You are the owner of a business that’s been doing great things, the right way. You’ve just entered the big leagues and started competing with the big dogs of your industry. Now, your mentality is to grow as you go. But how do you grow your business? What is the next big step that will propel your business to the top rung of the ladder? Which policies are going to make you the next big business tycoon?
Having an online presence is paramount these days, especially if you want to run a successful business and attract the masses towards your products. This is the age of Facebook and Instagram. This is the time where publicizing your business on social media is perhaps more important than the traditional, tried and tested advertising methods.
Actually, I take my words back.
It is indeed more important to have an incredible online presence. How many times have you searched the name of a new Italian restaurant on Google to get directions? Ever noticed that little section that gives details about the business, opening hours, contacts etc.?
Google My Business is the phrase that you’re looking for. This nifty little tool combines search, maps and Google+ into one neatly integrated platform, which makes it incredibly easy for customers to find you on Google. You can attract new customers and help existing ones get better service all with the help of your own Google My Business listing.
You, as businesses, can post content such as pictures, videos, and other good stuff to help customers get exactly what they are looking for, and Google provides you analytics, insights, reviews and communication capabilities all under one dashboard.
You can even get to know how people interact with your business, what they like, what they would want to improve and respond to their reviews and comments. My Business listings are optimized for mobile viewing as well.
It’s one thing creating an My Business listing, but maintaining it at the top ranks of Google search is an altogether different ballgame. Fortunately, there exist many ways and procedures to keep your business listing optimized on Google, and ensure that it is your business that gets the most hits, no matter what.
Here are 9 incredible ways to grow your My Business listing, as of 2018 :
- Create your business listing efficiently
When you go on to set up your My Business listing, you must make sure to provide as complete information that you can, accurate to the highest degree of your knowledge. All relevant fields must be properly filled, and all the small bits and pieces of information that you provide should be exactly what it says it is. This will only help in increasing trust among customers, and better reliability of your business listing on Google.
Also make sure to choose the category that is most relevant to your business, trying to be as specific as possible. This will help Google decide what searches your local business listings belong in and will help your customers find you quicker and easier. Being specific ensures that you eliminate most of the competition from your searches, which means you rank higher.
- Quality images and videos
Images and videos help your customers to know what to expect when they visit your business. Do make sure to upload high-quality photos and clips in order to ensure the best experience for your customers, and if you sell products, do add professional photos which show your products in the best light. This will certainly help influence your popularity and result in you higher rankings on the searches.
- Pay attention to your reviews
Google My Business allows your customers to post reviews of your business, which is beneficial for both parties. It tells you what you are doing right, but perhaps more importantly, what you are doing wrong and where customers would like to see improvements. One good practice related to reviews is to respond to as many reviews as possible. Appreciate the criticism and acknowledge the praise, but keep in mind what you need to work on, as this will not only boost your ranking but also help you with real people, as they will feel more comfortable doing business with you if they have interacted with you.
- Google My Business posts/ Google+ posts
It is of paramount importance to keep your customers updated with what is going on in and around your business. Keep posting to your Google+ page as regularly as you can, notifying customers about new sales, offers, milestones, special promotions and anything else going on with your business.
Google My Business posts are like small ads that appear at the bottom of your search result. You can customize them by adding links to other pages, photos, new products, holiday wishes and much more.
- Scheduling arrangements
If you are the kind of business that relies on appointments or reservations, such as a doctor’s clinic or a restaurant, you can do a whole lot of good to your search ranking by including scheduling features right within your listing. Google’s booking button featurette can help customers book appointments directly from your listing. How cool is that!
- Accurate operating hours
This is one of the minor-in-stature but crucial-in-importance details that simply put must be entered accurately. You wouldn’t want customers to show up at your door and be dejected with a ‘Closed’ sign, would you? Google My Business also provides the ability to enter custom working hours for holidays and special days. Thus, keeping your user base happy by listing accurate working hours will ultimately lead to higher rankings on searches.
- Monitor your listing insights regularly
Google provides in-depth analytics and study to help you analyze your business and make the most out of it. It tells how your customers interacted with you, where they found you, any requests that they made and whatever actions they took once they arrived on your listing. You can research this analytics and data for potentially finding ways to increase ranking in search results.
- Messaging and Q&A
Potential customers can directly send you messages in order to communicate with you. This feature is still in its infancy, and has been made available only to mobile users as of now, but as and when full functionality is enabled, we can expect greater use of this feature by businesses in order to build better relationships with their customers, and ultimately, optimize their business listing.
Similarly, people can also ask questions about your business, which are publically visible. One catch is that anyone can answer these posted questions. So make sure that people who answer these questions post accurate answers, and if not, you correct them.
Supplying correct information to your customers is paramount in building up your base and optimizing your listings.
- Optimize your website and content for search
Everything SEO applies here, too. After all, you are looking to rank high in search engines, therefore, basic SEO fundamentals work wonders here as well. Make sure to include relevant keywords in your content, both long tail and short tail, and in your meta tags, too. Locally focused content will always rank higher, since it is specific to a region, and people are more likely to search for your business if you cater to a specialized local area.
Google My Business is a very handy tool to help you create your presence online, and it offers you all the functionality that you would ever need. Analytics, reviews, posts, questions and answers, communication- it offers all this under a single dashboard, and all you need is a Google account to publish your very own business online.
Get Google My Business, and follow our steps to rank highest in search engine results, and see your business skyrocket!