Having a business that is easily accessible and discoverable, both online and offline, can greatly increase your chances of getting clients. If potential clients do not know where you business is located and cannot find easy directions to your fashion store, they just might give up and check somewhere else.
As stated in our article on customer service, part of good customer service is having an easily accessible business, both online and offline. Google My Business (GMB) is one tool that can help your business be more accessible both online and offline.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free easy-to-use tool that allows entrepreneurs with physical locations manage how their businesses appear on Google Search and Maps. It is an easy and cost-effective way to make your business discoverable both online and offline.
Why do I Need a Google My Business Profile?
According to Google My Business, there are 1 billion searches for clothing shops per month! That’s a huge number and one you should take advantage of as a fashion entrepreneur. In addition to this reason, here are 4 other reasons to create a GMB profile;
1. It makes it easier for customers to find your business location: In this part of the world, we all know how difficult it can be to locate certain places just by word of mouth. And we also know how unreliable it can be to ask passersby for a location.
GMB removes the stress customers might go through in trying to locate your store just by using an address you provided by showing your customers your exact location on Google Maps.
2. It can drastically increase your search visibility: When a potential client googles something like “fashion designers in Lagos, Nigeria”, on the first page that comes up, they’ll see a high visibility panel showing local businesses that match their search. This comes above the organic listings and paid listings.
GMB doesn’t just make it easier for clients to locate you physically, but digitally too. It can very much increase both your offline and online visibility. As a fashion entrepreneur, it’s good to be seen when potential clients are trying to look for fashion designers to patronise.
3. It allows you display useful information about your business and allows customers leave reviews: One great feature of GMB is that it allows business owners to enter useful information about thier business for clients to see. Information like name, what you do, location, phone number, website, hours of operation and photos can be added for clients to view.
GMB also makes it very easy for clients to leave review about their experience with your business and for you to manage the reviews left. Reviews are like feedback, so whether good or bad, it’s nice to know what clients think of you and be able to respond to them quickly and in a professional manner.
4. It can help lower the cost of Google Ads: With a GMB profile, you’ll be able to use location extensions in your Google Ads by linking your GMB profile to your Google Ads account. These location extensions allow you to display your address and a map to your location. Customers can click the extension to get more details about your business.
These features can increase engagement on your ad, which in turn leads to lowering the cost of your ad per click and will improve the efficiency of your spending.
5. It is completely free: Opening a GMB account is completely free, for now. We don’t know if it will remain free forever but we do know that it is a great opportunity to take advantage of.
How Can I Create a Google My Business Account?
1. Claim a Google My Business Listing:
The steps are slightly different. On a mobile device, you will work through the app. On your desktop, you will begin by logging into your Gmail account. Once you are in, follow the steps and enter required information in each section.
The sections include: name, address, contact details, areas you service, hours of operation, services you offer, category of business etc. The more information you include, the better.
It is also important that you enter accurate information in your GMB Listing because you will show up on Google Maps.
2. Verify your Business:
Google offers a variety of ways to verify your Google My Business Listing, majority of business, however, will be asked to verify via mail to the businesses’ physical location. If you prefer to verify via phone or email, you can also choose that option.
In verifying, it is important to make sure that you cross-check all the details you entered so as to eliminate errors. If you choose to verify via mail, you’ll receive a postcard from Google at your businesses’ location with a verification code, enter it in your GMB account and that’s it.
If you however, choose to verify via phone, a verification code will be sent to you by text to enter into your GMB account. If your preferred choice is via email, you’ll find an email from Google with a verification button, clicking on it verifies your business.
Please note, verifying your business is an essential step in opening a GMB account. Google will not display your listing until your business has been verified.
Ways to Optimise your Google My Business Listing
1. Upload High Quality Images: Google found out that businesses with photos receive 35% more clicks to their websites and 42% more requests for driving directions than businesses without them. Even if it requires hiring a photographer, having images that are crisp and clean is important for your brand image.
2. Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews: In addition to reviews helping you know what to improve in your business, clients trust reviews. A research carried out by Bright Local, a local marketing firm based in London, revealed that 91% of customers regularly check online reviews and 84% trust them as much as a personal recommendation.
3. Incorporate Industry Keywords: One great way to monitor and maintain your GMB is by continuing to optimise your description by incorporating trending keywords in your industry. Review your company’s description often enough to ensure that it still accurately reflects the products and services you offer.
It is important to optimise your GMB page frequently to get the most out of it. For more information on ways to optimize your GMB account, click here.
You can share your thoughts on GMB with us in the comments section below, and, if you have tried GMB for your business as a fashion entrepreneur before, please leave a comment, telling us ways it has helped your business.
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