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Google My Business: an extra kick for your pet shop.

Do you have a pet shop, a chain of stores? Do you want to improve their profitability?
 
Consider that every month people visit 1.5 billion destinations they had previously searched for on Google. If we actually think about it, we cannot blame these statistics. We read  reviews, we study itineraries, we read up on opening hours, we look at photos, maybe we visit directly the facility with the virtual tour.
When it's necessary, when there is an emergency and we need something to be searched for within a few kilometers, we use our mobile. 30% of mobile searches are connected with locations.
76% of users who look for a nearby store through their smartphone, goes to the store throughout the day and 28% of them realizes a purchase.
 
Well, this is why today let's talk about a free service you must absolutely know to give an added value to your store. This service will increase its local visibility and will make it more accessible to the customer.
Customers are the center of every business, they are the reason why companies flourish and their shared passion for your job is what makes business management so satisfying.
In the last few years Google has realised a very simple and useful tool for companies, which isn't yet well-known and used by them, perhaps because they don't know it in detail and ignore the big advantage that it has: I'm talking about GOOGLE MY BUSINESS, an easy and free way to find and connect with people, with your customers wherever you are.
 
You have to think that  enterprises that were verified  on Google are twice as likely to be considered reliable by consumers.
 
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a dashboard where the owner of a local business can manage his information and provide it to the huge Google database.
First of all Google My Business is free and can be intended as a site through which you can inform and keep Google updated about all that is related to your store.

Google My Business profile therefore offers a lot of useful information about the activity, offered to users who are looking for you both directly and indirectly. Basically, a My Business page must allow the user to know:

  • where your store is physically located
  • which services / products it sells
  • how to contact you
  • how you are judged by users who have already had experiences with your store.
 
Google My Business: how does it work?
The steps to take, to make things simple and clear:
 
  • first you create a Google account, linked to your store and not to yourself
  • check that there is not already an old record of this activity
  • if not, proceed with the creation of a new record, otherwise contact Google support team to help you
  • enter information about: name of your pet shop, country / region, address, postal code, city, province, main shop phone, category, delivery service"
  • at this stage you will have to confirm the ownership of the account by phone call or by sending a coupon with a code
  • once the account is activated, the next step will be to add the suitable contents to attract the interest of the customers, ensuring that the association between the research question and the results displayed is immediate.
Now you are really ready to  get down to work, to fill your record with interesting contents and information in order to make it useful for users who visit it. Where shall you start from? Obviously from the basic information of your store, namely: name, address, telephone number, branch, website.
 
Which contents are important to improve it?
Google My Business card allows you to receive many contacts, it is certainly useful for any activity. It will be important to keep the information up-to-date, as most of the research of this kind are carried out through the smartphone, therefore in a situation of "urgency" where the user needs to find as much information as possible in the shortest time required, we can talk about an immediate need. Remember that, as in reality,  network is also full of competitors, therefore your My Business card will have to offer something more than competitors do. The more you work well and you get positive reviews and ratings, the better the placement in the local search results of your pet shop will be.
Now in detail the items that you can enter to customize it at best.
 
CONTACT INFO
However, you have to consider a limitation, connected with many kinds of activities:  you usually answer company phone during working hours but people search the web anytime. Google MyBusiness has also thought about this: it is possible to receive requests, meetings, quotations, not only through phone calls! In your card you can add links that will be the landing pages (intended as  pages of destination); people  can leave messages or requests, ask for meetings or enquiries, or book a visit in your shop. It's really easy to add a landing page on Google My Business: you just have to change the URLs of the activity.
 
OPENING AND CLOSING TIME

You can also add special times in advance, such as during holidays. A message will appear on your regular times.

EXHAUSTIVE DESCRIPTION OF THE COMPANY
That includes the keywords related to your business and maybe even links to strategic pages of the site.
 
WEBSITE

The site service is designed for activities that do not have a website, it is not recommended for those who have already a company website.

