Walk-In Customers: 4 Google My Business Tips You Could Use for Local SEO
One thing that has been deeply affected by the internet in the past few years is how the phrase ‘locally famous’ has taken on a new meaning. The idea of a local, hidden gem has always been part of our vernacular even before the internet came along but it used to be something that’s passed around by word-of-mouth. However, the rise of services like Zomato and Trip Advisor, and the fact that our phones know where we are at least 90% of the time means that to find out where great coffee can be found within a 1km radius, all we have to do is open an app on our phones.
I’ve come to a point that tend to not eat or buy things from big corporations anymore, partly because I do believe in supporting local, quality businesses and partly because you can find better priced goods as long as you know where to look. I’m also far from being alone in this given how the people I’m close with now drinks craft beer and artisanal coffee almost exclusively. People are now more discerning than ever and SEO services and marketers should take advantage of this by properly taking advantage of local SEO.
Standing up for the little guys
I still buy things from corporations from time to time, I picked up a couple of t-shirts from Uniqlo celebrating Gundam’s 40th anniversary for example, but as a general rule, I get my clothing from a collection of local, small businesses around me. For at least a decade now, I’ve strived to ensure that the clothes I wear, the food, coffee and alcohol I consume comes from small, local businesses. The internet has made it a more or less equal playing field and I guess I’ve arrived at a point where the name on the label matters much less than how they’d look on me.
This idea of local business is also important because when you’re in a pinch, your options would be limited to places that are in your immediate vicinity. It’s for these reasons that putting in effort on your local SEO would very much be worth of your time, especially if you’re the kind of business that deals heavily in foot traffic and one integral important part of local SEO is your listing on Google My Business.
Google practically holds a monopoly on search engines and while I use DuckDuckGo as my default search engines, there are a couple of times when I have to resort to using Google because their algorithm is just that much more sophisticated. If your business doesn’t exist on Google, you might as well not exist at all, Google is just that dominant. The world at large is very much reliant on Google so for your business to have any chance at being successful on local SEO, optimizing your Google My Business listing should always be a priority and the following tips could help you achieve that.
Use Instagram-worthy photos as your profile pic
I now have to accept the fact that whenever I visit a contemporary art museum, I’m going to have to wait for at least 5 minutes before I could check out any installation that is being shown because there will always be someone that’s busy posing for pictures with the installation. Sometimes, there’s a museum staff to help usher them along but 75% of the time, I’m going to have to be patient. The world at large is so starved for contents that even businesses have begun making designated Instagram spots for the sole purpose of luring customers.
For places that have to rely on foot traffic, doing the above strategy could definitely help your bottom line but you also have to make sure that these spots are highly visible to potential customers. Include these spots in your business listing, not just on Google but also on places where your business could be found. I’ve even seen hotels employing this strategy so this isn’t just strictly limited to walk-in customers.
Include your operating hours
There’s this coffee shop near where I live that I frequent not because they make great coffee, but because they’re the only one near me that opens until 11 pm on weekdays. My commute is pretty long and even on days where I don’t have plans after work; I usually arrive home at around 7. The thing is, I like to write during this free time because I’m rarely free on the weekends and since the one place I actually really like closes at 8, this particular coffee shop became my regular late-night haunt. In this case, including your operating hours can help bring your business extra traffic, especially if other, similar businesses around you closes earlier.
Answer questions thrown at your business
When someone actually went as far as to ask your business a question on Google, it usually means they’re far along into the buying process and just need you to confirm some small details before they could make a commitment. The thing is, your window to answer these questions is pretty small before they get tired of waiting and choose one of your competitors that already have these details confirmed. You could also use this information for ideas on what you should put on your website or your social media page so as to save them from the trouble of having to ask these questions.
Fill in the description for your business
There are quite literally dozens of coffee shops in the 5 km radius around my place but as far as I can tell, only one of them serves artisan ice cream with eccentric flavors such as Earl Grey Cranberry. By taking the time to fill in the description for your business, you could showcase your specialty to differentiate between your business and your competitors. If you’re a heavily specialized or niche business, you could also use this space to provide clarity on what it is exactly that your business does.