Google Business listings have become a natural part of searching online for information on shops and services available in your search area or under the product or service you are looking for.
What’s in a listing?
They give vital details on how to reach your business, as well as an insight as to what you sell, and what you’re about.
Listings can include images (logos, banners, team shots, external building shots, internal building, products), business opening hours (you can even include public holiday hours), phone numbers, website URLs, physical addresses, service and delivery areas, and business description.
You’ve also got even more options beyond these, like service prices, and reading and responding to reviews and messages from customers. You can even add posts to your Google My Business listing to alert customers to what's new with your business, and entice them with your latest offers and specials.
Did you know?
- 86% of people look up the location of a business on Google Maps
- 72% of consumers, who search for local businesses, end up visiting stores within eight kilometres.
- 97% of people find out more about a local company through the internet in 2017.
- 56% of local stores are yet to claim their local listing on Google. It is free to list business in either Bing Places for Business or Google My Business.
- 70% of customers visit a store based on information found online.
- 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.
- 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses (including 95% of people aged 18-34)
(statistics sourced from BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey 2018 and Junto)
So, what do these numbers tell us? Having an online presence as a business is more important than ever with a world that conducts more and more of its business online. If people want to know more about your business, they will look you up in a search engine (the most frequently used is Google), so its vital to make all information about you as accessible as possible.
Visitors need quick, concise, and helpful information when making purchasing decisions and this information is vital to have in your Google Business listing. If you were to Google ‘Restaurants near me’ Google will show you a map with pinpoints of all the local restaurants and below this a list of their names, location, an indication of price, restaurant type tags, and their star rating. Clicking on these will bring up their Business listing which gives an overview with key information – the ability to book a table (depending on whether the restaurant has enabled this option), peak busy times, questions and answers, and reviews (as well as all the other basic information mentioned previously). All this gives users wanting to make a quick decision all they need to do so.
People will read the reviews left of your business – these are often left in places like Facebook and Google (the business listing) where they will be seen by many. You need to be aware of these reviews and respond if needed (89% of consumers read businesses' responses to reviews) and take the chance to turn a negative review into a positive. These reviews left behind by previous customers will be read by anyone looking up your business and will likely impact their decision on whether to use your services or buy your product.
How can I get one?
When going to set up your Google Business listing you might find that it already exists, ready for you to claim it, or, if you are a brand-new business, you may need to create a new one from scratch.
To get started the very first thing you need to do is to log in to https://business.google.com/ with your Google account (best to make this a Gmail for your business – you can link your work email to a new Gmail account).
If this is your first time logging in, then you can just follow the prompts to create your new listing. Type in your business name – if Google already has a listing for it (but unclaimed) then it will suggest it to you here. Just follow the steps, filling out your information and include everything it asks for (and don’t forget your website URL!)
At the very end, you will need to verify your business is yours. This might involve getting a call or a text with a verification code, but you may not get this option if your business does not meet the criteria (e.g. very new, or unknown to Google) so you may need to wait for a postcard with a verification code to arrive in the mail.
Once your listing is verified it will be visible to the public and any changes you make will be seen. In the meantime, you can add in more information to make the profile as complete as possible. Include photos of your business, staff, and products (if possible). You can include your logo, a description of your business, your opening hours, and even create posts. You'll be able to see and respond to any reviews or questions visitors leave.
Turboweb’s Google Package
Here at Turboweb, we understand how tricky it can be getting everything you need set up when you’ve got no time on your hands. That’s why we have our Google Package – this package takes care of the set up of your Google Analytics, Search Console, Tag Manager, and Google My Business Listing. All the tricky stuff is done for you so you can focus on running your business, and using these (incredibly) useful tools to make decisions, and monitor and improve performance.
If this sounds like something you’d like us to help you with, or you just have some questions about it all, give us a call on 0800 887 269 or email up at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you out.