IMAGES
For a perfect use of Google My Business, the first rule is to pay particular attention to the choice of images. They must be beautiful, high-quality, unchanged, taken from different angles that reflect reality at best.
It is advisable to add:
- a profile image in line with your pet shop, which can represent it at best, or a logo.
- a cover image that can help  users to identify you immediately, such as a photo of the shop's exterior.
- other images related to your store: photos of interiors and exteriors, photos of employees or team / staff at work or even of your best products.
 
VIRTUAL TOURS
Virtual tours of the activities on Google Maps are not directly used to sell products or offer services, but can still influence the decision about "purchase" or "visit" of the activity or of the place of interest.
 
POST
Surely there is the desire to make companies increasingly rich in information to be provided to their customers or potential customers; but beyond this, the novelty will necesarily lead to a natural selection of companies: on the one hand those who will use posts for new promotions, special offers, to promote events, to give more prominence to some products rather than others, and on the other hand companies that they will not conform to the change and will be damaged. If you want to improve your My Business card, updating posts is definitely a step towards the right path! Think first of all about what you want to notify; it could be the beginning of sales, a special promotion, or a novelty. The basic information to add is the text of the post and the image. The photo is actually optional, but strongly recommended to increase the visual impact and encourage potential customers.
The system is not limited to text and image, but also gives us the possibility to:
 
- turn the post into an event
- insert a button (call-to-action and link to the website).
 
REVIEWS
In addition to the information mentioned above, it is essential to develop strategies in order to get reviews checked by users and customers. Reviews are very important for many reasons: branding, reputation, indexing, and with Google My Business you will also have the opportunity to see the stars and the average rating of users on the search network. This last point can be crucial, there are researches that show that 97% of consumers claim to read online reviews on local companies and 90% of them are influenced by both positive and negative opinions for their own choice of purchase.  
In this regard, it could be very useful to set up a notification on the email in Google My Business account every time a user issues a review, so that you can monitor in real time the opinion of users on your business / store. When you receive reviews, it is advisable to answer, always remembering that what you write will be visible to everyone, so be always polite. Reviews are also useful to optimize the page: feedbacks allowGoogle to understand how your company is perceived by customers.
 
LOCAL MARKETING AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Another strategic aspect to be taken care of and not to be underestimated is that of social networks. You will have to  evaluate carefully the most appropriate social for your store, for the product you deal with ... Facebook page, for example, is in most cases the most suitable tool to represent a company on the web.
 
ANALYTICS SECTION
Dedicate periodically time to check the analyitics of your card, then view and analyze the in-depth section, from which you can understand how many calls you receive through the card, how many photos have been seen, the visits to your website and a lot of other important information. By entering the "manage headquarters" section, among the menu items, you will find "statistics". Here you will find any information, any data highlighted with beautiful coloured graphics, easy and quick to understand. Not just visibility, but also interactions. Let's see them in detail.
  • Views:
here you will have the total views of your business, divided into the different Google properties. You will then have data related to:
- Search, when the information of our office appeared following a user search on Google.
- G + page, the number of visits to our Google Plus page
- post: the G + post views by users
- photos: the views of our photos, by users, whether they come from G +, Maps or Google images.
  • Click:
after visibility the system will tell how the user interacted with our card; here are the clicks we received. What were users interested in?
- access to the website
- itinerary information
- phone calls
  • Street signs:
Where were users who clicked on "street signs"  located? We must be honest: data will not always be so accurate. We could also see a simple "Italy" and we must also have a certain number of clicks, otherwise we will see "unsatisfactory data".
  • Phone:
in this case time division is in weeks, not days, but the period is the same.
You can also choose to see the data by day, or by time of day.
Remember that:
- values ​​are approximate, but still communicate it
- the system does not collect information in real time, it takes about 48 hours to gather it.
 
Has been summarize the world of Google MyBusiness as simply as possible, I hope it will be a positive support for your pet shop and remember:
 
"People who do not have an online business and who are not in the social networks, in the near future will remain out of any business." Bill Gates
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