Authored by Raquel Guarino
Maria Elena Duron is an expert in Google, marketing, and SEO. She helps small businesses, startups, creators, and execs manage and develop their personal brands in the ever-changing digital world. This is the first of a multi-part series.
Visibility + Credibility = Profitability
Getting visibility for your business combined with winning over the trust of potential customers is the key to long-term success for your brand, according to Google expert Maria Elena Duron. While it sounds simple enough, there are a few necessary steps that need to be taken with each component to ensure your company can gain the audience and confidence of others:
- Visibility is established when your brand can be seen and found by others.
- Credibility is built when your brand provides a quality product or service that people can trust.
- Profitability is earned through conversions, sales, referrals, and good reviews.
While the credibility of your brand is up to you, Duron says increasing your company's visibility is a matter of understanding all of the tools at your fingertips. One of the best ones available is Google My Business.
Google My Business
Google My Business is a free tool that lets you establish a profile for your business on Google. With Google My Business, when someone searches for you or something your business offers, they will be able to learn basic details about your company, including links to your website, hours, contact information, and more.
Duron adds that having a Google My Business profile is especially important since the first thing everyone does when they have a question is consult Google; 87% of smartphone owners say they turn to search first in a moment of need. Research also shows people are willing to choose small over large businesses as long as they fulfill a need at the right place and time. That makes it especially important for lesser known entities to be visible wherever customers are looking for information.
Why Should I Verify My Profile?
Duron says the first step to visibility is verifying your Google My Business profile and listing. It's particularly necessary to do this so that you--and no one else--can update information about your business and reply to reviews. Plus, first impressions are long-lasting, explains Duron. Because it takes an average 56 interactions to change a first impression, it's essential for your company to put its best foot forward the first time a customer discovers you. Verifying your business profile makes you--and only you--the master of your first impression.
Here are a few other benefits of a verified Google My Business profile:
- Visitors can easily find out your hours of operation without even going to your website.
- Visitors can message you directly through your profile.
- People can access your website and find your phone number.
- 30% of all mobile searches are related to location. Without your business address listed, you could lose out on nearly a third of your potential base.
- Google My Business works across all devices, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
- If you have photos, customers can get a glimpse of your products and location before they visit.
How Can I Engage With Customers Using Google My Profile?
If you're wondering how interactive your profile is, Duron says not to worry. With Google My Business, customer engagement plays a very significant role. Here's what you can do to stay connected with customers:
- Post updates about your business, including information about special promotions, news, or events.
- Read and respond to reviews. Customers want to be heard, explains Duron, which is why replying to all reviews (including negative ones) is so important for your company's visibility.
- Set and schedule appointments through your profile with the click of a button.
What do you think of Google My Business? Let us know in the comments below!