We’re going to begin this blog looking at the “days of the Yellow Pages.” Back in the day, the Yellow Pages rep would come into your business and tell you you needed to have your business listed in their book or you would be lost in the shuffle. They might even sell you on a larger ad so your business would stand out from your competitors. Guess what! There is no need for that book today! Throw it away, use it as a booster seat or kindling for a fire!
Over the past decade, we’ve moved on to the “age of digital directories.” Google offers every business, large or small, a directory listing for free! Gone are the days of finding it challenging to compete with larger competitors (with larger advertising budgets). Small “mom & pop” businesses can be listed right next to the big box stores. This service is called Google My Business, and if you don’t currently have a listing set up, you need to do so right away.
Google My Business is an essential part of any business’ online presence. Odds are that you have used it without even knowing. Whether getting directions to a restaurant or calling to see if a store is open or has a certain product in stock, you probably used the address and phone number from a listing. Google’s directory is managed similar to the Yellow Pages’–without the need to carry that massive book in your pocket, let alone one for every city!
Each business can enter their own details, including an address, phone number, website, and hours of operation. Let’s say you type in “restaurants near me.” The search results will come back with the multiple pages of local options close to your current location. From this point, each of those businesses is trying to get your attention for that next meal. Each of the listings will have the option for pictures, whether that is food, as in this case, or images of a shop, building exterior, products, etc. This is the opportunity to persuade potential customers with imagery for FREE!
Google also allows you to group your business into categories. These categories for the above example of restaurants could be as follows: Italian, Mexican, American, Chinese, Fast Food, etc. These categories also give you the option to showcase some of your products if you are a retail shop. The Yellow Pages also has all the restaurants grouped together as well as plumbers, sporting goods stores and even shoe repair shops for easy navigation. However, there are some features only Google can provide. These include:
- Customer Reviews
- Website Links
- Direct Calling Capabilities
- Call Logging
- Trackability (views, clicks, etc.)
Google My Business is a necessity for any business these days. It is 100 percent FREE and a missed customer touchpoint if you don’t already have one. And if you do have a couple of those old Yellowbooks sitting around, take them outside, and start a bonfire while you enhance your own My Business listing.
If you’re looking for guidance in how to more strategically set up a Google My Business listing, contact the digital marketing experts at Baer Performance Marketing today.