The Ultimate Guide to Google My Business

Whether you’ve been in business for years, or you’re just starting out, making sure your beauty business is listed within Google Maps (formerly Google Places) is one of the most important steps in getting your business online! When potential clients search for a beauty product or service near them they’re normally very close to making a buying decision.

Did you know no.1! Over 50% of people who searched for a nail technician last year on Google went on to book with a salon they had found on the search engine. So you can see how making sure you’re found locally can make a huge difference to your beauty business!

Did you know no.2! Google My Business is a FREE SERVICE! Creating a Google My Business page is relatively simple and we offer a free set up for anyone who signs up to one of our Beauty Boss packages. If you don’t sign up, and you think your time is spent more wisely in your salon, for a small fee, we can do it for you, you can find this service listed in our shop HERE.

As part of this months ‘Take Action In April’ Challenge, we at BB HQ are all about keeping you focused on your business, and that’s why, we have put together a simple guide on how you can do this yourself. So with that in mind, put the kettle on, and get yourself comfy as we’re about to get your beauty business online!

  1. Create an account and claim your business
  2. Verify your business
  3. Optimise your listing
  4. Get some great reviews
  5. Download the GMB app
  6. Know the difference between Google My Business, Google Places, and Google+

Create a Google My Business Listing

Step 1: If you’ve not already done so, you need to create a Google account for your business (this is free) and can be found on the top right corner of any Google search under sign in.

Step Two: Log into your Google account and go to this website address, www.google.com/business then select “Start now” in the top right corner.

Step 3: Enter the name of your business.

Step 4: Enter your address.

Step 5: Now you just need to tell Google a little bit about your beauty business. If you’re a mobile beauty professional, instead of your clients coming to you, then make sure you tick the ”deliver goods and services to my customers.” If you have a home based salon/clinic, and don’t want the location to be publicly displayed then tick “Hide my address (it’s not a store) Only show region.” Finally, select your delivery area.

Step 6: Choose your business category. Try to choose the most accurate category possible because you’re essentially telling Google which type of customers should see your business listing.

Step 7: Now we need to add things like your telephone number and your website (if you don’t yet have a website, check out our amazing website packages HERE).

Verify Your Google My Business Listing

You’re now going to have to verify your business and you can do this normally by phone or by post. If it’s by post (which it should be if this is the first time you’re verifying the business) you’ll get a postcard from Google within a few days with a code on it. You’re going to need to input that code into your Google My Business Page.

Now you’ve created and verified your Google My Business page it’s time to optimise it so that more customers can find you and learn more about your business.

Optimise your listing

Head on over to the Google My Business dashboard, select the listing you’re looking to edit and then select the info option. There are loads of options here and it’s best to give Google as much information as possible!

You can be as descriptive and add as much detail as you like and I highly recommend adding things like a profile photo, opening hours as well as quirky things like the year you opened and a bio to tell your story.

Remember, anyone can make edits to your profile so make sure you get as much down as you can and that it’s accurate. I would also make sure you log into your Google My Business account from time to time to make sure it’s up to date.

The Power of Good Photos

Google recently announced that businesses with photos have 35% more clicks through to their websites and a crazy 42% more requests for directions to their shop than those without photos.

So with that in mind, it’s time to get your photos on your profile and show the world just how amazing you are! Images need to be at least 720×720 and either a JPG or PNG (their types of images formats).

Cover photo
Your business page cover photo is the most important image on your profile page as it’s often the first thing people see and it shows up front and centre on your profile.

Profile Photo
Just like Facebook, your profile photo is what shows up when you reply to comments, so make sure it a good one.

