As a customer, consider how you typically look for new business operations online. This mirrors how customers look for businesses like yours, as well. This is why, it’s important to ensure that your business can be found online by claiming your Google Business Profile and creating a website.
1. Build your online presence
Get Found on Google
First step to get your local business online is by creating and verifying your local business’ Google Business Profile. Getting on Google Business increases your chances of showing up in Google’s Search, Local Finder, Google Maps, and organic rankings in general.
Qualifying businesses can claim this free listing on Google and optimize the listing by adding further details about the company like address, phone number, business hours, photos, offers, posts, types of payments accepted, etc.
In addition to this, Google has added many useful features that companies can take advantage of to enhance your free business profile and grab the viewers’ attention — this impacts how you rank in local search results.
Showing up on Google Search and Maps
A complete business profile gives your potential customers all the information they require to choose your products or services.
To get started with Google Business Profile, simply, login to Google Business Profile using your business gmail, and type your business name, and follow the instructions to complete the initial setup. Visit https://www.google.com/business.
Take your business profile to the next level by leveraging all features to help you engage with ideal customers.
- Add correct company address, phone number, business hours
- Showcase your business photos
- Engage with your customers – Use posts, offers, events, direct messages, and respond to reviews
- Add types of payments accepted
- Add business description with niche specific keywords and product/ services related keywords.
- Add detailed information about the products or services offered
Create a website for your business
To further boost your online visibility and showcase your business, consider creating a business website that communicates your brand values and highlight products and services you offer. You can drive more traffic by adding your site to business profile.
2. Do Business Online
Generating leads and driving bookings / orders
Did you know that your Google Business Profile offers features that help you generate more leads and bookings online?
Today, everyone is used to interacting with business online and your GMB is the most power tool to connect with your potential customers.
Based on your business, you can allow your potential customers to either request a quote, contact you, book your services online, shop products online, or even book an online appointment with you. Make it easier for your customers to understand what you offer and reach you instantly.
How to use Business Profile on Google to generate leads and drive bookings.
1. Activate direct messaging so customers can contact you
Not everyone is ready to call or book an appointment straight away and might have queries related to your services or request a quote first. Therefore, make sure to activate direct messaging feature.
Steps to turn on or off direct messaging on Business Profile:
- On your phone or tablet, download and open the Google Maps app .
- Click on Updates Chat Business.
- Go to Settings .
- And, turn on or off Chat.
Once the direct messaging is on, ensure to respond promptly, preferably with 24 hours. This will help you build trust and boost user engagement with your business.
2. Add a booking button for easy appointments
For service businesses, online appointment booking is an important metric. By enabling the book an appointment feature, you are getting a step closer to the potential customers.
Selected businesses get an option to add a booking button on their business profile.
If your messaging feature is activated, customers can request a booking or the request a booking option is also available when they message the business.
Learn more about response time requirements for Business Profile.
3. Get quote requests from your Business Profile
Selected businesses are eligible for “Request a quote” feature on business profiles. The request a quote button opens a form based on your primary business category and customer’s quote request is sent to you. As per your convenience, you can respond via direct messaging, email or chat.
Steps to get quote requests:
- Sign in to your Business Profile using the Gmail or search on Google using exact business name.
- At the top of the search results, click Customers Quote requests. (Note: If your settings don’t have “Quote requests” option, your business profile is not eligible for quote requests)
- Click on More Quote requests settings.
- Set Turn on quote requests on or off.
Learn more about getting quote requests
4. Add your products and services details so customers know what you offer
Add detailed description about the products or services you offer to your business profile. There is also an option to add pricing.
Listing your products on Google Search using Business Profile
Ecommerce businesses can leverage free product listings on business profile to showcase and sell their products.
You can either add products manually or retail merchants can use the Product Editor to add products to their business profile. Customers love to know more about the products you offer using Product Catalog and Product Posts carousels. And, if they like what they see, they are more likely to engage with your business.
You can go one step further, and get your products listed on Google Search, Google Images, and Google Shopping tab, for FREE!
Steps to add products to Business Profile:
- Sign in to the Business Profile.
- Select Edit profile Products Add product.
- You can edit or delete products by selecting them from the product list.
- Add product details and submit the product.
Steps to add products to Google Shopping Free Listing:
Option 1: Using Google E-commerce partners
One quick way to add products on Google is using e-commerce partners to submit product information on Google. They help you maintain the product details in right format and keep product data up-to-date.
Here are guides to setup your products if your site is hosted on Shopify, WooCommerce, or BigCommerce:
Option 2: Merchant Center Feed
You can hire experts to help you get your products on Google to gain more visibility for your brand and reach out to shoppers easily.
3. Work Smarter
Measure your success online
Connecting with your potential customers is just one part, a lot of work goes behind the scenes to ensure things are going smooth. When you get your local business online, it’s beneficial to use technology for scaling your business. Use free tools that help you work smarter — save time and allow you to learn more about your ideal customers so you can serve them better.
Here are some free tools that can help you optimize your business performance based on data:
4. Reach More Customers
Finding new customers and building brand loyalty
Now that your local business in online, it’s time to acquire new customers and re-engage with existing users. You can grow your business using different techniques . Online advertising is an effective way to reach new customers and re-target your existing users — such as email marketing, social media marketing (social media ads), or online advertising (Google Search & Map ads).
You can leverage these methods to share the latest updates about your offerings and encourage them you visit your website or business.
Engage customers through social media
Pandemic has shifted the user attention to social media. This is why, it important to reconsider your social media strategy when you want to get your local business online. Social platforms help you to generate brand awareness, leads, sales, and revenue.