Now is probably the best time to take your business online if it’s not already online. With the coronavirus pandemic still developing all over the word, shoppers are are learning fast to be more careful and a adopting behaviours to minimise their risks of contracting the deadly virus. They are turning to searching online more than ever before when they need to buy something.
This makes it imperative that you take your business online fast, to give customers a way to find you and reach you. Here are some facts from the the search engine giant, Google, to show you why you should take your business online. Today’s customers expect businesses – even small ones – to have a web presence.
Everyone turns to Google for answers. Even you.
The world wide web has become a part of life all over the world. People usually turn to perform a search on the internet whenever they have a question. For instance, if you have a question, need directions, or anything in between, you probably turn to Google. Every month there are billions of searches on Google for restaurants, clothing stores, salons, hotels, and more:
- 5 billion searches for restaurants
- 3 billion searches for hotels
- 1 billion searches for clothing stores
- 600 million searches for hair and beauty salons
- 5 million searches for coffee shops
You can be sure these searches are even happening more and more in this period of COVID-19 pandemic.
If a business does not have a website, 45% of customers look for an alternative business, Google says. The exciting news is that Google offers a number of free tools to help you show up when customers are searching for services or products you offer. These tools help you to engage with customers on Google all for for free.
One way to get started is by building a strong web presence with Google’s free online business tools, and Google My Business is one of those tools. Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses, organizations and enterprises to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. It actually helps you and your brand stand out and engage with customers on Google.
A Google My Business account, gives you more than a business listing. Firstly, you can create a profile of your business for free. Secondly, you can create a website for your business also for free. Your free Business Profile lets you easily connect with customers across Google Search and Maps.
Google My Business helps you to achieve a number of business or marketing goals. You make a good first impression online, manage your search information, verify your business, interact with customers and understand and expand your online presence.
Make a good first impression online
One of today’s business realities is that, many customers will have their first interaction and experience with your business on the web, so it’s important to put your best foot forward. A deliberate, thoughtfully designed and quality online presence will help you develop your brand equity, the totality of what consumers, distributors and even the competitors feel and think about your brand over an extended period of time. It helps build credibility and attract new customers.
Manage your information
You should manage the information that Google users find when they search for your business, or the products and services that you offer. In Google My Business, you are able to write your business information in the way you want customers to see in search results. You organise your information in a manner that’s consistent with your marketing communication theme.
Then you can manage how your business appears on Google by adding photos, updating your address or hours, or linking to your website. You both help customers find your business and tell them your story.
Verify your business
Businesses that verify their information with Google My Business are twice as likely to be considered reputable by consumers, according to Google. When people find your business on Google Maps and Search, you make it easier for them to locate you and do business with you when they have access to information like your hours, website, and street address.
When they cannot locate you, shoppers tend to choose your competitors who they can easily locate or access. A Google My Business verification somehow may be viewed by the consumer as a validation of your existence and credibility.
Interact with customers
Again, with Google My Business, you are able to read and respond to reviews from your customers, and post photos that show off what you do. Google observes that businesses that add photos to their Business Profiles receive 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps, and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t.
Understand and expand your presence
From the admin end of Google My Business, you can find insights on how customers searched for your business, and where those customers are coming from. You can also find information like how many people called your business directly from the phone number displayed on local search results in Search and Maps. When you’re ready, you can create and track the performance of Smart campaigns to spread the word about your work.
8 Benefits of Google My Business
1. Get more customers with a great business profile
You can post text, photos and offers to your profile to show what makes your business unique, and give customers reasons to choose you every time.
2. Give customers more ways to reach you
Google My Business presents your business contact info in intuitive design that makes it easy for shoppers to connect with you. Your customers are ready to connect – by calling, messaging, or leaving reviews. Now, with more ways to transact, you can do more business.
3. Build customer trust by responding to reviews
Again Google’s search data show that businesses that respond to customer reviews are 1.7times more trustworthy than businesses who don’t (76% vs. 46%).
4. Keep customers up-to-date
Do you have new product photos, hours, or menu items? Customers are looking for more than just a local listing. Your business profile on Google lets you feature the best of your business.
5. Connect and get results
Customers can leave reviews and book services right from your profile. When you make it easy to do business, your business grows.
6. Get to know your followers
Share an offer directly to your followers to show how much you appreciate their loyalty and keep them coming back.
7. Discover what works best for your customers
Google gives you a behind the scenes view, a dashboard to understand how customers find your business and how they stay connected. Such information helps you to better understand your consumers and sales funnel for better marketing decisions.
8. Create a free YouTube channel
Video has become a popular way for customers to discover new businesses online. With Google My Business, you can create a free YouTube channel for your business to tell your story, demonstrate your products, and showcase your expertise.
When it comes to getting more business, making a good impression online can make all the difference. Look your best and make every customer interaction count with the right products from Google.