Once you’ve done these two important images you can then populate your page with a range of photos to show the world how awesome your beauty business is. If you’re struggling with ideas of what to put on your Google My Business page then we’ve got some great ideas to help you get started:

  1. The exterior of your business if you have one, Google recommends you have at least 3 of these so get creative! Our top tip is to take photos at different times of the day so your clients always recognise your shop front.
  2. The interior of your salon or clinic – try to focus on your decor and ambience, again three photos are perfect. What you’re trying to do here is show how inviting you and your beauty salon are, so make it personable.
  3. Products – try and get some photos of the services or the equipment you’re using (as long as it looks pleasing… photos of needles or a wax pot might not appeal to everyone!). We recommend one photo per product or service with a focus on the products and services your best known for.
  4. The team at work – We all love a good action shot, so get snapping the salon staff (if you have any) performing beauty treatments on the clients.
  5. Team Shot – There is nothing better than a photo of the whole team to show off your unique talent and team ethos.

Videos

The great thing about Google My Business is you can add video to your business page to help encourage people to use your services.

They need to be:

  1. 30 seconds or shorter
  2. 100MB or smaller
  3. 720p resolution or higher (check your phone’s settings

Videos are a great way to vary up your profile and make it more interactive and they can help you stand out from the crowd, but don’t worry if you feel like you might struggle here – unlike photos, they’re not a must.

Google My Business Reviews

Reviews are vital when it comes to Google Business Pages!

Did you know no.3! Pages with higher scores and more reviews in general rank better on Google as Google wants to give it’s users the best experience possible, so I’d advise making this a priority.

The best way to get google reviews is to ask your clients for them. If you know that a client has had a good experience, then just politely ask if they’d leave you a review. Not everybody will (we’re all busy, I guess!) but every little helps.

Question Time: What’s the best way to encourage clients to leave more positive reviews of your business?

Answer!: Leave feedback on your current reviews!

Leaving great feedback not only makes people feel appreciated and shows that you appreciate their support, but it makes other people feel like you listen and actively encourages others to leave reviews!

Here is an example of some feedback we could leave:

Hey, thank you for your business! We’re really glad you enjoyed your spray tan appointment with Jem – she’s amazing, isn’t she! Hope to see you back at PRIVE Salon soon!

Keep in mind that here is always the chance for one reason or another you might get negative reviews whether it’s your fault or not (sometimes they just happen). Make sure you respond to them professionally and in a way that shows you’re taking the complaint seriously. Always be courteous, attacking them will only make you look unprofessional and give weight to their negative review.

You cannot remove customer reviews from your listing just because it’s negative. Google does allow you to dispute fake reviews, however. Note that there is no guarantee that it will be removed just because you dispute it though.

Here is an example of how to deal with a negative review:

Thank you for your review, Sarah, I’m incredibly sorry your treatment didn’t meet your expectations. We’ve listened to your feedback and we’re going to triple check to make sure clients are aware it takes more than one treatment for the effects to be noticeable. If you would like to come in we would be happy to give you a discount on your top up, to make sure you get the results your’re looking for. In any case, thank you for your business and I hope we see you in the salon again soon.

Dealing with negative reviews can be just as rewarding for your business as responding to negative ones!

Google My Business App

There you have it, you’re ready to rock and roll and you should have a really well laid out business profile and a few good reviews.

You can now download the Google My Business App which is available for iOS and Android.

From within the app you can do things like:

  1. Update your business hours, location, contact information, and description
  2. Post statuses and pictures
  3. View search insights

You cannot use the app to:

  1. Delete your business listing
  2. Change its settings
  3. Give ownership of the listing to another use

So why not download it and get started!

Google My Business vs. Google Places for Business vs. Google+

Finally if you’re getting a little confused about the many names and options for managing your Google presence, you’re not on your own!

Google Places used to be Google’s tool for owners to manage their business profiles, but it was stopped in 2014. Now Google My Business is the central hub to manage how your business appears on Google Search, Maps, and Google+.

So, what’s Google+? It’s Google’s social network (the closest example is probably Facebook). It’s worth remembering that Google has announced they’re going to be stopping this service, (as it never really took off) so I wouldn’t waste your precious time on it.

And that’s all there is to it!

That’s it, you are now officially a Google My Business beauty boss! Other than some occasional house keeping, the only part of all this you really need to keep up to date with are your reviews which can have a huge impact on your rankings.

Until the next blog… keep bossing it!

Team Beauty Boss x

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