A tool to enhance digital visibility for small businesses

Google My Business

Having a digital presence is essential for any business especially due to the switch made from offline to online as a result of the pandemic. Increasing the digital visibility of any business is a must due to the current circumstance to get ahead of the competition. One of the tools which can be used to increase the digital footprint of your business is My Business by Google. Google My business is the feature which allows you to manage how your business is viewed on Google search and maps.

Why use Google My Business?

Increase digital visibility

Google My Business supports to enhance your local SEO therefore it will ensure that your business will come up in the page one of Google search. A business can provide, update and maintain necessary and accurate information about your business to anyone who is searching for information. It provides the ability for the customers to see details such as the location, when to visit and whether your business is a physical or an online space.

To keep customers informed

Through Google My Business account businesses have the ability to improve the interaction between the customers to provide a positive perception of the company. The business is able to respond to customer reviews and also manage what the potential customers will see. It provides the opportunity to post updates on expanded services and the availability of services. Keeping customers informed is one of the main priorities that Google My Business supports to overcome.

Steps to be taken to set up Google My Business Account;

Step 1 – Create a GMB account using your Gmail

Go to Google My Business and create a GMB account using your business email address (Gmail)

Step 2 – Add or Find your business and verify your account

• Search your name and if it does not appear in the drop down menu add your business.
• You can add the location of your businesses if you do have physical stores as the next step.
• Fill in all the necessary information, enable notifications and then finish the listing process.
• To verify your account you can directly use your Google My Business account. There’s also the ability to verify through Google search or through Google maps. There are many ways to verify the account; by postcard, phone, email, instant verification and bulk verification.

Step 3 – Optimizing your Google My Business account

To optimize your account the Google My Business dashboard can be used. You can make any changes you wish to make through the edit option in the dashboard.

Watch this video by Google to acquire a better understanding

1)  Complete your account by adding every information

You can fill and add any relevant information as mentioned before through the dashboard. Adding all the details of your business will support to improve your search ranking since using the proper keywords will bring your business up in search results.

2)  Use photos

You can attract customers by adding media such as a business profile photo and cover photo which are the first photos a customer will see of the business when searched on Google. If you have a physical store, do add all necessary images of the interior of the store. Provide images of the products available whether it is a physical or an online store.

3) Share updates, offers and create posts

The account provides you the option to create posts which allows you to inform the customers about new products, offers and also the changes made due to the Pandemic. This will help to keep your customers updated about promotions or various events.

4) Add attributes and features

You could also add special attributes such as product catalogues, menus, links for online reservations and also a booking option. You could add attributes customers may look for such as contactless delivery since due to the pandemic customers will prioritize health and safety.

5) Reviews

Always remember to respond to customer reviews to build a trustworthy relationship with the customers. Whether the review is positive or negative always ensure to let the customers know that the company is prioritizing their customers. Encourage customers to review your business since it will support to improve your ranking and also attract potential customers. The ability to acquire insights through the account as to how many searched for the business or contacted the business is an added advantage of using Google My Business. These insights could be used to improve paid and organic reach since by analyzing the data you can carry out personalized campaigns.

Google My Business is an essential tool which can be used by businesses especially if the target market is local. Businesses which switched online due to the pandemic especially small businesses should use the tool to improve the digital presence and make an impression about the business.

Google guidance for businesses impacted by COVID-19 can be viewed here.

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