Navigating the world of Google My Business
In the world of online marketing and business, there are few tools as powerful as Google. The online search giant is so ubiquitous it’s become a verb: “Just Google it.”
So how do you make sure that when people are looking for information about your business online, they find what they need – and what they should?
That was the subject of the Chamber’s August 20 edition of the 60 Minutes to Success Business Workshop series, “Get Found Locally on Google Search and Maps.” The presenter, Bryan Caplan, is an award-winning marketer and speaker for Grow with Google; he talked about how the Google My Business service can help companies take control of their online presence.
A company’s Google My Business information appears on the right side of a Google results page when you search for a business or type of business. For example, a search for “restaurants near me” might bring up a list of several eateries in your area on the left side of your screen, but on the right you might see a listing for Joe’s Diner with pictures, hours of operation, contact information and more. That’s Google My Business.
“90% of the information we process is visual,” Caplan said. “And the reason Google My Business is so successful is because of micromoments – those moments when a consumer needs to know, go, do or buy. Google My Business is all about instant gratification.”
He walked the attendees through the steps of setting up a profile and what should be included – hours of operation, business photos, attributes of your company, the ability to book appointments and ways to get messages directly from visitors.
Caplan also talked about how to handle reviews of your business, especially negative reviews. He emphasized “the four p’s”: be Prompt, be Professional, be Positive, and Pick up the phone.
“If you know how to contact the person offline, do so and try to resolve the dispute – but don’t go to their house,” he joked.
Caplan added that he was just scratching the surface of what Google can offer for small businesses; his YouTube channel offers a wealth of how-to videos with information on setting up your Google business account and getting the most value from it.
He also reminded everyone that many of the services Google provides for small businesses are free; all that’s required is taking a few minutes to take control of your online profile. Visit google.com/business to get started or manage your online business profile.