Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is the epitome of resources for just about anyone — from business owners, to students, to consumers, to simple Internet surfers; Google pretty much runs the show. Heck, it even has its own verb in the dictionary. If you need something, you “Google” it.
When a business has managed to land itself as an actual verb with Webster, you need to take it seriously — specifically, you need to use everything it has to offer to your advantage. Let’s face it, most people searching for a result on Google do not go much beyond the first results page. If you are selling “Juice in San Diego”, how do you appear in the top results?
Recently, Google launched a program called “Get Your Business Online” (GYBO). It is offering business all the perks they need to stay competitive. These include custom websites, step-by-step tutorials to using Google My Business, diagnostic tools and training tools and workshops that help business begin to develop a strong Google presence. In addition, the internet giant paired up with 30,000 cities and local organizations to help SMBs grow their Google presences. So how can take advantage of what Google is offering your SMB? The first step is learning what Google has to offer.
Here’s a breakdown of the tools that Google offers to help you grow your business.
Google Plus Page
Google Plus business pages are integrated with the other Google for Business services. Integrations with marketing campaigns and customer reviews. You can use your page to keep your customers in the loop.
- Offer customers updates
- Share news about your business
- Give discount
Any opportunity that you have to outrank your competition you should take, and establish a Google presence with a Google+ page.
Google Search and Map
There’s no better way to get your business on the map than by literally adding it to the map. Registering with Google Plus Business will help customers find where you are located. Directions, business hours, and contact information is crucial to the success of your SMB.
Start Here to Get Your Business Online
You should start by claiming your Google Business page. In order to help searchers locate and discover your business, add your business information to Google Maps, Search, and other Google properties by creating a Google My Business listing.
Use Google Plus to optimize your page. Google Plus pages allow your business to maintain an identity on Google. One of the most efficient methods to advertise positive reviews that will benefit your business on Google searches is through a mobile app.
A mobile app can help you oust your competition by eliminating a need for a search. Customers that download your app LOVE your business. The app allows you to ask for reviews of these loyal customers.
Step 1: Go to Google My Business
If you are an established business in your community, chances are that your business already exists in the Google My Business directory. Now is the time to take control and claim your business. This will allow the addition of new locations, it will allow you to survey customers, and it will allow you to offer special advertisements to entice more consumer traffic. Start controlling your business by going to Google My Business.
Step 2: Find Your Business
Once on Google my Business, click on the “Start Now” button, and search for your business. Everyone enjoys Googling their own name, so enter your business name and address into the search box. This shows you what potential and current customers see when looking for your business or a similar business. This is the beginning of having customers look and find your business rather than stumbling across it on the internet.
Step 3: Select or Add Your Business
Look for your business name in the Google Business Directory. If you cannot find your business, you must enter your business name.
Select “Let me enter the full business details” and provide the necessary information. It is important to note here that you should carefully consider how you want your business to be identified across the web. Determine how you want your business’s Name-Address-Phone Number (NAP) to appear across the web (i.e. Will you spell out S-t-r-e-e-t or use St.?) The address you use here should be your default address across the web for consistency.
Specific and accurate information about your business on Google will assure that your business is correctly classified and displayed. Customers will never doubt which business they are inquiring about online.
Step 4: Select Your Category
Selecting a category that best describes your business will bring customers looking for your specific skill, service, or product. Providing “Juice in San Diego” could refer to an organic fruit or vegetable variety, or the type that provides electricity.
You can find the category near the bottom of the form. You will be asked to choose a variety that accurately describes your business.
Category selection is essentially the way Google will classify your business and the type of search query displayed for your business.
Google has preset Categories or keywords for each industry. Start typing your keyword into Google to see if Google produces a match, then select the best one. You will get a chance to add up to 5 more categories later on in the process.
Step 5: Verify Your Business
Google will want to verify and confirm the place of your business. This can be done in two ways. First, Google will send you a postcard with a verification PIN. This method usually requires a 1-2 week wait. If this is your only option, remind anyone who handles your mail to pay attention for this postcard. When you receive it, verify the PIN as soon as possible because you only have 30 days to verify the PIN. It can take as many as 3 attempts to verify a business account through the mail.
The second method you may be given as an option is to receive the PIN via text message or automated phone call. Choose this method if it is offered because it is much faster.
Step 6: Set Up a Connected Google Plus Page
The more opportunities for your business to be noticed and recognized, the more chances you will have for business opportunities.
In order to create these opportunities, you can start by linking your business Google Plus profile with other Google products like Maps and Google Plus local.
To achieve an effective and efficient social media marketing tool that benefits your bottom line, maintaining an up-to-date, active, and consistent page is necessary. A business that connects their Goggle Plus profiles page with your Google Plus Local page allows Google to eliminate competitors’ ads when a customer is specifically looking at your page. Adding reviews, photos, and information will all show up on all Google Plus products when your business is connected.
Step 7: Ask for Google Reviews
Word of mouth and customer reviews go a long way when growing your business. If you’ve created a mobile app for your small business you can ask for reviews through push notifications. Everyone who has downloaded your app most likely prefers and returns to your business. Directly asking for reviews through your mobile app avoids most negative reviews.
Negative reviews do happen even to the best businesses. It is important to deal with negative reviews directly and quickly.
You are ready for business!
Once you have established your business using Google Plus and all its products, you will be outperforming the competition is no time!
- Get Found
- Get Social
- Get Customers
- Grow Revenue
Before you know it, new customers will be using your service or product. It’s that easy!
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