Are you a doctor, lawyer, dentist, spa, restaurant, or small business owner? What if I told you that you make use of Google to get more customers for free and it only takes few minutes? With Google for Small Business you can expand your reach to grow locally or even globally.

Gone are the days when Google has been just a search engine that provided you with results solely based on the words you type into the search box. Nowadays, Google has expanded its services that include promoting your business by making it visible based on relevancy whenever your business name, product or service is typed into the search box.

Two years ago, CEO of Google LLC, Sundar Pichai announced in Pittsburgh during an event that Google was ready to invest $1 billion to train workers in conjunction with nonprofit organizations to grow small business across the globe. Recently a new program launched to help business owners even more.

With this article I am hoping to equip you with basic information on the reasons you should make use of platforms built by Google such as Google for Small Business and Google My Business, to grow your business and get more customers. You have honestly missed out on potential customers if you are not utilizing these services, but don’t worry you are about to get informed. Grab a coffee or a drink as I introduce you to Google services that will take your business to the next level.

What is Google for Small Business?

Google for Small Business is a platform launched on June 27, 2019, in New York by Google as a part of the Grow with Google initiative program to mark the celebration of International Small Business Day. The portal is designed to provide small business owners with the skills and resources to promote their business and enable them to acquire their main goal of securing more customers. Google for Small Business is not just a one-use tool, it also keeps you updated about upcoming Google business training nearby.

Why should I use Google for Small Businesses?

1. To help achieve your business goals

Antoine de Saint-Exupery in one of his quotes says, “a goal without a plan is just a wish”. The quote implies that you need a plan that will keep you focused in order to achieve your goal. Therefore, it is certain that a business owner needs ideas or procedures to guide them on the right path. Large businesses are mostly successful because there is a constant influx of ideas and plans to achieve their goal due to have more people involved in the decision-making. On the contrary, small business owners may run out of ideas necessary to uplift their business to the next level. In this case, Google for Small Businesses is the right solution for you.

Google for Small Business is a platform that audits your business by asking a few simple questions. It then uses the answers provided to create a personalized plan or recommendations to help grow your business. The plan will not just give a broad recommendation, but will also provide you with well-detailed guidelines on how to achieve the goal. Can you imagine the goals you can achieve in just a few days by using Google?

2. To help implement your plans

The site will also redirect you to other Google platforms where you can implement those plans. For example, if your plan includes getting a website then it will direct you to Google My Business. If you need to collaborate and communicate smarter with your customers, it would direct you to G-suite. There is much more as each plan is customized based on the initial survey.

3. To save time

During an interview with Kim Spalding, Google’s global product director for small business, said that one of the reasons they come up with business platforms is that they have realized that “small business owners struggle with time” and precisely have no time to study marketing strategy. That rings true, as a small business owner, you have a lot on your plate to worry about, and for this reason, it is beneficial to make use of tools that will simplify your work. The proper tools will also give you time to focus on the most important thing: running your business.

What is a Google My Business Profile?

As mentioned above, Google My Business helps you create a Google My Business Profile. Essentially, your business details are uploaded on Google My Business, a platform that gives you the chance to manage how your business is displayed on every Google platform. It also offers other features such as reviews, immediate content, insights and search engine results pages (SERPs).

With a Google My Business Profile, potential customers can locate your business address, hours, phone number and the products or services you provide. This happens automatically whenever a search is done that relates to your offerings. This profile is also linked to Google Maps and the Google ecosystem in general. So, customers can easily locate you using any of these platforms. When someone searches for “dentist near me” or just “dentist” with location enabled, once you have a Google My Business Profile for your dentist business, your location will populate in the results.

How can a Google My Business Profile help me?

1. Attract customers with regular updates

Google My Business allows adding posts to your profile. These posts can include articles that add value to your customer, problem-solving blogs, or usage of the new product you just included in your sales list. Whoever needs this information will be directed to your profile by Google, and this person may end up ordering for your product or services. You also can create events and offers in just a few clicks.

2. Gain customer trust

What customers need is an owner that can provide timely answers to their questions or requests. Google My Business enables business owners to engage in discussions with their customers by replying directly to reviews and messages.

3. Build and manage your website

Google My Business allows owners to create a free business website. The website will automatically populate information from your Google My Business Profile. It’s intuitive and enables anyone with little knowledge of programming, website design, and search engine optimization (SEO) to edit, post photos and articles of different kinds on their website. The website is also mobile optimized which is critical in 2019. This is a great starting place for anyone on the fence about making a website.

4. Gain insight about your customers

Using Google My Business allows you to gain insight on what attracts customers to your profile, be it pictures or posts. With the platform, you can find out how customers found and connected with your business. Analytics and insights will assist an owner with decision-making to focus on bringing in more customers through the optimal path.

But I already have a website, isn’t that enough?

Indeed, the impact of a website in growing a business cannot be underestimated. Research shows that if a business has no website, about 45% of its customers will patronize another business. However, the ranking of a business website on Google matters most, meaning that a business with low ranking on Google is not better than a business without a website. Therefore, a business website with a low ranking on Google would have little or no visitors no matter how resourceful the website may be.

Ranking to the first page of Google requires knowledge of SEO, time and money. Meanwhile, you can save yourself the stress and cost by making use of Google My Business tools. If your business is relevant to a customer’s search, it will surely populate on a Google Maps or Google Search with a Google My Business Profile. This cannot be said about just having a website alone.

Apart from visibility, an ordinary business website cannot give you the plan to implement or keep track of customers without some additional software. Above all, Google business platforms demand nothing from an owner, all the services rendered are free.

You can get started here: https://smallbusiness.withgoogle.com/

Over to you

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