How to Use and Optimize Google for Business

Google offers a complete suite of tools that interface to provide powerful boosts for marketing your business. The tools, including Google My Business, Google Maps, Google Guides and Google Analytics help clients find your place of business, read reviews from past clients and ascertain how you can best optimize your own business website.

Sometimes the Yellow Pages has submitted your business to Google Maps so there will be a listing. If you don’t do your own work and expand the listing with photos, a better description and other information you’ll have an incomplete listing that doesn’t give you the boost that you need.

Some of the Top Google Tools for Businesses

All of the Google tools can be accessed and run through your central google account. This includes:

  • Your gmail email account.
  • Google Docs.
  • A google website for your business.
  • Your Google Maps location.
  • Your Google Analytics.
  • Ads that you post using Google AdWords (you can’t pay using bitcoin – at least not yet – but Google does accept many other forms of online payment).
  • Status as a Google Guide that makes you an “expert” on your locale.
  • The GoMo diagnostic tool that assesses whether your website is mobile enabled.
  • Your YouTube account where you can upload videos and other media about your business.

Some of the most powerful tools include:

Google Maps

Google Maps has become so refined that you can actually pinpoint exact addresses of sites for which you’re searching. Start by adding your business to Google Maps so that people can find you! Your site location will not only display when someone searches the area for your business but it will pop up in a search on a Google Map when someone searches for your type of business.

To add your business to Google maps:

  1. Sign in to your Google Account.
  2. Go to www.google.ca. Type in your locale and your business name and click search.
  3. Click “Maps” which is located on the right had side under “Search options”.
  4. When the map of your region appears you’ll see your business listed on the left hand side of the page.
  5. Click on your business name. A location box will appear on the Map. Click on the “More Info” in the box to be taken to your business page.
  6. Edit your basic business information on that page and add photos of your business to personalize your map listing. Click “Submit”.
  7. Verify your listing by inserting the Google PIN verification code into the Google Places account. The PIN code will be sent by Google via a phone call to your business phone number, a text message with the PIN number or an email postcard with the PIN.
  8. Don’t forget to complete all the information Google requests – your listing may appear but your potential clients will be more likely to contact you if they see a full itinerary of information and photos.

Booking Button

If your business operates through appointments you can use the Booking Button feature to get more bookings. The tool uses integrated scheduling software to allow people to book an appointment directly with your business via your Google My Business listing.

Online Reviews

Your Google My Business listing offers past clients the chance to give you reviews. Google encourages you to solicit online reviews which then appear next to your listing in the Knowledge Panel on a Google Search and in your listing that appears in Google Maps.

According to research 12% of consumers search online for local businesses and 97% read online reviews before contacting a business after finding the business online. 85% of the searchers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.

Building up your online reviews is a great way to draw interest to your business and connect with potential clients. That’s because almost three-fourths of online consumers trust local businesses more when they see positive reviews.

Good reviews also impacts your SEO rankings.  Google solicits numbered reviews (from one star to five stars) as well as text reviews. So you can ask your clients to give a numbered review, a text review or both. 49% of potential customers look for at least a four-star rating before they choose to purchase a service or product.

It’s also important to respond to the reviews. When a searcher sees that the business cares enough about its clients to respond to their reviews, it impacts on their decision to use that business.

Posts

If you use the Google My Business platform you can create Google Posts. When you go to your GMB account, click on “Posts,” located on the left-side menu of your Google business listing.

When you write a post you draw people into seeing what’s new with your business. You can share discounts and promote special sales and events to encourage customers to take advantage of your offers. You can showcase selected products and highlight new offers, allow them to sign up for a newsletter, buy a product from your website and stay updated about your latest offers.

The posts display in the map and the Google Search results. You can upload images, write text or add an event with a start and end date. There are call-to-action buttons with options such as “Reserve,” “Learn more,” “Sign up,” “Get offer” and “Buy.

Keep in mind that the Business Posts expire after seven days so keep your eye out for the notice that alerts you to your post’s expiration and post again!

Advantages of Google Business Tools

There are many advantages to using Google’s Business tools for your business. Some of the most compelling include:

  • Financial – The tools are free. Google does encourage you to take out paid advertising through Google AdWords but the basic tools are free and easy to use. If you need tutorials you can always find assistance through YouTube tutorials so there’s no need for “experts” to help you get set up.
  • Efficiency – Everything is integrated so your Google Business Page shows up on the Google Search which also appears on Google Maps which can be tracked through Google Analytics………One click allows you to enter your account and access all of your tools.
  • Security – Google is one of the most secure platforms with a two-step verification process, SSL connections, email filtering tools and a notification process that sends an alert if there is any suspicious activity on the account.
  • Support – Google offers a large amount of written support and multiple YouTube tutorials that walk you through the process of setting up and administering your account, as well as question forums.
  • Reliability – Google is one of the most reliable platforms on the Internet. All of your Google activities are protected under Google’s security safeguards.

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