Getting Started with Google My Business

By Seili Abraham

What is Google My Business?

The Internet and social media has made connecting with a customer base easier and more accessible than ever before. Large companies have entire IT departments and marketing teams in place to take care of all aspects of their online presence, but as a small or medium business, building and maintaining your online presence is not easy. It is now possible with Google My Business to simply manage a company's online presence.

Google My Business simplifies.

Typically most businesses have multiple profiles online; updating and maintaining all those presences can be confusing or tiring. The Google My Business service combines the multiple profiles and web presences into one easy-to-use solution. The dashboard allows a business to manage all of the companies information and helps a company boost their web presence by creating an easy and manageable way to upload photos, video and other content to increase customer awareness and interest.

A business can easily update a local listing at any time. You can take charge of the flow of information and make sure that all the business' information stays current and up to date, including locations and hours of operation. Updating the business' address and contact information is swift and painless and can be done from a phone, tablet, or computer. Keeping a business' information updated is crucial. With Google My Business, any information updates or changes will then be made across search engines and maps. With Google My Business, a company can make changes with one easy step rather than having to update multiple profiles to keep all information current and up to date.

A business can also easily create and share coupons or run a weekly special. This increases customer awareness and will likely increase traffic on the business' sites. With the ease of creating and updating content, the audience's interest in the company can be more easily maintained. Boring or old content distracts from the audience's interest.

A photo says it all.

With the use of Google My Business services, a company can also easily turn photos into sales. You already know a picture is worth a thousand words. When a company is trying to get the attention of its audience, a photo can do so much more than just a description. Photos of products and services create attention and display the uniqueness of a business. A company can add as many or as few images as they like. A photo of a friendly technician or employee can garner the trust of an interested consumer.

Videos can also be posted and are a very useful tool when demonstrating the different aspects of a company's service or product. This is your chance to shine and talk to the potential customer like its a one-on-one conversation. Video dialogues can help you earn trust. There are a million ways to tell a customer about what makes a business unique, so use video and take advantage of this opportunity to promote what makes the business shine.

Opening a dialog with the audience.

With Google My Business, a company can also build loyalty by starting the conversation. Communicating with the customer base is a huge factor in building trust and openness with the audience. The current trends on social media make the art of the review a pivotal part of how the consumer sees a company. When looking for goods and services, most everyone now takes a look at online reviews written by other buyers. Reviews are the bread and butter of the online world when it comes to business.

A positive review can help a company in a million ways, because the customer base is more likely and willing to trust one of their own to tell them about a business's products and services. Google My Business can open up a two way conversation between a business and its consumer base. Now, when a customer reviews a business, you can respond right away. If the review was positive, the customer can be thanked. If the review is negative, a resolution to the customer's issue can quickly be reached.

Answer their questions.

Along with addressing reviews, a company can also address a customer's questions. The Q&A section is also an important aspect of communicating with the customer and you can easily answer their questions before they even ask. Google My Business makes it easy to create a Q&A section where a business can address the concerns of the customer or easily direct them to previous answers to questions that other customers have already asked. This lets a company take the dialog one step further and helps the audience better understand why the products or services offered by your company are the best.

Insights into how a business is doing.

Google My Business also allows a company to create posts about their products and services and share their exciting news. It's a great way to keep the customer in-the-know with the use of video, pictures and text. Creating this kind of content can also help a business reach beyond their followers and give everyone searching for the business a reason to "come on in." It also creates opportunities for repeat business, as customers have more reason to come back if a business is posting updates regularly or seasonally.

Google My Business can also provide insights as to what's working for a business. Google My Business provides a company with information about how their web presence brings in business; it tracks important information like calls, requests for directions, and website visits. Businesses can also track job satisfaction and product satisfaction through customer surveys. The audience can also use the +1 button with Google My Business and follow a company which acts as an endorsement of the product or service provided by the company.

Following the rules.

Google My Business can be of use to any company or organization, regardless of size or location. Users must have a physical location, but if this location is irrelevant to the customer, the address information can be hidden. Businesses that provide services to a specific area or region have a greater advantage, though. Businesses with a physical location can go through Google's verification process, which offers a company extra benefits, like making a business more visible during online local searches.

Google uses the verified information about a business to fill local search results. If a consumer was looking for a business specifically in their home town, Google would use the verified information to place that business toward the top of the listing. Another benefit would be that a company could effectively read and respond to customers' reviews. Google will also review and analyze analytics about how your customers are searching for your business.

It's free, so why not?

With Google My Business, a company can also create a simple free website with information from their Google listing. The process is quick and simple and takes only minutes. Using Google My Business isn't an instant ticket to the top of the heap, but in order for a company to thrive and increase web presence, it is an invaluable tool. The more profiles and citations a business has online, the higher up in the search it will appear. However, the more profiles a company has the more time consuming it becomes to manage them and that is where Google My Business proves its worth.

Google My Business can help small companies manage their web presence while increasing their audience. The simplicity of Google My Business helps a company expand; while staying organized and keeping in touch with your potential customers.

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