Google My Business: Effective Tool to Digitally Promote Your Offline Business
These are challenging times for offline businesses. With countries in lockdown leading to restricted retail operations, offline store owners are staring at an uncertain future. They now need to invent newer ways to reach digitally to their customers and expand their catchment area.
Local Search Marketing has always been considered the most valuable tool of offline businesses and its importance jumps multi-fold post-COVID.
Out of the multiple tools available to list and rank your offline business – Google My Business is one tool which should be optimized by all offline stores as hygiene.
Who should use Google My Business
Google My Business is specifically for businesses that serve customers at a physical location. This rules out businesses solely on e-Commerce and they cannot claim a Google My Business listing.
Benefits of Google My Business
Optimization of Google My Business account helps control what appears in Google search and for your business and throws results to the customer on both Google Search and Google Maps. According to Google, businesses with a verified Google My Business listing are twice as likely to be considered reputable.
Must-Have Details in Your Google My Business profile
- Business/Store Name
- Business Category
- Hours of Store Operations
- Phone Number(s)
- Website URL
- Photos for Your Store
- Street address
How to optimize your Google My Business listing to Outshine
Encourage Your Customers to Write Reviews and Rate their Experience. More the number of reviews (of course positive) the better are the chances of Google suggesting your store when someone searches for something that you serve.
Don’t try to outplay Google
The sooner you realize this, the better. Do not try to use restricted techniques to try and rank high. This will only bring more harm than benefit.
Engage with customers
GMB recently introduced a feature to let users follow your business like any other social network. Use this to engage with customers – post offers, blogs, events, product updates etc- to keep them engaged.
COVID Specific Updates in Google My Business account
Owing to Covid-19, Google introduced a few new fields to keep customers informed. These can be used to keep your customers informed.
- Temporary Closures
- New Operating Hours due to Covid-19
- Changes to regular services, such as moving to takeout/delivery only
- Safety precautions being taken by the business
- In-stock, low stock, or out of stock announcements for high demand products