This article was updated on 11/12/2020
The Google My Business platform is one of the most important platforms for businesses to know. Every day, thousands of potential clients use Google search for services or products that you may offer. Standing out is critical, but it can be difficult.
With the pandemic this year, more people are staying at home and businesses are changing they way they operate. That means updated information is more important than ever!
Google My Business is a real-time way for you to keep customers updated on the following information:
- Changing your business hours
- Informing of temporarily closing
- Changes in the types of products and services you offer
- For online services, you can also add an appointment URL to your profile or activate bookings to add a “Book Online” button
Your Business Address listing
Google My Business does not accept P.O. Boxes as a business address, which is why you will need a physical business address to get started. You can sign up for Google My Business using the business address provided through Starthub’s Virtual Office, which is a physical office space in Miami, Florida.
A Virtual Office offers you the ability to register your business, open up a business bank account, receive mail and packages, and in some cases can even offer you a live receptionist.
So how does this help your business?
Increase Your Online Presence
Google My Business is your primary way of establishing and increasing your online presence. You have real-time control of your appearance on Google Search and Google Maps. It also increases your visibility in searches. When a client googles your business, a “knowledge panel” will populate on the right side of the screen. This panel gives an at-a-glance overview of all your business information. You can post hours, images, ratings, and more. This can give potential clients enough data to have an idea of whether they want to work with you. Businesses that post images of they product or service on their Google listing receive 35% more click-through of their website than those who do not. An online presence can be the difference between a lead and a long-term customer.
Reach More Customers
When clients are looking for a specific service or product, chances are they are just going to Google it. Having an engaging business profile on Google can help you stand out from the rest. It can give your clients a better experience. Additionally, it can also drive more traffic to your business and website. You can post new offers and deals or promote a new product. It’s also a great way to share recent news that all reach a different type of customer. Google My Business is also linked to Google map. It now allows users to message you internally as they are looking for your business. (Check more about Google map functionalities through this article written by our marketing friend at Zenchange)
Boost Your Professional Image
There are many factors in a client’s decision to use a business. However, a primary decision factor is your professional image. When looking up business, most clients will automatically check out the business’s reviews, Google score, and images. Make sure that your clients are leaving reviews. Also ensure that your pictures are up to date. These are the things that can set you apart from the competition. You can also directly reply to posted reviews, which shows to your clients that you are truly engaged with all customers.
Be Accessible to Your Clients
Not every question can be answered by Googling a business, but with your phone number, email, and business hours listed, your leads and clients will find it much easier to inquire for more information. With a Virtual Office, you can even have a Virtual Receptionist answer these incoming call to even further boost your business image, and then have the calls transferred. Accessibility is a priority for 95% of clients, so why risk it when you can simply post your business contact information on your Google knowledge panel?
Great for Online Businesses too! No Physical Storefront Needed
Whether you are a home-based business or service business, you can also list your business on Google My Business. However, even if you don’t have a physical storefront, customers will still see credibility with an actual address. Furthermore, when bombarded with options for products or services online, customer reviews can make all the difference. Google My Business allows your customers to leave reviews and ratings that can boost you to the top of potential new customer lists!
How Do I Start?
- Sign up on Google My Business with your business address and information.
- You want to ensure that you are choosing the right primary and secondary category to increase your listing rank. If you only offer something truly specific, picking a category on Google My Business is simple. However, if you have a broader spectrum of services and/or products offered, you will want to prioritize on what clients you primarily wish to attract. Be specific in what services you want to offer and focus on.
- Once you have completed this information, you will get a verification code in the mail within 5-7 days.
Once verified, on your Google My Business dashboard, you have a variety of options that you can explore: insights, reviews, messaging, photos, and info. You can create an ad via this portal to be displayed alongside your knowledge panel, or create a post with an event, offer, product, or to highlight what’s new with your business. This post can directly redirect the client to your website and increase your traffic. With the dashboard, you are always in control.
Using your business resources correctly can help accelerate your business and put you on the fast track for profitability. Google is a great and easy tool that any business can use to grow in the long term.
At Starthub, we offer comprehensive virtual office solutions We’ll even give you your first month FREE. Just click here to get started. You’ll receive a prestigious mailing address in downtown Miami, dedicated mail handling services from a talented team, and an innovative digital platform to receive and direct your mail. Plus, 24/7 customer support. For more information on why Starthub is the best choice for your virtual mailbox, click here.