Many small businesses may not be aware of the free Google tools available to help you promote your business.
To take advantage of these, go to https://business.google.com. You’ll need to register for a free Google My Business account and claim your business.
Once you do, you’ll get a free business profile where you can list essential information about your business, including a description, a list of products and services, hours of operation and more.
In fact, you can choose to get calls and messages through your profile, as well as create regular posts to promote your business, just like you would on Facebook or other social channels.
After you have been using Google My Business awhile, you’ll even get statistics on how many website clicks you get, phone calls, direction requests and bookings if you have them enabled.
Finally, another cool feature is a free marketing kit, available at https://marketingkit.withgoogle.com. You can choose from a few design options, then order a set of free promotional stickers or download printable and sharable items including posters, a table-tent design and social post graphics.
Benefits of Google My Business
Share Images and Increase Views
Search Engine Land analyzed almost 600,000 images across 15,000 Google My Business profiles. They detected a strong trend of high numbers of images correlating with high numbers of both types of searches (i.e., local searches and map searches), particularly in the case of local businesses posting 101+ images. They also found that:
- Businesses with more than 100 images get 960% more search views than the average business, while those with just one get 62% fewer
- Businesses with more than 100 images get 3459% more maps views than the average business, while those with just one get 71% fewer
Read the full article here.
Adding images of your storefront, menu items, services and team members can help you build a rapport and entice people to visit. (Source: smallbiztrends.com)
And according to another report from BrightLocal, a typical business receives 59 actions from their Google My Business listing each month. (Source: smallbiztrends.com)
Communicate With Your Customers and Prospects
Additional features include the ability to have conversations directly through your profile with the messaging feature. If you create an ad, you can review what keywords people are using to find your business on Google. Through your Google My Business profile, you can also assign other staff members to help keep up with reviews and posts. (Source: forbes.com)
Reviews are particularly important; 85% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. (business2community.com)
Following the closure of Google+, Google has been looking to add in more social platform type business tools into its search results via Google My Business profiles. Catering to this, Google will now enable businesses to offer new rewards to customers who follow their business within Google apps, with new ‘Welcome Offers.’ These can work well, as research shows that 63% of consumers follow retail businesses on social specifically to learn about sales. (socialmediatoday.com)
Show Up In Local Searches
Without a Google My Business Profile, it’s highly unlikely that your business will appear in the local panel on Google search and Google Maps. Some estimate that Google My Business makes up 25% of the top local ranking factors on Google. (Source: techradar.com)
Google has added a range of options to improve the Google My Business options, including the ability for businesses to add short blog posts which can appear in relevant search listings, analytics tools to help organizations understand how people are discovering them via search and increased capacity to ensure your business appears in Google Maps. (Source: socialmediatoday.com)
Start Using Free Google Tools Today
Remember to sign up at Google My Business to start using these great free tools!
Note: This post first appeared on the Brand On podcast.
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