To achieve outstanding success in the digital marketing world, most savvy online marketers start on creating and optimizing their Google My Business listing. These seasoned professionals know that this free business tool from Google offers the greatest impact for businesses seeking exposure. Do you want to get the most out of this valuable tool for your business? Here are the top four tips that the experts use to get local exposure.

Start Your Google My Business Listing

The first thing is to have a listing on Google My Business and accurately fill out your profile. If you have already been listed either through a Google+ page or a local listing, ensure all your details are up to date. Give as much information as you can and also look for the most suitable keywords and use them. Through these strategies, you will have a presence online, optimize your profile for search engines, and begin to develop a strong brand identity.

Use Visuals

Visual clues help many people to absorb information quickly. Have a professional-looking logo and a fun or flattering profile photo. For any other images you choose to include, make sure the pictures align with your brand message and look attractive. When you use successful images and visuals, your business will register a significant increase in sales.  

Manage Google Reviews

Google reviews have the potential to boost or kill your business. In the current digital age, whenever people want to buy anything, they turn to the reviews to get guidance on who they should buy products and services from. According to Podium, a vast majority of people (84% to be exact) trust online reviews as much as recommendations from family and friends as long as they meet certain criteria like authenticity, is in the right industry, or you have multiple reviews on the same site. Because Google is one of the most used, and most trusted search engines, people are willing to give trust and credibility to Google reviews more than reviews from less trustworthy sources.

If your potential customers find that your business has lots of low ratings, they won’t have much faith that you will deliver on your promises. After all, if so many other customers were unsatisfied, why should they risk buying from you? Instead, they pick up the phone and call your competitors who have positive reviews.

For you to gain a significant local presence, you need to get peer endorsements in the form of Google reviews. If you are not acquiring new businesses from Google traffic, there could be a problem with how you manage these reviews. Most of the time, your business lacks reviews simply because you are not asking for them. After an encounter with a customer or a lead, ask about their experience with your business, then ask if they would be willing to leave a review. You can link them to review you on Google My Business.  It doesn’t hurt to give a positive incentive for those who leave reviews–for example, a coupon for future purchases. If you first deliver quality service and then ask satisfied clients to leave reviews, you will have a positive rating.

But what should you do if you get a negative review? A few bad reviews can actually be good for your business.  If a potential customer searches your reviews online and doesn’t see any negative reviews at all, they will grow suspicious. Having a few mediocre or negative reviews is normal, and shows your authenticity as a brand. However, you need to ensure you don’t have too many poor ratings. If you notice a swell in the number of negative reviews for your business, pay close attention. Take it as an opportunity to get to know the real concerns of the clients, and post a response quickly. If the review is genuine, address the complaint, apologize for the dissatisfaction, and offer to fix the problem. After you have sorted out the concern, ask the client to leave another review. This is a very important step; correcting your mistakes and asking for a new review shows that you take customer satisfaction and customer service seriously.

Additionally, fake reviews do sometimes pop up. Sometimes this happens because your competition is trying to get a leg up on your business by leaving a bad review. This is a dishonest business practice, and it can be challenged. If you find fake reviews, reply to them. State that you cannot see them in the list of your previous or existing customers, and flag or dispute the review. This way, you will remain on top of the game and use Google to attract more customers.

Use Google Metrics

Google My Business shows the number of people who have viewed your site. Besides, it breaks down the metrics into search, profile, post, and photo views. You can also view shares and comments from your current and potential customers there. These insights will help you to determine the performance of your marketing efforts and let you know when to change your strategy.

As you can see, Google is a fantastic tool for your digital marketing efforts. Use the strategies outlined above to power your content marketing. In the end, you will increase your revenue and improve your reputation among customers.

 

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