2020 has been a year of adaptation for all businesses. The way people browse, the way they buy, the way they live their entire lives has changed and with it, so has the way in which they see local business.

The pandemic has brought with it an appreciation for local businesses and communities are coming together to support these establishments to help them survive and even thrive in the current climate.

So, if you are one of these businesses, it is hugely important that you begin to take advantage of this newfound love of local by promoting yourself to these willing customers using the free tools at your disposal.

A great one to start with is Google My Business. A Google My Business listing showcases all the key information a potential customer needs to know about your company such as contact details, opening times, photos, and reviews.

A Google My Business listing is free for every business and appears when potential customers make a relevant search using Google or Google Maps.

By creating a Google My Business listing and providing all the information your customers will find relevant to their queries you are encouraging further interaction and even transactions with your business.

There are several great features of a Google My Business listing that make it easy for customers to see how you are handling the current climate and simple ways for you to communicate any changes you have made.

Opening Times: An easy way to show when you are available. Customers are aware that Opening Hours are frequently subject to change these days and being able to see updates in real-time ensures they are left feeling relaxed and reassured about when you are open for business.

Posts: Google My Business allows you to post updates whenever you like about whatever you like. From Menu changes to product updates – you can keep customers informed so that they know they can always rely on you!

Photos: Customers can feel nervous about visiting new places these days. Uploading a photo of the new safety measures you have in place can help reassure them and ensure new people continue coming through the door!

Reviews: Google reviews are so important! It not only lets customers know what a fantastic job you are doing but it helps give you a little boost, making you more visible on Google Search and Maps the next time someone types in a search that is relevant to you.

Website: You can link your website to your listing, giving your customers access to a more in-depth overview of who you are and what you have to offer!

There are also some fantastic features that allow customers to find and contact you quickly.

Call Button: Customers on Mobile can push the Call button and instantly call your preferred number, meaning you can answer their questions directly.

Directions Button: Customers on Mobile can push the Directions button which will link with Google Maps to direct them to your physical location. A great option for those with brick and mortar locations!

Adding this information is quick and simple. It should take you no more than 20 minutes and could see a growing number of local customers coming to you soon as your online presence begins to grow.

What’s next?

So, you have set up your Google My Business listing. You have added all your information and you are enjoying the benefits of more local customers using your services.

What should you do next?

Communication is key in these times of uncertainty and you should continue to keep your listing updated with any changes that occur over the next few months.

Keep updating your listing with photos of your products, your services, your staff, and your achievements. Your customers are there to support you and will love to see all that you are working hard on!

Ask for Google reviews! Google reviews are important, they will help bring in new customers but also help you become more visible online. If a customer asks how they can help, ask them to leave you a Google review!

By following the above steps and creating a real-time channel of communication with your local customers we are confident you will be able to keep your business active and thriving as it reopens in 2020 and into the new year in 2021.