One of the biggest challenges that small businesses face is getting leads – getting our potential customers to email, call, or come in our doors. We try everything – advertising on the radio, in the newspaper, in the phone book, handing out flyers, talking to anyone and everyone. We try pretty much everything we have a budget for, everywhere that we can!
Some years ago I had a similar problem – my new computer repair business required customers – fast. As with most small businesses, I had a very small budget to work with. I researched the best way to get my prospective customers to find and call me as inexpensively as possible. After some time I found an answer.. Listing my business on this new (at the time) place on the Internet was the answer – more people began calling. It was an immediate success. What was this method that I used?
That method was Google. Now I am not talking about a business website (although for most businesses this is a great idea!). I am not talking about those garbage scam calls that blurt out from a robotic voice “We can get you on the first page of Google” or any Search Engine Optimization or Pay Per Click advertising. Not any of those at all; not right now. I am talking about a Google Business listing, which also translates to (gives you) a Google Maps listing. Google Maps is the place online that people go primarily with their smartphones, but many times with their computers, that shows the local businesses that have a listing with them.
Say someone wants to search for a clothing store, or a gas station, or another brick and mortar store while they are in their vehicle. On their phone, they just click the Maps app, type in what they are looking for, and voila! Google shows them results! The same thing happens with service businesses. Also, just because you are a home-based business doesn’t mean that you should be excluded. Most home-based businesses absolutely qualify for a Google Business listing. Now, imagine that someone puts your type of business (local niche) into the Maps app – would they find your business?
If they would find your business, would they see a business that is claimed, that has all of their info filled out including accurate address, phone number, business hours, website, and pictures? Or would they find that it says, “Claim this business” or “Is this your business?” and the business information is not accurate or incomplete. Does that look good to the potential customer? Does it look to the potential customer/client/patient that you care about your business?
How about the reviews that people have left you – have you responded to those? Did you know that responding to all reviews in the appropriate manner will have an extremely positive impact on your business? More people will contact you if you give them the impression that you are in touch with your online presence.
There are more negative impacts of not claiming your Google Business listing.
1) you will not be able to respond to any of your reviews. People can just leave whatever they want in the reviews, and no one will ever hear your side of the story, or that you even cared to look at them.
2) Lastly, if your business is not claimed on Google Business, in worst case situations a competitor could claim your listing and do whatever they wanted with it. That would NOT be a good thing for your business, would it?
If your business is not even listed on Google Business, your business is obscured from your public. Well maybe you have an online newspaper advertisement. But how many people really go there to find a local business? Do you think that most people, however, would go to Google to search?
How do you find a local business when you need them? Do you use Google or another search engine? Even if you do not go to an online search engine to search for local businesses, over 90% of the population does. That means you severely limit who can find you due to the fact that you have not listed your business on Google Business. And it is FREE!
Can you see how listing or claiming your Google Business listing can help your business, and by not claiming it you are hurting your chances for best success? Is claiming your business something that you should probably do today?
Claiming your Google Business listing can be a confusing process. Here is the good news – you have a tech-savvy friend in the digital marketing business. That’s us. We can help you navigate the technical complexities of tasks such as listing or claiming your listing on Google Business. Call us at 800-590-2085 today and we can discuss what needs to be done to make this happen for you. We won’t sell you anything – we will however provide you with any information you need, and if you would like us to take over the tasks for you, we will be more than happy to help.