We live in a digital age in which a wealth of information about products and local businesses is available right at our fingertips. In fact, any business that hasn’t established itself online is bound to find itself falling behind its competitors. This involves more than just creating an account for your business on Facebook or Instagram; it also means getting actively involved in managing your online presence with a Google My Business profile.
What Is a Google My Business Profile?
The days of the yellow pages are long over; when customers look for your business today, they’ll start by Googling it. If you’ve worked to establish an online presence, customers will be able to find the name of your business and information such as your phone number, address, business hours, and more.
A Google My Business profile allows you to manage your online presence across the entire Google platform. Once you create and claim ownership of a Google My Business profile, you can access and edit all of the information that appears in your listing — from the business hours and the location to any photos.
By controlling this information, you control the information that shows up in Google Maps or Google Search when potential customers search for your business online.
Interact With Your Customers Online
Google My Business allows you to do much more than simply post and update information about your business. It also allows you to directly interact with your customers.
One of the ways to do this is by monitoring and responding to Google Reviews. Online reviews are an increasingly important part of how customers make decisions about where to do business and what products to purchase. In fact, a survey from Podium found that 93 percent of customers say that online reviews influence their purchasing decisions.
It’s not enough to sit back and allow reviews to build up; business owners who really know how to manage their online presence use platforms such as Google My Business to get involved and respond to customer reviews. This includes posting apologies and initiating discussions with customers who have had a bad experience as well as thanking customers for positive reviews and encouraging everyone to come back.
Owners of a Google My Business profile can also use it like a social media network and publish posts to their profiles. These posts disappear within seven days and can be used to promote upcoming sales and events or give customers a behind-the-scenes look at your business.
Track Traffic and Create Campaigns
Understanding how your customers are finding your business gives you a better idea of where they’re coming from and how to handle those leads once they make contact with you. This is the case with drive-by business and it’s also true for customers who find your business online.
Google My Business allows customers to track insights on their listings. From your Google My Business dashboard, you can learn things like how many times your listing has been viewed, how customers find your listing, what actions customers take after finding it, and more.
This can help you learn things like the kinds of things that potential customers were searching for when they found your business, whether they visited your website or called the number on your listing’s contact info, and whether they clicked on the driving directions to find their way to your business.
Better Connections With Your Customers
In short, a Google My Business profile not only gives businesses control over ensuring that their contact, location, and other information listed on Google are correct; it also gives them a whole new platform through which to connect with their customers. From interacting through posts and commenting on reviews to learning more about what their customers are looking for when they find your business via an online search, Google My Business is a platform that every business owner should be using.