Google My Business experts advise setting up or fine-tuning your Google business account to see what your customers see
You have invested time and money in creating your business, your staff and your physical location. Now is the time to put your business on the map – the Google map, i.e. Google My Business experts – and get found by potential customers to lead them to your physical address.
Formerly known as “Google Places”, Google Maps hosts many advanced features unique to its predecessor, such as geolocation functions, street map view, shareable directions, navigation search function and maps city in 3D. And the good news is that they are all free.
So if you haven’t set up your Google Maps listing yet, here’s how and why you should drop your “pin” on the map now and claim your business listing today.
‘Find a chiropractor near me’
As you probably use yourself, geolocation and mobile devices have made finding a product or service so sophisticated that you can now find everything you need close to where you are. This means that when potential customers search for a service that you offer, they will most likely buy it from the closest result nearby.
Google My Business experts point out that if your nearby competitor has a pin on the map and you don’t, guess who’s likely to land the business? Additionally, if your competitor’s business is listed on the map, it is also likely to have a Google Business Profile, which means it appears higher on the search results page and outranks your business. , whether it is better or not.
Claim your business on Google
You may already have a business listing on Google Maps by default, just by having a business in operation. But unless you claim the listing as your own, you won’t be able to control what information your potential customers see.
This includes ratings and reviews, hours of operation, special services you offer, a link to your website, photos, and how your business typically appears on the search results page when it appears. Claiming and completing your Business Profile tells the world that you’re open for business, what you offer, and where and when to find you.
Setting up your Google business page
- First, go to your computer and sign in to your Google Account with the Google email address you want associated with your business (if you don’t have a Google Account yet, you can create one at google.com).
- Open Google Maps and enter your business address in the search bar at the top. If your business appears and you haven’t claimed it, open the menu on the left, select “Claim this business”, then follow the instructions.
- If your business doesn’t appear, you’ll want to officially add it to Google Maps. Open the menu on the left, click on “Add your business”, then follow the instructions.
Once you’ve added or claimed your business to your Google Business Profile, you can start managing what information will appear publicly by customizing the details in the fields provided. The more robust your profile, the fewer questions your customers will have.
Additionally, by incorporating a link to your website, as well as using strategic words in your profile – words that clients are likely to use when searching for your services (think “chiropractor”, “medical center “, “back pain”, etc.), you will significantly improve your search engine rankings, making your business appear before those of your competitors. For example, you can appear on the first page of search results, instead of page 100.
Verify your business to make it official
Your customers want to know how clean your business is, how quickly you respond online, and whether Google considers it an “official” business.
Once you’ve claimed or added your business to Google Maps, Google My Business experts say, you’ll need to verify it in several ways to make it official: by postcard, phone, text, video recording, live video call, or E-mail. Although all businesses can verify by postcard (which usually takes about five days), not all can verify through the other formats – it depends on factors such as business category, public information, region, support hours and volumes. If your business is eligible for all verification options, you’ll see them listed on your profile page when you start this process.
Start verification by going to your new “Google Business Profile” page. This is the page you will be prompted to set up after adding or claiming your business. Here you can start managing your profile at any time by clicking “Manage Now” or opening the left menu. Start by filling out your information, including all the location details, products, services, hours, website, and photos you want to include. Note: It may take some time for your updated business information to appear on Google.
Unlock tons of Google features that boost your business
In addition to having the ability to share detailed information on demand with your customers, you will have access to many other essential tools to help you grow your business. If you want to connect with customers, turn on the chat feature and connect in real time through messaging.
Point: It’s a great way to start asking for reviews. Also try Google Assistant’s “Call” feature. You can configure it to start receiving and managing appointments. Remember, the more people you interact with online, the more it shows that your business cares about your customers – and that’s saying a lot.
Try Google Ads or create an online offer
Once your Google Business profile is up and running, your business can enjoy many more benefits than just bringing customers to your physical location.
Explore your profile menu on the left, where you can select options to create an offer or advertisement, and start monitoring performance by tracking traffic and engagement on your website. Simply enter the offer or discount you wish to extend, the dates it is valid and any terms and conditions that may apply. Try a few variations and watch which offers get the best responses.
Improve your website to optimize search performance
The best way to improve your website for Google search is to first understand how Google “sees” your site. A free service called Google Search Console helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your site’s presence in Google search results.
Although you don’t have to sign up for Search Console to appear in Google search results, it helps you understand and improve your website’s performance by implementing key results through tools and reports free.
Here are some ways Google Search Console can help:
- Confirms that Google can find and crawl your website
- Detects and fixes content-based indexing issues
- Tracks traffic to your website, how often it appears in Google search, where traffic is coming from, and click-through rates
- Alerts you to spam or other website issues
- Shows websites linked to your website
Increase your website SEO and drive traffic to your business
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a powerful tool to help your business website appear as the top result for those searching for a particular word. The Google Console can help you determine the best search terms that are most relevant to your business to make searching easier.
You’ll want to choose words that are not only relevant to your business, but a bit more unique, because generic category words will potentially attract hundreds of thousands of other similar businesses.
Google My Business experts point to another advantage of creating your Google Business profile: backlinks. You can add links to other directories where you want your business to appear, such as Bing, Yahoo, and Yelp. Also, be aware that when other sites refer to your business by linking to your website, Google considers it a “quality link” and it improves your SEO. If you want to give your business a boost in online exposure, give it a try and watch your website numbers grow in the Insights section. Every little gesture counts.
If you don’t do anything else, configure it
There’s a wealth of information here, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Digital marketing dives deep into the pits of complexity, giving you the ability to make your online business plan as extensive or as minimal as you want.
You can then add keywords, posts, offers, ads, photos, encourage reviews, and take advantage of Google’s free marketing kit and personalized advice based on your location. Be sure to keep your Google Business Profile up to date with current information. Given the price of setting up your Business Profile and the plethora of tools that come with it (all free), why not set aside an hour or two today to get it working?
It’s exciting to learn something new, and if you like numbers, you’ll be amazed to see traffic start flowing to your business, both online and in person.
RUSSELL GREENSEID, DC, is a chiropractor, principal shareholder and chief of staff at Metro Healthcare Partners in Brooklyn, NY He is a trusted attorney and a respected voice in the field of chiropractic with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls, NY He resides in Short Hills, NJ, with his wife and two sons. Visit metrohealthnyc.com for more information about Greenseid and his multidisciplinary team of professionals.