Attracting new patrons is vital for every business, despite its type and niche. As customers find local businesses more convenient and reliable, it is important for every business owner to attract local clients. In order to accomplish the task, Google allows business people to make use of two important free-to-use tools, Google My Business and Google Places Optimization.
Whilst Google My Business allows you to manage your Web presence, Google Places Optimization gives you the ability to create a local listing of your business to find relevant local customers.
Before discussing how you can enhance your local business reach using Google My Business and Google Places Optimization tools, first let’s have a brief introduction of the two tools.
Tool #01: Google My Business – Managing Online Presence Made Easy
Businesses and organizations looking to efficiently manage their online presence on Google, such as Google Maps and Google Search, need to use Google My Business. The social presence management tool is completely free to use and flaunts an intuitive interface to facilitate easy working.
Google My Business makes it easier for you to find a relevant audience for your products and services, and effectively tell them your business story. You can use the tool effortlessly, and for no cost, to customize how your business information appears across Google Maps and Google Search.
In order to help businesses to understand how to start working with Google My Business, it even caters a guide section.
Tool #02: Google Places Optimization – 8 Steps to Optimize your Local Business Presence
Google Places Optimization is a free tool catered by the tech giant Google to assist businesses in building their local presence. The tool follows an 8-step optimization process that allows you to make the best out of your local market.
Google dominates most of the Web and local searches. Hence, it is important for every business to list itself on Google via their Local Business Center. Google Places Optimization does this very thing. You need to start building your presence using Google Places Optimization. Thereafter, you can move on to build local listings on other search engines.
Get Local Customers with Google Places Optimization with These Eight Easy Steps
Each of the eight easy steps to optimize your business for the local market using Google Places Optimization is briefed up as follows:
Step 1 – Signing In/Signing Up
First of all, you need to visit google.com/localbusinesscenter. There, sign in with your present Google account. Those who don’t have a Google account, click on the Sign-Up button below to make a Google account. Thereafter, sign into your new account.
Step 2 – Add Relevant Locations
Post successfully signing into Google Local Business Center, you have two options. You can either Add new business or Upload a data file. Businesses with a single location in mind need to go for the former option.
If you’re looking to add 10 or more locations, then you need to go for the Upload a data file option. Follow the Google instruction manual for creating such a file, available on Google Local Business Center.
Step 3 – Tell About Your Business to Google
Next step leads you to tell Google about your business. This is done by building a business listing with relevant addresses and contact information. Once you’re done with entering your address, your location will appear on the map on the right side. This will assist customers to find your business in the near future.
You need to provide a brief description of your business. The maximum limit for the description is 200 characters. So, you need to precisely enter relevant details about your business. Use Fix Incorrect Marker if your business location is incorrectly displayed on the map.
Step 4 – Add a New or Claim an Existent Listing
Moving on to the next step, you need to Add or Claim your business listing. As Google makes use of local business directories to fill Google Maps with basic information, chances are that your business might already be enlisted. If not, you can create a new listing with the Add Listing button.
Step 5 – Add Keywords to your Listing and Define how Customers need to Find you
The listing that you have created for your business plays a key role in gaining new local customers. In the 5th step, you need to enter hours of operation and payment options details.
Other than these, you can enter other details like categories, photos, videos, and additional details. You can make use of keywords in these categories. The latter might include a parking facility, customized services, partnership offers, and deals, etc.
Step 6 – Validate
Google need to validate your listing to ensure that you, and not someone else impersonating you, have created it. You can do this either by using your contact number or your email address as per your convenience. Before proceeding with the validation process, it’s suggested to double-check your information for discrepancies.
Google will send you a PIN onto your preferred source of validation, email address or phone. You need to enter the PIN to a prompt screen that appears right after you click on the preferred validation option. After successfully entering the PIN, you’ll be redirected to the Dashboard screen.
Step 7 – The Dashboard
Now, you’re just a few minutes short of starting to gain new local customers. The Google Local Business Center Dashboard provides you detailed information on Actions, Impressions, and Search Queries related to your business. This information plays an important role in learning more about your traffic to take further actions.
Google Local Business Center Dashboard allows you to make several apt changes to ensure your business gets new customers that might find your business relevant.
Step 8 or Final Step – Offer Coupons
Offering coupons is a great way to attract new customers towards your business. You can do so easily by creating and adding coupons to your listing right through the Google Local Business Center Dashboard. Creating and adding coupons is as easy as 1-2-3!
There are a number of coupons that you can create using the Google Local Business Center Dashboard and then add to your business listing. Coupons are an effective way to show other people that relevant customers are finding your business via Google.
Once you are done with successfully creating your business listing via Google Places Optimization, now you need to maintain your business’s Web presence. You can do so with Google My Business.
You can easily maintain your Google+ and other social media accounts to allow your business to reach new customers. By combining analytics provided by Google Local Business Center Dashboard with apt actions taken on your social media channels, you’ll be able to attract relevant local customers in no time.
On the last note of advice, frequently check out analytics on Google Local Business Center and then make relevant changes in Google My Business.
All the very best!
Vikas is a Senior Content Writer at SEO Corporation Pvt. Ltd. He’s fond of writing elaborative articles for assisting start-ups and businesses to enhance their business practices and methodologies. While he isn’t busy writing business articles, he’s fond of thinking about varied ways to write business articles effectively.