Google My Business is a fantastic tool that allows you to build a presence that will convert directly from Google Search and Google Maps results. As a bike shop owner, it is important that you realize the value of your business listing and manage the platform regularly.
Google My Business allows businesses to provide accurate store information, showcase their culture, promote specials, manage their reputation, and engage with consumers directly from Google Search and Google Maps results.
Free Marketing with Google My Business
Everyone uses Google to search for local businesses. You don’t need to be logged into a social media account or have a special app to get answers from Google on your phone, computer, or any variety of smart devices—increasingly through voice interaction.
In 2019, a shift occurred for the first time in Google’s history. Now, more than 50% of all Google searches don’t even leave the search results page. Google has gotten so good at serving up the right information at the right time there isn’t a need to click through to a website to get the desired answer to your search.
For your bike shop, that means it is more important than ever to use the Google My Business features to entice potential customers by helping your business stand out from the competition.
Provide Accurate Shop Information
This is non-negotiable. This whole tool began as a way to provide Google with accurate data about local businesses and increasingly is the first encounter shoppers have with your business.
Here are some of the things you can add about your business:
- Address and position on a map (maybe you’re in a shopping center and Google drops the pin in the wrong spot)
- Business categories (bicycle store, bicycle repair shop, bicycle rental service, coffee shop, etc.)
- Service area (if you do mobile repairs, what towns do you cover)
Store hours (including specialty hours for holidays and early closures)
- Phone number
- Website (if you are a single location, link to your homepage; if you have multiple locations, link to their individual location page)
- Links to make appointments for service bookings
- Notes about the shop (wheelchair access, accepted credit cards, etc.)
- Short description about your business (allows you to write something that will showcase your culture and why you are the best shop in town)
- Pictures of your business inside and out
Keep this data as up-to-date as possible. Make a note on your calendar to check in once a month and ensure everything is looking good.
Manage Your Reputation with Reviews
I’m not telling you something you don’t already know, reviews are important for your business. Google My Business should be your top priority for review management.
Consider the following statistics:
- 90% of consumers used the internet to find a local business in the last year, with 33% looking every day
- 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses
- The average consumer reads 10 reviews before feeling able to trust a business
- The average consumer spends 13 minutes and 45 seconds reading reviews before making a decision
- Among consumers that read reviews, 97% read businesses’ responses to reviews
And don’t sweat the bad reviews. There is consumer psychology data that supports that a bad review, and how it is responded to, can be a stronger trust signal than a positive review. It’s normal to have a mix of good and bad.
A note on star ratings: You’re safe with an average star rating of 4 and above. If you have a few bad apples weighing you down, solicit more Google My Business reviews to increase your credibility. Include a link in emails, websites, or on your receipts. Perhaps offer a small discount or gift to anyone who does so.
You really should solicit more reviews regardless of your average rating. There are a lot of nice things just waiting to be said about you!
Promote Your Culture with Posts
Google My Business posting features allow you to promote the daily goings-on of your business and showcase the culture that makes you unique directly in Google Search and Google Maps results—much like you would on your shop’s Facebook page.
Here are some of the things you can post with Google My Business:
- Photos of new bike day
- Photos of in-shop hijinx
- Event information for weekly group rides
- Promotions for upcoming sales
- Updates about changes to the shop
- Offers for in-store or online sales
The real beauty of Google My Business is it’s ease of use. They are constantly testing out new and existing features, so it may look a little different each time you log in. But if you are in there a few times a week you will stay on-top of the cutting edge of an increasingly important and useful tool.
And if you’d like some getting it under control and aligned with Google’s best practices, give SmartEtailing a call.