If you have a business that caters to a local audience, then you should get to know Google My Business. This is a free tool offered by Google that gives you control over the way your business appears in searches and maps on the Google search engine.
Build your Google My Business to bring customers to you
This tool is priceless for businesses that want to optimize their online appearance so they can bring local customers through their doors. Any type of business, from a yoga studio or restaurant to a boutique or health care provider, should take advantage of what Google offers in this program.
Google My Business allows the yoga studio, doctor’s office, restaurant, or dispensary SEO company to add pertinent information to a Google listing, including the name of the business, the location, and the hours of operation. Google My Business also allows the SEO company to read and respond to reviews, add and remove photos, and understand how customers are finding the listing online.
Help customers spend money at your business
Learning to optimize this free feature isn’t difficult to do. And, it’s important to the success of your business to learn how to do it. By the time that potential customers are searching for a business, they are getting ready to spend their money. So, if your business is not showing up when a potential customer is searching Google for a business near me, then you are losing out. Your Google My Business listing needs to be accurate, verified, and completed.
Get ahead of the competition
If you are in the business of cannabis, your Google My Business is more important than ever before. As more states and communities are legalizing marijuana, giving customers the ability to find you will keep you ahead of the competition that isn’t using Google My Business. This app is only available to brick-and-mortar businesses that operate in a local community – so it clearly separates you from dispensaries that only operate online.
Step One: Create an account
To optimize your Google My Business account, you need to first create an account and claim that you are the person connected to the business. Your business will need to be verified and your listing will need to be filled with details to optimize it. Many business owners also download the Google My Business app so they can stay in control over their listing.
The first step to leveraging Google My Business is to make an account. You do this by creating a login that is associated with your business. Some businesses create a Google Account just for this purpose. Once you’ve created a login, you enter the name of your business, your address, and how you want your address shown to customers. You must also select the type of business you run. Then, you add your phone number, website URL, and how you would like your business to be verified.
Step Two: Get verified
The verification process is important. Without this, Google will not showcase your listing when people search for businesses like yours in your community. So, instead of visiting your dispensary, they will go elsewhere.
Once you are ready to have your listing verified, you will have to tell Google how to send the verification to you. They can do it through:
- Bulk verification: This option is available for businesses that have several locations. If your dispensary has 10 or more locations, you can click on “Chain” and then complete the rest of the form. This form of verification can take a week or more as Google checks in on all of your locations.
- Email: This is not an option that every business can use. But, if you can, it is quick and easy. Google will send an email with a button that verifies your business immediately. You click on the button and your listing becomes active.
- Instant verification: This type of verification can only be done if you have verified your business through Google Search Console. If you have this, you can verify your business through email. Not all businesses are eligible for this type of verification.
- Phone call: For this form of verification, Google will call the phone number that you choose. You will receive a code via text message, so be sure that you can accept texts. Once the code arrives, you login and enter the code. Voila! Verified.
- Postcard: Google will mail a postcard to your business office in five days. It will come with a code on it. When you receive the code, you login to your Google My Business account and enter the code. If you choose this method, be sure your physical address is correct.
Update the listing and click apply
As soon as your business is verified, it is time to get that listing perfected so customers can find you. The information that you add will affect who chooses to patronize your business, so fill it with information that will draw customers to you. As a cannabis dispensary, it is important that your listing includes information for customers who might have disabilities. So, if your entrance is wheelchair accessible, include that in the listing. If you expect your customers to hang out, then let them know you have free WiFi – if you have WiFi at all. Fill the listing with useful information that is accurate and continue to update it as your business evolves. No matter what you choose to add, it is not active on the listing until you click “Apply” – so do not forget that important step.
Includes photos to maximize your listing
One of the most important details to include in your business listing is a photo. Since Google closely studies analytics, they have found that business that includes photos have nearly 1/3rd more conversion clicks that those that do not have photos. When you put a photo in your listing, it should be a JPG or a PNG and should showcase your business. You should include more than one photo.
The images you include should include at least three photos of the main entrance. And, those photos should photo taken in the morning, midday, and evening to give customers a clear image so they can find your front door. With a cannabis dispensary, customers will want to your front door, especially if it is not in a traditional location. You should also include at least three interior pictures so customers can recognize the interior; so take photos of the main counter, the cash register area, and any other spots where customers spend most of their time.
Google also suggests that you include photos of products. However, if cannabis is not appreciated in your community, you might want to showcase accessories rather than the actual cannabis you sell. Along with a photo or two of products, you should also showcase your employees at work. Their friendly faces will encourage people to enter your dispensary. If you have a group photo, you could include that, too.
Should you include videos?
Some businesses choose to include videos, too. They have to be short – under 30 seconds in length and no more than 100 MB. The resolution needs to be at least 720p. While photos are vital to your listing’s success, videos aren’t as much. But, if you have something you want people to know about your dispensary, a video is incredibly helpful. Your videos could include information about the cannabis you use and why your dispensary is different than the rest.
How to respond to positive reviews
The last thing you need to have on your Google My Business listing is at least one positive review. If you’ve been in busy for a long time, then you will want to include as many reviews as you can. Then, to prove you care about your customers, you should personally respond to their reviews. Don’t give a canned response, because those will show up after each review. Instead, write a unique thank you that includes words that show you actually read the review.
For example, if the review talks about how friendly your employees are, then you could say something like, “Thank you for the kind words! We work hard to hire employees who are friendly and kind.” If you respond to reviews, more people are likely to leave positive reviews, too. That will help draw more business to your dispensary.
How to respond to any negative reviews
If you do get negative reviews, you should also reply to those. When you do respond, be professional in your tone. No one wants to see an angry business owner. The best response is a thank you for visiting the dispensary, and include an apology for what went wrong. You should also attempt to fix the situation. If you are able to make things better for the customer, then potential customers see you as a helpful business owner.