Google is the default search engine for many of us, and the verb “to google” something has passed into everyday language. The large American search engine brand has around 93% of the English-speaking search engine market, so if you are not promoting your company through their Google Business portal, then you could be missing out on a huge number of customers. The best thing about Google Business is that the basic service is completely free to use, and very easy to set up. The Google portal helps businesses be found on both the main Google search engine and on the mapping function, and allows you to enter basic details about your business, its products and services.
Google offers a basic business listing on its search engine and mapping tool free of charge. There are extra services such as sponsored adverts or pay per click adverts which you might choose to use if you wish, but there is no compulsion to do so. Many business owners just stick to the free to use Google services, and reap the benefit. A free to use account will allow you to specify your business opening hours, your website and street address using your postcode. Once you’re happy with your basic free listing, you are free to start to explore additional paid-for services from Google. But it’s important to get the basics right first.
One of the other main advantages of the Google Business account is that it enables reviews. Satisfied customers can leave reviews of your service, and having lots of positive reviews can encourage even more customers to use your company too. Google also recommends adding photographs to basic business listings, with their statistics showing that businesses with images on their listings get more click throughs than businesses which don’t.
Setting up your free listing on Google is also known as creating your business profile. Doing this will help you connect with prospective customers, wherever they are in the world, and keep them updated about your products and services. Google also offers a “My Business” app which you can use on a smartphone or tablet to manage your profile, but you don’t have to use this if you don’t want to. You can also set up your free business profile if your business doesn’t have a physical location. Businesses such as plumbers or cleaners who work in a client’s home rather from a set location can also set up their business profile through Google.
When firstly setting up your business profile, Google will ask for confirmation of your details. Depending on how your account is configured, this might involve entering a code which you are sent by text message, or on a postcard through the post. This allows Google to confirm that you are the rightful owner of the business, and therefore have the rights to set up the profile in the first place, then make changes to it.