I see a lot of ‘conventional’ businesses where we are in Bromley Cross, Bolton, United Kingdom. Something I also see a lot of is these conventional businesses with no online presence beyond social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. Why would a ‘bricks & mortar’ business need a website? Not all of these more traditional businesses are in the loop as to what Google My Business is and why it is such a major component in today’s digital world.
If your business is one of these conventional bricks & mortar companies then you are potentially missing out on what could be a goldmine of potential customers and clients. Getting noticed online is the first step in growing a business.
What is a “bricks & mortar” business and why choose Google My Business?
Conventional bricks & mortar businesses are those that have an actual, physical location. These are the businesses that sell their services onsite (in a store, for example), by post or telephone. Companies that do not sell online in any capacity, fall into this category.
Expanding your business, growing and creating a stronger customer base means taking business online – however you choose to do it.
Top reasons your offline business needs an online presence
You most likely have some social media presence, certainly, most of the businesses in and around Bromley Cross, Bolton, do. But whether it is social media profiles, a website, e-commerce platform or a mix of all three of these, taking your business to the digital masses is going to open up many new opportunities.
There are lots of great reasons for establishing an online presence, especially using Google My Business, and doing it now, but here are some of the very best:
- Market your brand to a wider clientele
- Provide better customer support
- Overcome location barriers
- Make it easier for potential customers to reach you
- Build stronger relationships with existing and potential customers
- Research competitors and improve business strategies
- Establish brand authority
- Reduce operation costs
In casting a wider net and reaching more potential customers, and turn them into qualified leads and sales, the internet just cannot be beat. An online presence can be leveraged to optimise customer experience and improve upon overall satisfaction.
Promote Your Business Identity with Google My Business
The most relevant search result for your query, that has a GMB listing, is displayed here – An excellent incentive to have a listing, I’d say.
One of the most important tools you can have in your utility belt, to build the online presence of your business, is your Google Business Listing.
Just What is Google My Business?
As the name itself would imply, GMB allows a business owner (or somebody acting on their behalf) to create a business listing on Google Search (this can also be done on Bing, using Bing Places for Business but that’s for another post). It helps to make certain that you are providing the information that potential visitors need to find and visit your store, premises, get in touch, make a purchase etc.
Google Search is the number one search engine in the world, with Microsoft’s Bing coming second, with a global share of a whopping 70% of search use. Creating a Google My Business account just makes sense.
Where does your listing appear?
The profile, or Knowledge Graph as Google calls it, displays opening hours, an address, directions, a contact number, website link and Google reviews if the business has them (we are still the only independent writing business to have Google reviews, let alone having them all as 5 stars).
If you have a website, this information should already be there but Google My Business indexes this information right across its other products, such as Google Maps, giving you and your business even more exposure.
Are There Fees for Using Google My Business?
Creating a business listing with Google My Business has no fees attached to it and you are able to communicate with customers right across Google. Used correctly (you can add posts to Google Search direct from GMB, for instance), GMB can help you to increase your customer base, revenue and provide you with insights about your customer base.
How Google My Business Can Help
Google My Business is a great tool to help you…
- Get your business on Google’s Search and Maps
- Reach and engage with your target customers for free
- Establish your authority with a great business profile
- Gain customer trust
- Increase digital and physical traffic and sales
- Learn more about your business
Around 70-80% of all internet searches happen on Google. This means that your target customer relies on Google’s first page of results to find the products and services they need. This is exactly why creating a Google My Business account and profile is so important.
What Can Be Done With GMB?
Google My Business offers businesses a simple but very effective way to bring in new and existing customers through online search. With GMB you are able to:
- Update your business profile, any time – the mobile app makes this very easy when on the go
- Showcase your products and services through images and videos
- Gain customer interaction by encouraging them to leave reviews
- Acquire detailed insights on what the listing and GMB as a whole brings to your business
- Share your business’ latest offers through posts, photos or videos
With all of this to make use of, and for free, there is no doubt that Google My Business has the potential to massively increase traffic and opportunities for your business.
All of that being said, only those businesses that have a physical location that new, existing and potential customers can visit or companies that travel to visit their customers can create an account.
To make sure that the information on Google is of the highest quality (and to make sure that Google doesn’t remove your listing), you should:
In order to maintain high-quality information on Google, make sure you:
Keep clear of prohibited content and activities
- Provide an accurate business address and/or service area if that applies
- Describe your core business accurately
- Keep branding consistent across all platforms
A Google Business Listing is an important and convenient tool that can help you establish your brand and business authority. You should use this tool to your advantage by making sure your that your business information is as detailed as possible and, importantly, up-to-date. Your core business information includes:
- Contact number
- Website address
- Business description
- Opening hours
Google Search and Google Maps will index this information to build a solid foundation for your local SEO (search engine optimisation) efforts. Your business information should be in line with what’s already listed on the website that you should already have, otherwise it is going to have a negative impact on your ranking.
SEO is an important tool in building your business profile online, and this is boosted further using the right content on your website. Get in touch with us for more information on this or anything else.
Blog posts and articles, product descriptions and service pages – they all need to be written up correctly. Use that in conjunction with Google My Business to give your business the online boost it deserves.