating, it can also push down any negative reviews so they will be harder to find.
At TIC Digital Marketing, we’re dedicated to helping the nation’s small business owners grow their brands and become more successful every day. Optimizing your Google My Business listing is one great way to do that, but there are plenty of other digital marketing tricks you could try out. Of course, we know that in these difficult times, an in-house marketing team may not be in your budget. Don’t fret – let TIC be your marketing team! We can take care of SEO, digital advertising, website development, and more, so fill out our contact form, give us a call at (858) 480-9932, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we provide digital marketing services at a price anyone can afford!