In the hectic retail and food and beverage markets of the Middle East, the ability to get discovered in search results is necessary to both build and maintain a successful business or restaurant. In this day and age, if you can’t Google your company, you almost don’t exist.
Claiming and building an accurate and informative Google My Business listing is crucial to this success. This listing ensures that your business’ location, phone number, website, hours of operation, and even photos are available and accessible in Google Search and Google Map for any potential customers to see. Understandably, this is a powerful local marketing tool that requires proper listing management.
It is important to harness the power of Google My Business’ free dashboard that provides business owners and marketing managers the ability to oversee their Google associated digital presence in one single place. This enables companies to manage the following:
- Updating information for business listings on Google Search and Google Maps
- Uploading images or 360-degree tours of the business.
- Ability to respond to Google reviews.
- Merging with AdWords Express to generate and analyze campaigns.
- Retrieving Insights reports on customer actions: Number of calls, map direction requests & visits to your website.
Though managing the Google My Business listing isn’t always an easy process, especially in the GCC region where concrete address locations aren’t always kept.
The first step in utilizing this service is to confirm if there is already a Google Business presence. Once that is done you can request verification as a business owner to claim the listing. You will then be asked to have a postcard or phone (limited to some businesses/areas) verification in order to confirm that your business is legitimate and operated by you.
Once you’ve verified your company or outlet you are free to update what will be displayed in search results. Remember that it’s essential to ensure that your listing matches what is on your business website, down to the name, address, and phone number, so that you are consistent in your brand building across the digital sphere. You’ll also want to ensure that you choose the most relevant and specific business category for your listing so that you’re found by prospective customers in the initial discovery process.
Finally, you’ll want to add dynamic images, up-to-date operating hours, descriptions, and current customer reviews to further optimize your online presence. Having a handle on all these things is a very effective way to get your business make your business known and reach out to potential customers.