How To Set Up & Use Google My Business To Attract More Local Customers
Want your business information such as location and opening hours easily available for customers to find on Google?
If you’re a business owner with a physical location, this article is for you.
For local businesses, local SEO is your friend that can help you attract more local customers and improve your business’s website visibility. And one of the best ways to do that is by using Google My Business.
In this blog post, we’ll explain what Google My Business is, what the benefits are and how to set up and manage your own Google My Business page. We’ll also share some tips on how to use Google My Business to attract more local customers.
What Is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free online tool that helps business owners create a listing for their business on Google Maps and Google Search. When potential customers search for businesses in your area, they may see your listing in the results.
If they click on your listing, they’ll be able to find out more about your business, such as:
- Type of business you are
- Business address, including directions
- Open business hours
- Contact details
- Local business website URL
- Menu (if you’re a restaurant) & how you operate i.e pick-up, delivery, dine-in
- Business reviews and customer photos
What Are The Benefits Of Google My Business For Local Businesses And Local SEO?
Aside from your business being easily searchable on Google with information for your customers to easily access, Google My Business plays a big role in improving your rankings for local SEO.
SEO is an acronym for “Search Engine Optimization”. SEO is a long-term marketing strategy that improves your website’s visibility and ranking in search engines like Google.
Local SEO is the process of making your website rank higher to people in your area. Eg. If you’re bakery in London, ranking higher on local SEO means that your website will show up higher on the list of websites when people search for “bakery in London” on Google.
You will be competing against other local businesses so your business needs to rank higher so customers are more likely to click on your website first.
Luckily Google My Business is something you can easily use to improve your local search optimization and it doesn’t take a lot of time. It will overall help you gain more customers as they are more likely to engage with your business.
Best of all, it’s free to set up a Google My Business account!
How Can You Set Up A Google My Business Account For Your Business?
Setting up a Google Business account is quick and easy. Here are basic the steps for setting up a Google My Business account for your business:
1. Go to business.google.com and click “Manage Now”.
2. Enter your business name, address and phone number.
3. Verify your business information.
- Google may send you a postcard with a verification code, or you can use a verification phone call.
4. Add your business services & opening hours:
- Add your specific services: Let customers know what you offer.
5. Add a business description
- Provide additional information about your business, website URL, and social media links.
- This section can be up to 750 characters maximum.
6. Add Photos of your business
- Adding photos can give customers an idea of what your business will be like. For example, for a restaurant: share photos of your food, employees, interior design etc.
7. That’s it! Your Google My Business page is now set up and ready to use.
- Be sure to update it regularly. For example, if your business has special opening hours during the holidays or any promotional events you want your customers to know about.
- Be sure to also link your social media platforms so customers can follow you.
I’ve set up my basic profile. What else can I do to further improve my Google Business profile?
- Add reviews to add more credibility for your business. A business with more positive reviews is more likely to have more customers than a business with no reviews.
- If you don’t have any reviews yet, encourage customers to leave a review or provide incentives like discounts, etc.
- Try and respond to your reviews: good and bad. Thank customers for their business with you, and make amendments for negative reviews to show you care about their customer experience to build relationships with customers.
MORE photos: Add more photos like your physical location & access points
You want to make navigating your business as easy as possible for your customers. Attention to detail is important.
- Take photos of the front of your business with various angles to help customers locate you easier, especially if your establishment’s main entrance is tucked away or hard to locate.
- Add reference points such as train stations and bus stops to give customers a general idea of how close you are to recognisable locations.
- Take photos of various angles, different access points, parking spaces and anything else that you think may help customers find you and plan their journey to you. Do you have wheelchair access for example?
Add posts to your Google Business
As a business owner, you can also add posts to your Google Business page to keep your customers up-to-date with what’s going on.
Ideas for posts include:
- Special offers or discounts
- Events or news
- Product launches or new services
- Pictures of your latest work or projects
- Team updates
Provide a virtual tour of your business
Give your customers a better glimpse of what it may look like when visiting your business.
- Take 360 degree photos using the Google Street View app (available on IOS & Android) to create virtual tours of your business.
- Follow the directions on how to take and upload your photos to Google Maps here.
If you have a local business, Google My Business is an invaluable tool in attracting more local customers.
Google My Business is a local marketing must-have especially for if you operate at a physical location.
Google My Business lets customers find you on all of their devices easily through local searches on Google.
You can also provide information about local events (i.e., Halloween festivities) to pique people’s interest before they even make it there! It’s something that you can constantly update whenever you like, as well as access reviews and respond to messages.
The overall effort will benefit your local SEO strategy and rank higher on Google’s local search results page. You will also gain a larger web presence & online visibility as it will tell Google that you are a legitimate business.
Did you also know that Google My Business provides your business’s Covid-19 updates? Let your customers know what precautions you are taking or changes to your business operations such as online appointments or updated business hours.
Set up your own Google Business listing today to begin your local seo strategy!
If you require more help with local SEO, feel free to reach out to us at Gastronomic Agency.