Have you ever put a search term into Google and a list of local businesses popped up? Google is giving you multiple related options to choose from when you run a search; a few paid ads, websites, and local listings. This is why it’s so important that you sign up for Google My Business.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of why your small business should sign up for Google My Business today.

First, it’s totally free. That’s right, it’s free advertising for your business when someone searches for your business or businesses like yours. This is super key. Let’s run a test together, go to Google and search for coffee. What happened? Well, if your search was anything like mine you have at least one local coffee business listed (note: I added Portland after my query so you can’t see where I live). This is a free local list advertising your business, your competitors business, or both.

You have control of your listing. If you want to direct people to your website, you can add a website link. If you want to direct people to call to place an order, you can add your phone number and forgo a website link. You can add both. Do you have amazing photos of your shop, your work, your staff? Great! Google allows you to add these to your business profile so that your customers get a feel for who you are, what you do, and how they might feel when interacting and engaging with your business.
When you add your businesses address your customer can get directions to you in a manner of seconds. Think about someone who really needs a cup of joe asap, they search for coffee, check a few shop listings out including their hours of operation, how far they are from the shop, and maybe how many positive reviews the shop has, and then they can click on the directions button and start their journey to buy a cup of coffee. Google designed this process to make it easy for your customer to find you, get to know you a bit, and get to you as easy as possible.

Keep them updated! Yes, a Google My Business account can be like a sort of social media platform because Google gives you the capability to create posts about your business. You can use these posts to call out events, discounts, new items, whatever fits best with your small business needs. This is where high quality images and content can really help your business stand out from your local competitors.
Your customer can book an appointment with your business right on your listing. This is so helpful for busy customers because it takes out the steps of calling or going to your website to book an appointment with you. Now, you do want to direct potential customers to your website as you want them to sign up for your email list, which we will cover in another blog post, however you can have customers sign up for your email list during the booking process or while paying for your services in your shop. Let’s say I book a hair appointment through your new Google My Business listing. I arrive to your hair salon at the time of my reservation, tell the front desk receptionist who I am and they proceed to look up my appointment and may ask for more information about me such as my birthday and my email address which they add to my client profile. This can also happen at the end of my appointment as well. All I’m saying is, you want people to come into your shop and experience your business, make it easy for them. If you’re a bit uncomfortable with adding a Book Appointment to your Google listing, give us a call and we’ll do it for you!
Reviews, reviews, reviews! Reviews are one of the most important ways your customers are going to make a decision about patronizing your business verses your competitors business down the street. Informative reviews positively impact your rankings in local listings and may make potential customers more likely to, let’s say, eat at your restaurant. Google also recommends responding to reviews as this shows that you appreciate your customers experience with you and your business.

That’s the gist! if you’re not on Google My Business yet you should be and if you need assistance setting up your profile, maintaining your listing, or just have questions about this post please get in touch, we’re here to help.