Are you a small business owner, freelancer or an upcoming entrepreneur who is yet to make your online presence? This post is to help you on how to make your first online presence and reach out to your potential customers using ‘Google My Business’.
Why do you need the online presence?
The marketers of yesteryear used to advertise on billboards, newspapers, televisions and radio because viewership of these channels was more. Now in today’s world of Gen-Z, people are watching shows on mobile apps, buying products online, making video calls instead of travelling, chatting on social media instead of get-to-gathers. So to be a successful marketer, you have to advertise through a medium where lots of people are watching. Imagine,
- when people are using Facebook, whats the point of a billboard ad?
- while people are watching shows on Youtube, what will happen to TV ad?
- when are people reading news on Twitter, why to publish a newspaper Ad?
These are not the exact real-life scenario of today. But who knows, it may become a reality in near future. So ensure that your business is present online so that you are visible to your potential customers.
How will a potential customer find my business online?
When your potential customer needs a product/service you are offering and want to find it online, obviously he/she will do a web search (most probably a ‘Google search’). So, to get the attention of him/her your business has to be present online and has to be on top of the search results. If your business wants to top the search result, then you should know what your potential customer will be searching for. If you provide what they are searching for, they can feel your business’ online presence. Do they always search for your business name and contact details only? Not always.
For example, let’s assume that you are the owner of a tailoring shop called “Smart look tailors” who is specialised in men’s tailoring. People don’t always search for “Smart look tailors”. They may search “Tailor shop”, “Best tailor shop in Chennai”,”Men’s tailor”, etc. Users who are searching for this must be having high potential to become your customer. There may also be few people searching for “Stitching charges for trousers”, “Designs for stitching shirts”,”How many meters of cloth required for stitching shirt?” etc. Users searching these phrases may not become your customer immediately. But if you provide the content what there are searching for, they have the potential to become your customer.
How do I provide content that my potential customer searching for?
For providing contents you must have a blog where you can post your contents. You can create a blog using WordPress, Blogger, Wix etc. Or you could use a tailor-made blog site for small business owners called Google My Business. Your listing appears right when people are searching for your business or businesses like yours on Google Search or Maps. Google My Business makes it easy to create and update your listing online. And most interesting thing is, it’s FREE!
How to create my blog on ‘Google My Business’?
To create your blog visit business.google.com.
- Click Start now button. Sign in with your Google account. If you don’t have an account click sign up and create one.
- Fill-in the fields Business name, Country, Street address, City, Pincode, State, Main business phone, Category.
- Website field is optional. So you can leave it blank.
- If you have a shop and only providing service at the shop, then select “no” radio button for the next question. If you are delivering services at customer location select “yes”. Latter one is ideal for the freelancers who work from home. Click continue once completed.
- In next screen, you will be given an option to choose your service area. If you are also providing service at the business address, select the check box, otherwise, your business address will not be shown to the user. Click continue once completed.
- In next screen, accept the term of the service and click continue.
Once the above steps are completed, Google will verify your business by sending a registered post to your address. Please note since the registered post will be addressed to the business name only, ensure that you should have a sign board of your business at the address mentioned. Otherwise, postman may deny delivering the letter. The letter will contain a 5 digit verification code. Once the letter is received you have to follow the below 3 steps.
- Visit google.com/verifymybusiness
- Sign in to your Google account.
- Enter your verification code and submit.
Once your listing is completed you will be given a website address like http://yourbusinessname.business.site.
What to post on my business site?
After your online presence is done, it’s time to improve your visibility online. You need to find out what your potential customer searching for and their search volume using keyword planner tool. To know how to use keyword planner read our post – Google Adwords Keyword Planner As A Tool To Understand The Market Better. Once you have found the keywords, use the exact phrases to make your posts. To say in simple words, you should understand the needs of your potential customers and provide content, to make your business top the search results. Google search gives priority to local businesses and sites which are regularly updated while displaying search results.
For example discussed earlier, you can write some posts on ‘Google my business’ like below
- Which is the best tailor shop in Chennai?
- Stitching charges for trousers
- Designs for stitching shirts
- Latest trend in men’s wear
So get the online presence for your business today through Google my business and increase your income.