So you're a local business.
Maybe you're a single accountant or the owner of some sort of company that provides local customers with a variety of services.
Whatever the case, the important thing is you thrive on locational attributes, like customers or other businesses.
In a world driven by internet solutions, brand visibility is important even for a local business.
But how can you keep up? How can a business that thrives on location leverage internet tools and abilities to boost business? That's where Goole My Business comes in.
Following the steps in this article, you'll know if you're eligible to use this powerful tool.
What is Google My Business?
Simply put, it's a service to help customers more easily find and contact you and your business from Google searches.
Why is this so important?
Well, according to Google, four in five customers want search ads to be customised to their location or immediate surroundings.
Also, 34% of these people actually made their way to the businesses they found. So Google My Business is a good weapon to have in your arsenal!
Using Google My Business, searchers can quickly find your company's website, address, telephone, and other social media.
All-in-all it helps customers easily make their way to you.
The service also lets you easily interact with customers and index their feedback. This is no less than essential when you want to grow and expand your services.
Having a virtual tour of your location also helps bring in customers from online searches, so give it a go.
You can also check various stats on your Google My Business dashboard, helping you see who found your company and how.
Getting Started with Google My Business
To get started, all you need to do is have permission from, or be, the business owner.
After that just follow the steps to signing up and your account is set up.
After this, you'll be prompted to verify your business, for obvious security reasons. If it's your first time on Google My Business this will usually be via snail-mail postcard.
Once your postcard arrives, simply input the necessary information from the card.
Then you'll soon be able to list contact and location info when people search.
That is if you've met all eligibility standards.
If you're in your own personal space/building, eligibility isn't hard to meet at all.
All you need to ensure is that your premise is fully built and that you own it.
Rental offices are allowed for the service.
However, other rented locations like apartments or vacation homes are not eligible for the My Business tool.
These things ensured, and you'll be able to set up your Google My Business without a hitch.
The Question of Co-Working
A common question that comes up is whether co-working spaces are eligible.
To keep things short and sweet here's the short answer:
Yes, co-working spaces are eligible for Google My Business.
However, there can be a few hiccups to look out for.
Clash of Contacts
If your co-working space has a single reception phone number, Google may see that you and other businesses have similar details.
In this case, Google may automatically try to merge the search indexes of the company's into one entry.
This can be avoided by simply putting a number of a work phone or your mobile into your business entry.
If you find your entry has already been merged, don't fret, you can easily contact Google, explain your setup and have the issue resolved.
When you are a local service working in a co-working space, make sure you're info is relevant.
If you move from space-to-space a lot, maybe have your address hidden from searchers and have links to your website and social media instead.
Otherwise, if you do find yourself settling down in a space or building long-term, make sure you include the number of your suite/office so people can easily make their way directly to you.
For Open Hours have the time, from start to finish, in which your service is available to customers.
This will prevent people coming at any hours when you are not in, which may lead to negative reviews/feedback on Google.
If you are a Service Are Business (SAB) business model, be sure to have your office location always hidden to the public. This way you can focus on being out and working more.
Rather, follow the official steps to displaying a Service Area on your page instead, giving customers a better idea of what you do.
For your Open Hours, you should have the time, from start to finish, in which your service is available to customers.
A Rule of Thumb
There's generally one good guideline to follow when using the Google My Business service:
Keep information consistent along all your other social media platforms.
You don't want your Business search result giving one address or phone number, but your website and Facebook saying another.
Keep information clear, consistent, and useful. and studies show that customers of possible competition are likely to switch to your company instead
So there you go, now you have everything you need to get started with Google My Business!
Know of any good co-working space or available offices in your area? Or do you have strategies for optimizing the My business service?
Feel free to comment and discuss below.
At the end of the day, businesses that thrive on local economy need that extra leg-up in a world of on-demand services.
There's tons of advice out there, so be sure to research all you can to ensure your company survives.