Google is an all innovative enterprise with different types of products for everyone. Google My Business or GMB is another feather in its cap. It has targeted small and medium scale enterprises (SME) or businesses as its users. GMB gets SMEs large numbers of people using and accessing Google as their primary search engine. These people form the core of the potential customers for many such businesses who rely on Google for everything from their daily needs to education and politics. Small and medium businesses need effective advertising without straining their limited budget and with few means of mass communication.
Often small vendors or local shops have a few loyal customers and acquaintances. They help them in running the business. But they also need to spread their customer base to expand and increase their income. They rarely have the budget that can match the big corporations or companies. They often left with a few choices like setting up a billboard, distributing pamphlets, putting up ads in newspapers and magazines, or posting it on public transit systems like bus or train. All of these still cannot ensure an increase in customers as they are often ignored by most of the people. Not just small businesses but also the startup companies that have no customers, to begin with.
Here comes the need for a platform that has a large base of users and can be reached easily by the wide range of people, at no extra cost. GMB does exactly what small vendors need. This is a free app that can be downloaded on mobile or desktop. It boasts of several features with impressive UX design services. Lets the users reach out to many potential customers with just one click. It builds a brand among customers and its users without paying for advertising. GMB actually comes as a boon to start up companies that have set up shops recently and require marketing at no additional costs. They can focus on their core operations leaving their marketing and brand building to GMB.
GMB has some impressive features that can give small businesses and shops ways to interact with customers and receive their feedback. This can improve their product and services. These features help businesses optimize the GMB app to increase their visibility and ranking. All of these features are free of cost and the user only has to set up an account with GMB to avail it.
a) Post snippets of your business: It offers users to write posts about their company and products with every detail included. Vendors can post about upcoming “sale”, new product launch, an event or just an awesome ambience of their shops.
b) Online booking: Customers can go to its listings and book online if they like the products. This instantly increases the sales of enterprises. If one has already a booking provider supported by Google, it will be added automatically.
c) Instant messaging: Instant messaging helps in getting real-time feedback from customers where vendors can also share their specialities and special offers. This also let businesses replying to any of the customer’s query or doubts.
d) Online reviews: On GMB users and customers can write about their experiences and feedback. Vendors themselves can prod clients to give a feedback on their services. Reviews generate a credibility about product or service and let businesses improve thereupon.
e) Photo and videos presentation: Photos and videos are a great way to advertise about the company and its product. Photos enhance the overall appeal of the listing and increase the chances of being clicked on search results.
f) Description of business or product: Product description or small summary about the business increases the credibility. GMB lets users add a detailed description of their businesses. But one has to adhere to guidelines laid down by Google.
g) Listing of all services in an online menu: Services offered by clients can also be listed separately in a menu. This menu shows the list of items or services provided along with their prices(if given). The list can also be categorized according to various categories of services or product offered.
h) Replying to customers’ queries: Question and Answers feature lets user answer queries of customers or some random users. They help in clearing any doubts about the company and its products.
GMB has many advantages over traditional platforms like Television or Newspaper or magazines. Some of them are mentioned below.
1. It increases your visibility on Google search engine and thereby on the Internet. This can make you appear on Google’s Local Pack, Local Finder and Google Maps. It also increases your organic ranking with the Google. But one has to add complete and right information about their business including address, phone number and business hours. For this one, you have to create your account on GMB and log in from there to manage your online business with a GMB dashboard.
2. GMB increases your ranking in Google search engine with each update on your listing. Thus you have to keep updated your listing with latest info and features about the company. It requires you to log in frequently from your GMB account to keep a tab on your listing and its updates. Every update does not notify the owner. Unfortunately, anyone can change these listings so the owner must keep them abreast.
3. This app is very user-friendly. Once you login into it a dashboard with different features appears on your screen. You can manage the profile of your business from there. One can edit information about products and services, post an offer or an upcoming event on your place, ask for a review from customers, chat with customers and connect with potential buyers updating about your business.
4. Customers can easily book an order online without your being set up any website of your own. There you can list various services you offer. It also shows open hours for your business or shop.
5. Businesses can also share a link to their portal, website or blog if they have one. This increases the traffic to the respective sites.
Thus, GMB is a sure way of increasing your visibility and thereby increasing the business and clients. In today’s world where competition is very tough and it is difficult to keep your business profitable and attractive to customers too. Google My Business app bridges the gap between customers and small business owners. It provides a business-friendly interface to interact with clients and potential customers.
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