Have you heard about Google My Business? You most likely have. But I do not like to presume, so I will just go ahead and tell you briefly what it is.
Google My Business is an internet-based service offered by Google that helps businesses and other organizations manage how customers find them online. The service was initially launched in 2014. It is free to sign up your business and is easy to use.
Have you ever searched for a business or an organization and seen images of them displayed on the right of the Google results? Or seen a map showing you where that business is located? That is Google My Business in action.
Since the launch of the service, Google has been working hard to improve its efficiency and ease-of-use. They have included some new features that have turned this service into a sales generating tool.
The thing is, not many marketers or businesses owners are taking advantage of these features to boost sales. Hopefully, you can change the way you see this service after reading this article.
Here I have outlined Google My Business’ 9 new features you can use to get more sales.
Let’s get right down to it.
- Welcome Offers
Discounts and special offers have always been effective increasing sales. Customers are always looking for ways to cut down on their spending. And Google knows this. So they have included this feature to make offering first-time customers discount on their first purchase.
Google My Business would also notify regular customers about news deals as they come. This will convert first-time customers to loyal customers and cause repeat business.
Assuming you have your business on this service, here’s how to set up the Welcome Offer.
- Open your Google My Business account.
- Tap on your profile.
- Under the Turn followers into customers tab click on Create welcome offer.
- Click Create and fill in fields such as Title, Descriptions, Coupon code, etc. as you see fit.
- After filling the required fields preview it to be sure everything is correct.
- Hit Publish.
You can also edit or delete your offers and get notification about new followers. Learn more here.
- Request A Quote
This feature appears as a button when your business is displayed in the search result. With it, customers can request a quote for a service and you can make a quick sale. This feature is enabled if you have the messaging feature on in your Google My Business account.
To do this,
- Visit your account and head over to your listing.
- Click on Customers and you will find a Messages
- Under the Messages tab, hit Turn on Messaging.
All messages can be replied within Google My Business making communication easy.
- Short URL
With Google My Business, you can now have a short URL and name. And before you ask why this is important you should know one thing. Sharing your Google My Business profile with clients and customers can be awkward because of long and clunky URLs.
The short URL offered by Google makes this exercise clean and easy.
The short name makes it easy for people to remember your business and can search for you on Google and find you listed there.
To enable this, visit your Locations page, click on Info on the left side of the screen. You will find Add a short name at the centre of the screen. Click on the pen icon and enter your short name.
- Google Assistant
Restaurant owners rejoice! Google assistant makes it easy for your customers to order food from you. This feature works with services such as Delivery.com, Zuppler, ChowNOw, Slice, DoorDash, and Postmates.
If your restaurant is signed up with Google My Business, your customer can hit the Order Online button and choose a delivery service to get your dish to their location. They can also choose to get it immediately or schedule the delivery for later.
They can make payments using Google pay or credit card.
Your customers can see their past orders from your restaurant, this makes ordering from you again easier. Ensure you constantly update your menu and delivery service carriers online.
Another exciting addition to this feature is the Popular dish tab. It has pictures and menu items that are loved by most customers.
The dishes listed here are collected from your profile and the most commonly mentioned dishes in reviews. You can edit/delete this information and leave only what items you want your customers to see when they visit.
- Auto-Generated Posts
Content is king. Even on Google My Business. But they know you are busy, so they have made it easy for you by auto-generating posts.
Although you can make posts yourself, Google will step in for you and auto-generate posts if you haven’t posted in a while. The auto-generated posts are gotten from your customer reviews.
This feature is important because it keeps your visitors engaged while you are away. It also makes for fast and easy publishing of content. You can make your content more visually appealing by changing the background, replacing it with pictures and colour.
You will find suggested post popped up on your dashboard, all you need do it hit Create this post and it will be published.
It must be noted here that you cannot select what review to post. This feature is pretty basic and just helps to keep your customers engaged. You can always create your own content.
- Image Control
Google My Business now gives you the ability to control what image is displayed in your profile photo. This includes a place for a company logo at the top right corner next to your business name.
You can select images that will display in the image carousel and they will be prominently featured.
- Creating Offline Materials
This feature (still being worked on) enables you to get customer promotional pieces like posters and stickers that you can use to advertise your business.
These posters or stickers could be used to entice your visitors to take certain actions. You can get Google stickers that read: Review us on Google, Follow us on Google, Book with us on Google, and many more.
You can navigate to the chalkboard section and write short messages like Come visit us 7 days a week, or Support us with reviews and pictures on Google.
You can download your stickers and poster when you are done. You could have them printed and placed at your physical location. It’s free. Break a leg.
- Place Topics
Using data from previous reviews, Google’s Place Topics provides information on what other customers think of your business.
This works much like a tag cloud and allows visitors to see previous reviews at a glance. This means if you do not have lots of reviews you may not be able to take advantage of this feature.
You should make sure your customers are happy as this feature is automated and would display both positive and negative reviews.
- Auto-Suggest Answers
You probably don’t have the time to sit and field questions from visitors. So why not let Google do it for you. This is what the auto-suggest answers do.
As soon as a visitor starts typing a question an answer is generated that best matches the query. Pretty cool, right? You may be wondering how it does this. Here how.
Google takes data from your previous customer reviews and answers provided by other customers and display them as results, if the present questions match them.
Encourage your customers to leave detailed reviews and answers as this helps other customers find accurate answers to their questions.
Again, keep your customers happy. Auto-suggest answers in automated and will display negative reviews as answers to questions. You don’t want that.
Before you run off and start using these features, here are some pros and cons you should consider.
Pros and Cons of Google My Business Features
- They are free.
- Google has a pretty large reach. With over 5.6 billion daily searches, you are sure to get noticed.
- It helps to increase your customer engagement with your brand.
- It enables businesses reach out to customers through different channels.
- Content generated by users can severely mar your brand image.
- These features are constantly being added and removed, and so you might need to work a little hard to keep up with the changes.
If you haven’t used Google My business or haven’t tried any or all of these features, I suggest you give it a shot. These new features make generating sales quite easy.
And the best part is – it’s all free!
POSTED ON August 17, 2019