Google My Business – What is it and why is it so important?
As a gun dealer, it’s vital that you have a good presence online. More and more people are turning to the web when searching for guns in the UK, so it’s very important that you’re visible in search engines and on social media.
One such tool that can have a real beneficial impact on how your business performs online is Google My Business. Google My Business is something that every business in the UK should sign up to as it can have a real positive effect on your search engine optimisation, helping your gun dealership appear higher up in search results pages.
This guide offers you information on what Google My Business is, and how you can sign up and register your business. But before we start, make sure you read our introduction to Search Engine Optimisation for gun dealers.
WHAT IS GOOGLE MY BUSINESS?
Google describes Google My Business as “a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organisations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps”.
Your Google My Business listing allows you to keep your customers and potential customers up-to-date with your opening times, location, contact information, and other details.
It’s also a great place for customers to review your service, meaning potential customers can read what others think about the guns you sell, your customer service, and their experience with your business as a whole.
WHY IS GOOGLE MY BUSINESS SO IMPORTANT?
Google is the world’s most popular search engine. It can answer almost any question you ask it. This includes local searches for products you offer such as ‘rifles for sale near me’.
It is vital to the health of your dealership that you are able to appear in these local search results, so that your potential customers can easily find you without having to spend hours searching the web.
A well optimised Google My Business listing, with correct location info, will go a long way towards helping you rank well in these search results pages.
With so many people utilising the web to find their next purchase, if you’re not appearing high up in local search results, then you’re missing out on a hell of a lot of business.
We’ve explained just how important it is that your gun dealership has a Google My Business listing set up. So let’s take a look at how you go about doing that…
SETTING UP YOUR GOOGLE MY BUSINESS ACCOUNT
First and foremost, you’ll need to have a Google account set up. So if you don’t already have one, you should follow this link and set one up. Creating your initial Google account is nice and straightforward, and doesn’t take long at all.
Once your Google account is set up (or if you already have one) then you can get to work creating your Google My Business listing. Just follow these steps…
1 – Go to google.com/business
The first step is the simplest. All you have to do is go to google.com/business and click on the big green ‘Start now’ button.
2 – Business name
Firstly you need to enter your business name in the required box. It’s important for your search engine optimisation that your business name appears the same wherever it is mentioned on the web. So make sure you have it written correctly here, as well as on your social media profiles, your website and on any online listings you have set up.
Once you’ve entered your business name and made sure it is correct, click ‘Next’.
3 – Your location
Next you’ll need to input your location. Again, it’s vital that this address is consistent with all of the other mentions of your business on the web. The location you enter here is where your business will appear on Google Maps, offering you another way to appear in front of potential customers online.
Some businesses, such as those based at home, may wish to hide their address. You can do this with ease by simply selecting the ‘I deliver goods and services to my customers’ option. This will then present you with the chance to hide your address on your Google My Business Listing.
4 – Confirm your location on the map
Once you’ve entered your address you’ll be asked to confirm your location by dragging and dropping the marker to the exact spot where you’re based.
5 – Select your business type
You now have to choose the category that best suits your business. For example, you could select ‘Gun Shop’.
6 – Contact details
Next you’ll be prompted to enter your business contact details. These will appear on your listing, offering potential customers the means to get in touch with you directly from Google rather than having to click through and browse your website.
Again (we’re starting to sound a bit repetitive here) it’s very important that your contact details are consistent across the web. So if you have updated your phone number, you need to ensure that you change it on your listing as well as your website, social channels and wherever else your business is listed online. Consistent contact details across the web will help your website rank higher up on Google’s search results pages.
7 – Time to verify your business
Now you need to verify your business. The way Google does this is by sending you a postcard in the mail. This is designed to ensure that you’ve used the correct address. It can take up to four days for the postcard to arrive, and once it does, it will give you clear instructions explaining how you verify your listing.
8 – Add more detailed information
As you wait for the postcard to arrive in the mail you can add more detail to your listing. You can add your opening hours, the services you offer, and a description of your business. Try and add as much detailed info as possible, as this will help your business appear higher up in search results.
9 – Add your images
It’s very important that your listing has plenty of images. So make sure you upload the highest quality images you have. Google has stated that Google My Business listings with photos see 35% more clicks through to their website and 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps than those without.
To make sure your listing looks nice, make sure you follow these size guidelines:
- Profile image: 250 x 250 pixels (minimum 120 x 120; maximum 5200 x 5300)
- Cover photo – 1080 x 608 pixels (minimum 480 x 270; maximum 2120 x 1192)
- Shared images – 497 x 737 pixels (minimum width 497; maximum 2048 x 2048)
They need to be JPG or PNG format, and MUST accurately represent your business.
YOU’VE SET UP YOUR LISTING – WHAT NOW?
Now that your listing is verified and live, it’s important that you ensure all of the details are up-to-date at all times. If anything changes, such as your address, contact details or opening hours, make sure that you update your listing accordingly.
Once your listing is set up, it’s also a good idea to encourage your customers to leave you reviews. Good reviews on your Google My Business listing go a long way to helping potential customers find out about your business, and also contribute to a positive Google ranking.
Google My Business is vital. Now that consumers spend hours scouring the web looking for their next shotgun or rifle, you want to do all you can to ensure that they’re finding your business online. When it comes to your business ranking in these search results, Google takes a detailed, fully updated Google My Business listing very seriously!
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