It’s fair to say that traditional word-of-mouth is sort of dying at the moment with the current situation of the country being in lockdown. Despite the advances in communication technology, video chat, texting, messaging, traditional word of mouth isn’t as effective, or reliable as it once was. So what do we do? We move onto alternatives. One super easy to use alternative that you can take advantage of is a tool called ‘Google My Business’.
As I’m sure you’re aware, Google is the most used search engine out there. With its main competitors being the likes of Bing and Duckduckgo. We look for all kinds of things through search engines. From old songs we remember to random pub-quiz type knowledge. Many light-hearted arguments have been settled in my household using a quick Google search.
What is Google my business?
If you’ve ever looked up the location of a shop or restaurant, you may have noticed a specific listing coming up at the very top of the results. This listing shows their phone number, reviews, a photo of the establishment, their address and all sorts of other helpful information. That is a Google My Business listing.
Why Set Up a Google My Business Listing?
There are a tonne of reasons that you should be taking advantage of these listings.
Top of Search
First of all, you can get to the tippy top of the search results with very little effort.
While businesses are spending thousands of pounds per month trying to reach the top of these results, you can take a crazy shortcut by simply creating a listing for your business. This is insane. Businesses usually have to wait months for this kind of search-related advantage.
Easy to Contact
Secondly, it makes contacting you ridiculously easy. Every Google My Business listening has a ‘click to call button’. It’s as simple as it sounds. They click, they call. They’re speaking to you in seconds.
This removes a lot of friction that happens when people land on a badly made website, and can’t find contact information.
List Your Services
Thirdly You can list your services and make them easily visible as soon as someone makes that search. So, for example, perhaps you’re a plumbing and heating company that serves both domestic and commercial properties. You can list that.
You can list the various services that your prospective customer may be searching for, which means that you’ll be more likely to appear in their search. Just as you would if that specific phrase or keyword was on your website.
Another thing that’s extremely useful, currently, is that you can update your opening times. Google allows special opening times around holidays and times of crisis, like this.
You can let your customers know right away with a quick search if you’re open or not, and whether they should call.
The flexibility here and the ease in which you can do this means you don’t have to go find a webmaster. You don’t have to hire anyone to do this. You can literally get it sorted out in 2 minutes.
Lastly, there’s the review function. If you’re offering excellent service you can ask your customers to leave a review. The social proof that you are reliable and trustworthy enough to have been reviewed is extremely powerful in bringing new customers. It’s equally as influential as being recommended by a friend.
This last one is really important because if word-of-mouth is ‘dying’, then we need something equally as useful, equally as strong, to replace it. So this review function allows people to recommend you. With this, you’re automatically seen as more credible. More reliable. And more trustworthy.
These are just five of the features available on Google my business. We’ve not even scratched the surface. There are a bunch of different features for different sectors depending on your business.
Restaurants can put up an entire menu, for example. But we won’t dive into every single detail. I think the point has been made that this is a tool that every local business should be using.
This tool is free. You can set it up in less than an hour, and there is literally no downside.