There is no end to the number of marketing articles aimed at small businesses. There are thousands of great ideas out there and, if time and money were no issues, every good idea should be implemented.
Unfortunately, for small businesses, we wear many different hats which often means have to be a jack-of-all-trades and a master-of-none.
So when it comes to marketing, how is a small business owner to determine where to put their marketing effort? This is a big issue, and when someone figures it out, please let me know.
One thing I know for certain is any small business that has a physical location needs to claim their business listing with Google My Business.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free service offered by Google to businesses. It enables businesses to register their company location, along with other details with Google. There are six main reasons a small business should register with Google.
1. Show up on the web: Google My Business helps bring better exposure to businesses by highlighting relevant companies based on specific searches. Google makes it easier for customers to find information about your business online, including hours, contact information and directions.
2. Show up on GPS: Registering your business with Google My Business will get you on the map. When applicable, people using Google maps will see your business including directions.
3. Stand out and build credibility: Many businesses who do claim their listing on Google My Business fail to complete their business profile. This can work to your advantage. By supplementing your profile with photos and business information, you’ll stand out among your competitors. Your customers can also post reviews which go a long way to building credibility.
4. You are in control: Google will often create a business listing automatically for business however often the information included is weak and scarce. By claiming your business listing, you are in complete control of your brand and information. You’re able to update it whenever required.
5. Be found on any device: In 2015, the Google searches made on a mobile device exceeded the searches made on a computer. With a verified Google My Business listing, your small business will appear in Google regardless of the device type. This includes computers, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, and even vehicles equipped with Google Maps.
6. Registration only takes minutes: Registering with Google My Business is easy and quick. The benefit a small business gets for the effort required is enormous. Getting the process started takes less than 10 minutes.
How to register your business with Google My Business?
Hopefully, by now I have convinced you to get your Google My Business listing. To get started, just visit https://www.google.com/business/ and follow the instructions.
If search engines were children, Google is your parent’s favorite kid. However we shouldn’t neglect other children who try hard too, and that is Microsoft’s Bing. Microsoft offers a very similar service, and I recommend registering your small business on Bing. You can get started at https://www.bingplaces.com/.
Getting the most out of your Google My Business listing
So, you have registered and verified your small business with Google. Now, what? There are several things you can do, but my recommendation is to focus on getting customer reviews – this a topic for another article.