Imagine a situation like this. Since you were a child you always dreamed to start your own business. You’ve already figured all things up, you have your family supporting you in your idea of becoming an independent entrepreneur and it looks like that everything is all set up.

But there’s one little thing you know you need to work on, and that’s promotion. You know you’re not good at this and you don’t have enough money to invest in creating your own site.

No worries, there’s a way you can promote your local business without spending a lot of money, and that’s using Google Maps. It’s completely free and it can improve your business and make it easier for future customers to become acquainted with your services.

And guess what, you don’t need a web developer or an IT expert. It only requires an act of will and some spare time to finish the application and you are ready to go.

How to optimize your Google My Business?

When buying something, customers search for a variety of local information. So the information you provide them when creating your GMB needs to be accurate, up – to – date and genuine. The importance of determining the relevant information is crucial, especially if you are running a small business which can be easily monopolized by tycoons.

Consider the fact that these factors need to become actionable and make a significant impact on, not just long – term, but also short-term improvements in your business ratings. Targeting the visitors is something that can be easily improved if you put enough effort into it.

Before this modern day technologies, people exchanged the information about their businesses using business cards. Alongside the card’s design, the first thing that customers notice is the name of the company, address and, of course, the phone number, three very important factors of each business.

However, GMB offers you a variety of other items which will impact the rating of your company. It’s not just about entering the information, but ranking high on the search list.

Users most likely won’t even look farther than the first page, especially if they are using smartphones. By filling out your info properly you are opening a door to a completely new dimension of your marketing strategies.

Verifying your basic information

First of all, you need to sign in to Google My Business. You can sign in with an existing Gmail account or open a new one. The next step includes entering the name of your company. Be very careful while typing the letters, using uppercase, proper punctuation etc.

You don’t want to make a mistake here because people will get the wrong impression. And the impression and satisfaction of customers is the most important factor in promoting your business.

If you have problems finding the street or the location of your company, you can do this manually by moving the marker to the location of your company. Bear in mind that this information needs to be up-to-date with a relevant postal address. If you’ve chosen to deliver goods to customers to their location, you will still need to enter cities, the area where you deliver goods.

Your telephone number goes side by side to your postal address, so choose the area code to match the location. Point out the opening and closing hours because those are the things that could give your customers the impetus to start using your services.

Concerning the fact that the design and creativity of your profile picture will give the first impression on the customers, choose a picture with high resolution, maybe even done by a professional. That should be photos of the business, logo, people who work there or even satisfied customers with smiles on their faces. Be creative.

Some extra creativity won’t harm you. Also be specific when choosing your primary category. Don’t use generic terms like “Groceries” or “Flowers” or “Drugstore”. Instead of that, use “Fresh, organic store” or “Garden and exotic flowers” etc.

When all this is done, you just need to confirm that you are authorized to manage the Google + page. Double check all the relevant data and your GMB is ready for activation. Confirm your address once again after Google sent you the verification code (free of charge), and this will arrive you in about 10-15 days.

Avoid duplicate content

If you have entered multiple phone numbers and addresses, Google will most likely flag your businesses as a duplicate. So you don’t need any superfluous information. Google has made it quite simple to understand, they don’t want copied information and you’ll get penalized for. The more genuine your information is, the better.

It can have a very positive impact and Google will give you high rankings. When you try to copy somebody else, you’ll end up trying to save what’s left of your business information. Keep this in mind when you choose your category. Be specific, be genuine, and write the things that make you unique and recognizable.

Business Listings and Citations

Business listings are sites that confirm what is written on your Google My Business account. Look it like this: The more sites confirm your data, the more likely your information will be accurate.

You need to sign up and fill in all the forms on the following lists: Google My Business (Google Maps), Bing Places (Bing Maps), Yelp, Angie’s List, FourSquare etc. Google Maps Citations are also one of the most important factors contributing to your high ranking. Citation equals mentioning your business on other local places and sites.

This is one of the best marketing strategies, and it doesn’t cost a cent. Choose your local business directories wisely, including local news press sites, popular local blogs, social media sites like Facebook, Twitter etc.

Show customer’s feedback

Already have customers who are satisfied with your services? Ask them to give some positive reviews. People always appreciate that and your service will become trustworthy. They can share their opinions, make suggestions, or even post a photo of them visiting your business.

It adds a completely new dimension to what your business looks like. The Google will recognize it too by awarding you with high rankings. In the world of social media, getting some positive reviews is really crucial. It became almost a “must” to have reviews on your products and services. Without a review, a product’s value is almost worth nothing.

Create a Google+ Business account

Sign in to the Gmail account which you created and verified your Google My Business profile. Click on the circle with your avatar and in the menu that opens, find the name of your company. Click on the name of the company, and then follow the Enable Google+ option.

If your business name does not appear immediately, click on “All your Brand Accounts” to find the correct profile. Fill in everything on the Business Google+ profile. Don’t leave blank fields, so first fill out the following: Profile Picture, Background Picture, Tagline (use the keywords and names of your services), and finally, add content and links in the About Me section.

Here you can also set up links that lead to pages on your site where visitors can find the services you provide. Write a Post and create a collection. This is enough for a good start. If you follow and implement everything aforementioned guidelines, your account is ready for use.

You must base your further work on maintaining profiles, sharing new posts, and interacting with other profiles. All this does not take much time, and you’ll inspire others to come and see that your services are as good as the information presented about them.