Setting up your company’s Google My Business listing is such an easy and effective way to grow your business’ revenue.
So it blows my mind when businesses don’t have one because this is truly a no brainer for any business owner with their head on straight.
Literally in a matter of seconds, ok maybe minutes, you can set up your business listing on Google and start receiving more online and in-store traffic immediately.
After reading this, you’re going to know learn more about local SEO, why this is powerful, and how to set a verified, Google listing for your business that will bring you more customers.
What Is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a listing service that allows businesses to create a profile and add their important information so they will appear more often in Google Search and Google Maps.
Sometimes a business already appears on Google, but through Google My Business the company can go into their listing and manage the information. This is especially helpful for verifying the business, updating their address if their store location has changed , or they need to edit incorrect information that damages the company.
If you’ve ever been on your laptop and searched for a business, then on the right of the links you saw a business listing with a logo and map, the business name, address, phone number, hours, and reviews? That’s a company’s Google listing.
How Does A Google Listing Help Your Business?
When your company has established a quality Google My Business listing you’ll receive three specific benefits. Each of these will directly or indirectly work to increase your revenue:
1. Expand your online presence
Do you know how many local customers in your city who are Google searching for the services and products your business sells? Depending on your industry, at least hundreds a month, most likely thousands, and sometimes hundreds of thousands or even millions.
How often does your business show up in these searches? I know for a fact that it appears less without a Google listing than it would with one.
With a Google listing and a large quantity of positive reviews, a sushi restaurant will appear first on the map listing when locals search “sushi near me”.
A Google My Business listing will definitely expand your online presence so more relevant customers find you.
That’s exactly what you’re looking for on a daily basis, right?
2. Sell to new customers
Expanding your online presence so new people see your business name is one thing, but what you really want is to land sales from it.
I have good news for you: 18% of local searches on mobile phones lead to a sale within 24 hours! That proves when people search locally, they’re not just looking for information. They often want to spend their money and spend it quickly.
It makes sense because consumers in the buying process often have an immediate problem (like they need to visit a nail salon to look better before a wedding this weekend) or an immediate desire (they want their nails done because they feel like it) that they want to solve quickly.
You better believe there’s not only marketing in setting up this listing, but cold hard cash to be made.
3. Improve your customer service
A healthy business isn’t all about getting new customers to buy from your store. That’s part of the equation, but the other half is keeping your current customers happy with quality customer service.
One way setting up a Google listing helps is it makes it convenient for consumers looking you up on Google.com or Google Maps to find the information they desire.
For example, maybe they want to swing by your shop at night but don’t know if you’re open. If you have no Google listing showcasing your hours, then they may drive out of their way only to discover you’re closed. They very easily can take out the frustration on your business and vow to never come back.
Now if you have a Google listing then your hours would appear front and center when they search, so they could know ahead of time to not waste the trip and to visit your shop the next morning.
It’s also a nice touch for consumers looking for your company phone number. When they type your business name in Google, it will pop up right away for them.
How To Add Or Claim Your Business On Google
Depending on if you need to add your business listing or your business is already on Google and you need to verify it, there are two different lists of directions.
How To Add Your Business
Step 1: Visit Google My Business.
Adding your business to Google My Business is free. All you need to do is have a Google account and follow the instructions below to get your company more local awareness.
If you don’t have a Google account, sign up for one first. Once you have one, then run through the rest of this step-by-step guide.
Step 2: Enter your business name in the first field and then address. Suggestions may appear, and if one is your business then click it.
Double check to make sure you spelled your business name and address 100% correct. Sometimes Google can be thrown off if there’s a quotation mark or the business name doesn’t match their database.
Step 3: If you see a message saying someone else has already verified your business, then follow the steps below under How To Regain Access To Your Listing.
By one way or another, you’ll get to the bottom of this so you have control of your listing and it’s verified.
Step 4: If your business name doesn’t appear, click ‘No, these are not my businesses’ or ‘I’ve correctly entered the business.’ Then enter correct details for your business like a complete street address and a business phone number that you can easily answer, and click ‘Submit.’
Again, accuracy is key here. Take your time to ensure every letter and number is correct before moving on.
Step 5: Fill out your business information: hours, address, contact information, and pictures.
This is important for two reasons.
First, adding this information goes a long way for customer service. When a consumer types in your company name on Google, all of the important contact information and hours are right in front of them.
Second, this also adds more weight to your Google listing and increases the odds that your business appears in Google search results and Google Maps results.
Step 6: Verify your business by requesting a code that will be mailed to you, then when it arrives just enter the numbers in your Google My Business page.
Illumen Media is verified on Google. (Let’s go!) This verification also helps us show up more frequently in local search results for businesses in our space.
How To Regain Access To Your Listing
Sometimes you’ll try to sign into your Google My Business listing but it’ll say that someone else has already verified your business.
If you’re the business owner, this can be incredibly frustrating because clearly you should be the one, if anyone, who owns and manages this listing. It’s your business after all.
Though don’t get too annoyed. There are also steps to get control of your listing back.
The first step is to try using a different email address to sign into Google My Business.
What often happens is a business owner already created their listing with a business email address, and then later tried to sign in with a personal email address so Google doesn’t give them access.
The trick here is to sign out of the email account that didn’t work and try another email of yours to see if this signs you in. If that works, then you’re good. If it doesn’t, move onto the steps below.
Step 1: Visit Google My Business.
Step 2: Sign in with the account you use to manage this listing.
Step 3: Type in your business name and select it from the results. Or if you see a message that shows part of the email address who owns the listing and it looks like yours, sign into that email.
Step 4: Fill out the form because the current listing owner may need to contact you for more info, and to submit your request you need to share your contact details with them.
If you continue to have problems, give Google customer support a call at 1 855-836-3987 and they’ll assist you in resolving the matter.
1 Major Way To Grow Your Business With This Listing
Once you own and have a verified Google listing, it’s time for the best part: getting the most out of this listing to grow your business.
How can you do this? Claiming your business, adding its important information, and verifying it were all helpful steps.
However, the single best way to turn your listing into a sales machine for your business is to get your previous customers to review your business on Google.
I’m going to quote a local business Illumen article to tell you the reason why:
- 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family
- 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more
- 58% of customers say the star rating of a business is important to them
Once you send enough positive reviews to your business, then Google takes over and will start to rank you near the top of local searches related to what your company offers.
These local searches then lead to significant traffic to your website, phone calls, in-store visits, and ultimately sales. Walla! your business is generating more profits than it ever has before.
Though this deserves its own article, here are a few ways to encourage your loyal customers to review:
- After every purchase, have someone on your team personally ask them to review (studies show 70% of customers will review if asked politely)
- Clearly instruct customers on how to review by handing them a step-by-step print out card with directions
- Incentivize reviews by giving away a low-cost gift like a coffee mug
- Run a giveaway contest on Facebook where the only way to enter is by leaving a review
- Have multiple touch points online and in-store encouraging customers to leave an honest Google review
- Write an emotionally compelling email every 6 months that explains why reviews are important to spreading the word about your business in the local community
Also, it’s helpful to respond to the online reviews you already have received and all future reviews. We previously wrote a guide on how to respond to Google reviews.
With this Google listing set up and a strong effort to receive customer reviews, you’re going to bring in a flood of sales for your business.