When you plan out your marketing communication strategy or look for marketing channels to focus on, you've probably got the big three on your list:
Website and SEO
There may be one area you're missing and it's a big one: Google. We're not just talking about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) -though we WILL talk about that-we are specifically referring to Google My Business. If we had to guess, one of the most inexpensive marketing channels to manage with the biggest return for local businesses.
Think about the last time you used Google to find a product or service you needed locally. Before the web results popped up, you probably saw a map with a few listings. When you clicked on one of those listings, you found a great deal of information. You probably saw the address, business hours, even reviews! We would bet that this feature of Google helped you make the decision about where to go.
So, then, we have to ask the big question: Does Google do that for your business?
What happens when you search for a product or service YOU provide? Go ahead and try it- not your branded name, but what you would expect potential and current customers to search for and find you. Examples might include auto repair, restaurants, air conditioning, etc.
Do you come up in those mapped results? Is this information for your business accurate?
Especially now in 2020, we need to have data that is correct up to the minute. In other words, we need to add Google My Business to our communication strategy!
To begin, go to business.google.com. You'll need to register. This process includes Google sending a postcard to your business with a code. This verifies that your business is legitimate and maintains the integrity of Google My Business.
Once you have that code, you can get to work on getting your listing just the way you want it!
A Short Name (to make it easier for people to find your Google listing)
Highlights (like Women-Led, Online Classes, Online Care, etc.)
Opening Date (if in the future)
*Note: Google My Business, like most online platforms or products continuously update.
This list is just what you can edit yourself. There is also the ability for your customers to add reviews, photos, ask questions that the public can answer, or even message you directly.
What's more, you can add posts to your Google My Business listing! Posts can be used to promote events (they will expire after the event), offers, announcements, product updates, and more! Non-event related posts expire within 7 days to ensure content is always FRESH. That's a win-win for you and for your customers!
With Google My Business, you'll never be in the dark about what's working either. You'll be able to read Insights: analytical data about how people are finding your business on Google, where it is being shown, and what information has been seen.
No matter WHY you use Google My Business, there is one thing to ALWAYS keep in mind: Stay up to date! The more you post, the more accurate your information, and the more engagement you have through reviews and questions, the higher priority your listing will become. Think of it as another layer of SEO, only this one is MUCH easier to manage.
In short- your business NEEDS Google My Business. Here's your next to-do list:
Register at business.google.com
Wait for the postcard, then enter your code.
Fill out *every* section.
Ask customers, friends, and family for reviews! Don't be shy!
Start posting and KEEP posting.
Feeling overwhelmed? It may be time to work with an agency! Here at CIS Agency, we are happy to help businesses like yours stand out from the crowd. Reach out to us today to see how we can help you!