Small Business Branding
Small businesses easily gain exposure of their goods and services for free and without the hassle of building a Website.
Here are some things small businesses can do.
Drive foot traffic through Google Map
Local businesses get more referrals from Google Map than from Google Search.
Your business listing on Google Map can be invaluable asset in promoting your business. A good listing is essentially a targeted advertisement.
Even if you are not a local service provider, your listing can help you create an awareness of yourself in your community and also attract talents when you post a job listing.
Take ownership of your listing
Your business listing is considered a public property. Anyone can suggest edit to information about your business.
If you go through verification steps, you can take ownership of the listing and use it to better promote your business.
Attract customers/talents with photos
Anyone can post photos of your business, but your own posting will get displayed first.
Consider what atmosphere you want to present. Is it a cozy family restaurant? Or a modern hair saloon? Take photos that consistently show such imaginary.
Your photos should feel organic and not look like advertisement.
- If you are a specialty retailer, post photos of your products as displayed on your shelves.
- If you are a bakery or restaurant, post photos of your servings on a diner table or a tray carried by a server.
- If you are a distributor, post photos of your showroom.
Keep information updated
Make sure all information about your business are up-to-date and correct.
Updating holiday business hours is especially important. You don’t want to disappoint your customers and create bad experience. If you are open for holiday, you don't want to miss business opportunity. For upcoming national holidays, Google will send you e-mail reminding you keep holiday hours updated.
Keep an eye on reviews
Keep an eye on rating and reviews left by others. You can ask Google to remove reviews that are irreverent or spams. However, you cannot have negative reviews removed.
Reviews don't always come from customers. Your suppliers, neighbors, and past or current employees can also leave reviews. It's therefore important that you provide good experience with everyone involved in your business.
Honest reviews left by others can shade light on how you can improve your business. Always stay positive when you get a negative feedback.
Encourage on-site reviews
Encourage visiting customers to leave a review. The Google Map mobile app has a feature that nudges users to leave a review on visited places. It's better to have your customers review your business during the visit rather than afterward. Your customers would have opportunity to post photos along with the review, making the reviews more authentic.
Consider offering goodies such as coupons for returning visit in return for a review. Don't make customer feel you are only looking for a positive rating.
Get reviews from local guides
Google's Local Guides program allows people to participate and become a local influencer. Reviews by a Local Guide carries more authority. If you have friends who are local guides, ask them to review your business.
Monitor performance of your business
Every month, Google will send you a report of how your business listing. It has information like how many people found your business and how many asked for direction.
The Google My Business dashboard provides detailed information like what keywords people use to find your business. Utilize the information to improve your exposure.