April 14, 2020 I The Marketing Guru I by Tracy Hoeft

Go Google Yourself

Stop what you are doing, go to Google and put in the name of your store. Go ahead… I’ll wait.

What did you see? Hopefully a lot. If you are looking at your results on a computer browser, you should show up at the top of the results in the large column to the left and on the top of the column to the right. When you view your results on a phone you should appear on top with your basic business information and below that with your site links.

Your Google listing is a place where you can win and find new customers.

I want you to win in both of these locations, but for this article we will focus on the box where Google shows information about your business. Google calls this “Google My Business,” and they look to you as the business owner to claim it, manage it and optimize it.

Claim It

Hopefully you have already claimed your listing. If not, you need to start there. While viewing the listing, you will see a link that says “Own this business?” Click that and follow the instructions. There is a process to confirm that this is your business.

Complete Your Profile

Within your profile, there are many things that you can fill out. Use every available field. Tell Google, and your potential customers, what you sell, when you are open and exactly where you are located. Carefully check the map location that they are showing to make sure it is correct. If you claimed your business already, but have not updated it lately, you also need to do some maintenance today. Google has added more options to deliver deeper insights about your business. The information here greatly influences how Google sees your business and can impact your overall SEO performance. Also, this additional information can help consumers make the decision to visit your store.

Reviews and Ratings

Google includes a section in this business profile to allow people to rate your business and post reviews. Just like Yelp and Facebook reviews, you want to have a plan to monitor these and reply to each review. On positive reviews you can thank the customer and potentially add some other insights that might help them and future customers. If you get a negative review, work to resolve it. You have some loyal customers that are your big fans, ask them to take a moment to rate and review you on Google. This will build trust in other potential customers and it gives your overall Google profile some heft.

Photos and Videos

Populate your Google listing with some great images and videos of your store. The cover image will be featured on your listing, so pick one that tells your overall business story. Google also provides a place for interior images and videos, all designed to get a potential customer more comfortable with your store so that they want to get in their car and come to see you.

Be Active

There are many elements of Google My Business that are designed to be updated regularly. One is the hours of operation. Your Google profile shows your regular hours, but it also has a way to add holiday hours. Update those hours regularly as this is an indicator to Google and to people searching for your business that you are active and attentive. Your profile also allows you to add posts regarding time sensitive topics. It only takes a few minutes.

Google On

SEO is a complex thing, and there are many other initiatives that you would need to undertake to win all of the terms that could benefit your business. Your Google listing is the right starting point and a place where you can win and find new customers. MI

Tracy Hoeft is the president of Amplify 11, a marketing firm specializing in the musical instrument industry.

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