In the old days people opened a thick book that contained residential addresses and telephone numbers. A section of the book contained Yellow Pages, which were reserved for business listings. The sales pitch was “Let your fingers do the walking through the Yellow Pages.”
Instead of walking or driving around trying to find a store, you could look it up in the yellow pages. Having your business listed in this book, along with a list of products, services, location and business hours gave you an edge over the competition. The larger the ad, the better your chances were of getting someone to come to the shop.
While the idea of searching through a book to find a store seems almost unbelievable today, the same concepts apply in our modern digital world.
Customers still want to know what you sell, where you are and how to connect with you. Today they let their fingers do the searching on their phones. 3 out of 4 people search online when looking for a business or service. If you don’t appear in the search results, you don’t exist in the customer’s mind.
Fortunately, Google has made it easy for your business to rise to the top when someone searches for the products and services you provide. Its free and works even if you don’t have a website!
Meet Google My Business
Google My Business is a free app interface that gives you complete control of how your business appears across the Google product line including search engine results, ads, maps and online reviews. The app can be downloaded through Google Play or accessed online through a computer. Once you sign up, just add your business name, address, and hours of operation. Be sure to provide a telephone number. But that is only the beginning of what you can do.
Check out these features:
- Add a photo of your storefront
- Add images of your aquariums, type of livestock you specialize in and even new arrivals
- Show your aisles with neat, fully stocked shelves (They are neat and well organized-right?)
- How about a group shot of the staff in matching t-shirts or polos?
- Have a mascot dog, cat or some other creature that is always at the shop? Post that too.
- You can even share videos of aquariums, staff, anything you want to say or show to customers
First impressions are important and visuals can make a big difference. But with Google My Business you’ll be able to do even more.
- Post common questions and answers, like ‘Do you stock live foods?’ or “Do you service aquariums?”
- Alert shoppers to new product lines that you’ve picked up
- Create specials and limited-time offers
- You can post a brief paragraph on anything you like.
As you can see, this is free advertising that drives customers to your location. Your information will show up on Google searches, maps and any other third-party search provider. But what goes on behind the scenes is just as important. Google My Business has powerful tools to help you identify important business trends that affect your business. Google provides “insights” that tell you:
- What customers are looking for
- How customers are finding you
- When they are shopping and looking for goods and services
- Alert you to better ways to attract customers
Lastly, you need to be concerned about reviews. We all know the internet is full of opinion, good reviews, bad reviews and even fake reviews. With Google My Business you’ll have complete control about what people are saying about you and your business.
- Customers are able to leave positive reviews that make you shine
- Respond to customers with a thank-you and even address a dissatisfied customer if necessary
- Even a less than 5-star review is an opportunity to show you are on top of things and always offer the best in service and customer care.
- Good reviews instill confidence and entice shoppers to do business with you.
A word of advice for new users
Google My Business is really like a mini website. People like to see that images or information get updated periodically. It gives the impression that things are happening at the shop. You can change the posts to reflect the seasons or holidays as a minimum. If you or an employee really likes to take photos and write little updates, go for it. It shows your shop is alive and full of interesting products and events that are worth walking through the door to experience. Experiment and see what type of content bring in the customers. Google My Business provides all the tools you need to maintain a strong, impressive online presence. The features literally guide customers to your door!
Try it! Its easy, free and guaranteed to increase traffic through your shop.
To learn more ways to grow your aquarium business, sign up for a Marine Depot Wholesale account or contact us today! We’ve got other helpful wholesale aquarium articles available for you too read with more in the works. Stay tuned!