Small to medium sized business owner are busy people, this includes Hair stylists and salon owners. They are at times wearing several hats or making sure that the normal day to day work is taken care of so that they are able to focus on the sale.
That day to day work also covers making sure that people know about your store. Not necessarily advertising though getting your business listed in the local business directories and phone books still weigh on some business owners minds. With today’s technology that weight is even greater because there are local online directories. There are the Social media pages. Then trying to figure out anyplace else you target customer might be.
One place that almost everybody’s target customer can be found is often overlooked is Google. Yep the number one search engine on the planet, and more often than not most businesses are overlooking this venue.
Because most people hear Google and they think of AdWords and that is money that comes out of the advertising budget. This is understood and you are right if you are wanting to advertise on Google.
What I am wanting to talk about is actually free. It is still overlooked. The service Google provides is called My Business. Yes, you can advertise through this service but it is not required. Google’s My Business is a central hub for your business that is spread across several of Google’s services. This will help you be found when people are looking for a hair stylist or hair salon.
If your customer does a search in Google Maps for a hair salon you want your salon to show up. Then show up with all the needed information. You want people to know that you are open or what time you open tomorrow. Google My Business is the place to get this information published.
What information exactly are you able to show?
In google maps or if a person does a search for your business you want as much information to show up as you can get. In Google My Business you can list the following information
- Service area if it applies
- phone number
- Web address
- Hours of Operations
- Any special hours if needed
Where does this information show up?
This comes in handy. Several months ago the keys to my car somehow migrated out of my pocket and back into the ignition switch while I was at our local Wal-Mart. I know there was a locksmith over on 7th street but didn’t know the phone number.
I grab my phone and do a search for locksmith Elk City nothing showed up. Looked at some of the other location services and still nothing. This locksmith lost out. Because he wasn’t listed on Google Maps. If you are not listed in Google Maps you are going to have a hard time showing up in search unless you are very good at your SEO and still you can beat those people out if they are not in My Business.
If that particular Locksmith had been smart and put his business on Google My Business what would have happened is that when I searched within Google maps for Locksmith he would have shown up with a pin at his establishment’s location.around that business would have displayed a ring showing how far out he is willing to drive.
I would have been able to call him from the results. he would have made some money and I would have been on my way back to the house.
I also do a lot of searches for businesses from my desktop browser. as a lot of people do. If your business is listed in Google My Business your results would show up over on the right-hand side, these results would not be mixed in with the rest of the results. You will also be able to see what everybody who reviews your business says about you in the means of reviews.
Another point that many people overlook is when you are doing content marketing. You want your blog posts to show up as quick as possible. This can happen also through Google My Business. Because When you setup Google My Business you also get a Google plus page. Now, Let me stop you, naysayers, right now. Google Plus is not dead. not even Mostly Dead.
Yes, the community is nowhere near as vibrant as it was 3 years ago but it does still serve a purpose. The biggest being the SEO portion and getting your new content indexed by Google faster when a new page is listed in Google plus. This can be either as a post or in one of the collections.
The collections if labeled in a descriptive manner can also help tell google what that page is about. So dismissing collections as only a Pinterest ripoff is something said by people who do not understand that google is cataloging everything. So use the page and post to your collections.
Reviews and the ability to respond
As I mentioned earlier you can see what review are posted about your hair salon. This is true. In fact, your business itself might already show up in Google maps. without you putting a single bit of information into Google My Business. Here is why you want to do it and if your business is already located in Maps then why you actually want to claim your salon.
It is for the reviews. You can already see what people are saying about your hair boutique. but what if you want to respond to that review? You can’t unless you are the owner of the business. So, you want to get your business verified. That way you can respond to any reviews that are posted.
How do you get verified?
The verification process is easy. Though it isn’t fast. It requires the use of snail mail so just now the process takes about a week.
- Navigate to Google My Business.
- If you are setting up a new Google My Business? Follow these steps to sign up for free
- Search for your business the name and address.
- Google has some good hints for brands, organizations, or artists. They should follow these steps.
- If someone has already verified your business you can follow these steps.
- If you don’t see your business listed in the menu, click No, these are not my businesses or I’ve correctly entered the business. You’ll then be prompted to enter some details for your business. Make sure you enter an accurate, complete street address, and a phone number which reaches your business directly.
- Click Submit.
Google has put together a little video tutorial
Once you are through the been verified you will have these opportunities open up for you. Along with a google plus page. I would recommend using the pages Collections so that your website will be indexed faster but that is entirely up to you.
The important item is the showing up in Maps and searches. That way your customer can leave you plenty of google reviews.
Do you use Google My Business? How is it working for your business?
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