If you are searching for a business or company, the first thing many people do is turn your their computer or smart phone for answers. People will immediately navigate to a search engine, most often going to Google. Having a business listed with Google is a great way to not only increase exposure for your company, but also to ensure that your customers, both current and prospective, are getting the most accurate, up to date information possible.
Unfortunately, though, there seems to be a great deal of confusion surrounding Google business listings with questions related to associated costs and the best ways to optimize a listing to benefit the company. With some quick research and understanding it is possible to grasp the concept of Google business listings so that your company can benefit from this amazing available resource.
How Much Does It Cost to Make a Google Listing?
As of right now, creating and maintaining a Google listing, often seen abbreviated as GMB (Google My Business), is a free service. This is because having a business listed with Google is a benefit to both your company, and to Google. With a win-win approach, it creates an open and inviting platform for more companies to work with Google and reap the many associated benefits.
When a business chooses any number of packages for local SEO, the GMB listing allows them to provide the most up to date information to their customers and prospects. This means everything from telephone numbers, operating hours, website information, and an accurate address are properly listed and displayed. The more information your customers and prospects have, the more traffic you can get to your business or website.
At the same time, having GMB remain free for businesses also helps to benefit Google. Google's goal is to make a complete and comprehensive guide to all the businesses and companies in an area. The more businesses that are willing to opt into the service offered for free by Google, the better their database and search engine performs perform. A better performing product ultimately means more traffic coming to Google.
Are There Other Costs Associated with Having a Google Listing?
Right now, everything associated with a GMB listing is completely free, but this may not be the case in the foreseeable future. Recently, companies that participate in a GMB listing were sent a survey from Google. This survey not only included a range of hypothetical subscription prices for a GMB listing, but also a description of various services and how these services could impact the traffic generated to the company's website.
Services listed on the Google survey appeared to be very beneficial for companies, helping to drive traffic and future revenue to company websites. Available services included offering Google support for listings, completing a background check on your business to verify the validity of your company making it a more trusted option for consumers, and options to help promote a "book now" option on your company's website.
Monthly subscription for GMB services listed in the survey sent by Google ranged from $10 per month to $70 per month, with varied increments in between. Of course, this would be a fantastic revenue stream for Google, but also something for business owners to consider long term. While mostly a nominal fee for many large businesses, this cost could be crippling for small, independently owned business, which must include this monthly cost in future revenue and operating models.
It is important to remember though that currently GMB listings are still free for companies to use, as Google works to develop their database. While these services are still free through Google it makes sense to take advantage of great marketing opportunities to grow your brand awareness. Google has yet to implement monthly subscription fees, but companies should be aware this may be a real possibility in the future.
How Do I Claim and Optimize my Listing?
Luckily, business can take advantage of the free options and services provided by Google business listings. Many of these services are a great way to help drive traffic to your website to help retain existing customers and capture potential new clients. With a few simple action items, it's possible to fully optimize your listing, increasing revenue with no out of pocket expenses.
The first step to take advantage of these services is to claim your own business on Google. This can be done by creating a Googly My Business account and connecting it with your company website. You will be promoted through necessary security steps to ensure that your company is legitimate, open, and operating. Further, take advantage of connecting your GMB listing with short names, or abbreviated names, for your company. This way you will be able to appear in more search results with potential clients searching for modified versions of your company name.
Further, there are many ways in which you can fully take advantage of your GMB listing to optimize your position in the market. These include:
- New Offers - Google business listings allow you to offer exciting promotional offers to new customers who decide to follow your business through your Google listing for the first time. Not only is this an attractive incentive, but it is an excellent way to capture new clients.
- Photo Control - With Google business listings you have complete control over the photographs that are used and associated with your company. You can choose which cover photo people see when they first find your company's listing, or you can choose to allow customers to post their own photos of your company, products, or services. This is the perfect way to help grow your brand recognition throughout the community.
- Reviews - A new feature that Google is offering is the ability to generate content from real reviews left by customers and clients. These reviews can easily be imported to social media sites or can be printed and proudly displayed in a store front. While this will certainly benefit companies with positive reviews, it is a great way to encourage existing customers to create review content more often.
- Manage Multiples - GMB allows you to manage and monitor multiple different businesses from one central account. Not only is this a time saver, allowing you to log into just one account, but it is a great way to stay on top of your customer reviews to understand what people are saying about your businesses.
- Stay Updated - Google business listings also allow you to keep important information about your business updated. This is perfect if your business has recently changed locations, switched telephone numbers, or adjusted business hours. The more accurate information you can get into your customers' hands the more pleased customers will be with their overall experience with your company.
With all the available features with a GMB listing it is possible to really optimize this amazing opportunity to help generate revenue from a completely free, and widely used source. Not only can an accurate GMB listing help to familiarize people with your company, but the available information easily transmits to other, frequently used social media platforms really allowing businesses to take full advantage of this service.
Get Help from the Professionals
Being able to keep your business up to date can be time consuming and difficult though, especially if you are busy maintaining your website and company. For help managing your GMB listing, turn to a professional team like BizIQ to help you with your GMB listing. With a variety of services available, BizIQ can not only promise your Google My Business listing stays relevant, accurate, and up to date, but the team can help take advantage of the several free services Google business provides to companies to optimize their listing. Turn to professionals at BizIQ to grow your brand, take advantage of promotional opportunities, and save you time when it comes to running your business.