As a local business, your location in a community is part of your identity. Where you are located and how people find you
Google has created an easy to use, fun to read, and most importantly, accurate mapping software. Not only can it be used for directions but it ties into social media as well. Understanding how to use it and how best to implement Google Maps is crucial for the survival of your business.
Using Google Maps to Locate Your Business
The first step you need to take is to claim your free Google My Business listing. It creates a waypoint, or GPS coordinate, on Google Maps. Without this listing, Google Maps will not be able to navigate users to your business. Once you make a listing, you can customize it and fill in details, including a link to your website. It automatically comes with Google ratings, allowing people to leave reviews and build up your local following.
Setting up the account is fast and free. Google lets you synchronize your Gmail, Google Plus, and Youtube through your business account. Once you are up and running, anybody using Google search has the ability to find you. Not only can a direct search of your business put you on the map but so can a search of similar businesses or services.
Let’s examine how Google Maps will locate your business by searching “Tacos”.
Immediately, Google Maps appears at the top of the search results. Pictured on the map are all the taco selling businesses close to my GPS location. I can also conveniently see the user reviews of each business and make a purchasing decision based on these statistics alone. I happen to know there are some food trailers in this area that do not appear on the map. But because I don’t know exactly where they are, I won’t go and instead will pick a taco place from this list.
Google Maps enjoys over 1 billion monthly users. It is the go-to website for the majority of internet and mobile users in the United States. Even the majority of Apple users prefer Google over Apple maps. Proving that for now, Google Maps is king and that your business needs a spot.
Google Reviews are Important to Your Business
Having comments and the ability for users to engage in conversation about your business is an important part of your online presence. Google review is an excellent feature that allows anyone with a Gmail account to comment on your business. With 1.2 billion users worldwide, there will be plenty of users who will rate your business.
When your business appears in Google search results, customer reviews are right there next to it. 88% of users have read Google reviews when searching for a local business. Google search is the most popular tool on the web, by default, Google Reviews are the most important ratings on the internet. The ambiguity of user reviews means most consumers rely on them for almost all their purchasing patterns.
Not only can people leave reviews but as the business owner, you can respond to them. Because you are the individual who set up the Google Business, your replies will be favored to appear above most other reviews. Think about responding to a Google Review like engaging in a public square. Everyone that scrolls over the review will be able to judge your words and reaction. This is a great opportunity to talk directly to negative reviewers and determine what it was that made them feel so strongly about your business.
The best part about Google Maps and Google Review is that you never pay for the advertising. Your business shows up on the front of the page automatically, depending on the user’s location and the keywords of the search. It is in Google’s best interest to provide a complete list of businesses for anyone using their search engine. Take advantage of it and propel yourself to the forefront of Google Searches.
Easy to Find Businesses Make for Happier Customers
In the age of instant gratification, the customer has been conditioned to want results immediately. Having your Google Maps business location set up facilitates quick search results. You can now reach consumers just as fast as they are looking. With Google Review publicly exclaiming the virtues of your business, there has never been a better time to create an online presence.