When you Google your business, what shows up? With over 3.5 billion searches per day on this search engine, it’s crucial that your customers can find what they’re looking for. And if they can’t find you, everything else in your online strategy is a waste of time.
So, how can you make sure you show up? By verifying and managing your business on Google. With the My Business dashboard on Google, you can customize your information so you’re there when users search for you. This dashboard allows you to take ownership of your company on Google by updating information, customizing your profile, and showing off reviews written by satisfied customers.
Ready to verify and manage your business? Here’s how you do it:
Set up your Profile
Google Small Businesses has several videos available that explain how to claim and verify your business on Google. They also explain the dashboard and current trends for small businesses using their Google Business Dashboard. Check them out here and verify your business.
Once you have your profile set up, you can get started updating your information.
Manage Your Account
Once you’ve verified your business and have your profile set up, it’s time to get started updating your information and managing your account. Here are some steps to get you started:
- Make sure your information is correct. The first step is making sure your information is correct. Let them know you’re open for business! Check your phone number, address, and hours and change them if they don’t match your business correctly. Customers want the right information, otherwise, they’ll consider taking their business elsewhere. It’s also important that you choose the correct category for your business. Avoid confusing your audience by selecting the category that makes the most sense. For example, if you’re a restaurant that specializes in pizza, you should list yourself as a pizza parlor.
- Stay on top of reviews. Who doesn’t love a great review? With 74% of consumers saying that positive reviews make them trust a local business more, it’s crucial to assure you’re keeping up to date with what your customers are saying. So how do you do this?
- Respond quickly.Waiting to respond to reviews is never a good idea. If someone has a negative experience, they could become impatient or frustrated if you don’t acknowledge them right away. Also, responding in a timely manner shows other people that you care about what they think and take feedback seriously.
- Respond appropriately. Responding to a negative review requires the right tone in order to spin it into a positive experience. Here is a great example of how a situation was handled by responding appropriately to a negative review:
- Keep reviews updated. Seeing a review from 2011 doesn’t tell me enough about what your business is like today. You want reviews that are up to date and reflect the services you currently provide. A great way to get updated reviews is to ask a regular customer or satisfied client to write a one when they’ve had a positive experience. *Tip: Incentives can go a long way when it comes to asking people to post a positive review. Some businesses choose to reward their customers with some type of discount.
- Learn how customers interact with your business. Learning how your customers interact with your business will help you showcase the right information. With Google Business, you can see the number of clicks, calls, driving direction requests, and website visits from current and potential customers. Pretty cool, right?
Benefits to Managing your Account
Google My Business has a number of features to utilize that can benefit you – so why not take advantage of them? Here are just a few reasons why you should:
- You can be there when people search for you. Joining Google My Business makes a significant impact on your local SEO. By verifying your business, your location will show up on a map when general searches are completed. It’s also crucial so your business shows up, making it unnecessary for the user to scroll. When a user has to scroll down the page, you lose an opportunity to gain their immediate, undivided attention.
- Customers get to learn what you’re all about. If you’re visiting a business for the first time, you no longer have to wonder what to expect. Google Business allows you to customize your profile by adding photos to showcase who you are. By adding images, you have a great opportunity to tell your story and show potential customers what it looks like from the inside of your business.
Another notable feature is the ability to choose the category of your business. With this step, it’s important to select the correct category your business fits into. We utilize this feature so that when a user searches a general term in Google such as “marketing agency in Fargo,” Onsharp will show up in the right category.
- Show off your satisfied customers. Managing customer reviews online may be overwhelming, but it’s extremely important when it comes to your online reputation. Nearly everyone searches for businesses online, so the reviews that show up with your business set the nature and tone, determining whether or not they’ll choose to engage with you.
- Give people a virtual tour of your business. This feature gives potential customers the opportunity to see what your business looks like. Check out this example of a virtual tour you can take through the Google Street View, along with photos we’ve added to our Google Business page:
While Google is continuously changing their ranking algorithm, this is a step towards improving your local awareness and bringing in the business you want. Make sure to verify and manage your business and update your information to have an outstanding profile that gets people noticing the amazing business you are.
Want some help getting started showing up on Google? Let us help! At Onsharp, we have the expertise and resources you need. Get in touch with us to get started.