There’s no question that lean methods and process improvements are more important today than ever.
So far in 2020, we’ve already experienced an international pandemic, stay-at-home orders, and a turbulent economy. And that doesn’t even include anything related to the upcoming November elections.
What does this mean for small businesses?
Those that are nimble and able to adjust quickly are the ones that will survive and thrive. This is why implementing lean methods is so important!
But… Lean methods apply to more than just workflow improvements. They can also be applied to your marketing strategy to provide massive growth.
While traditional marketing methods can take weeks or even months to see results, lean marketing builds success quickly. In 2020, that agility is key to growth.
Perhaps the most overlooked lean marketing method is utilizing Google My Business.
What Exactly Is Google My Business?
If you’re like most business owners, Google My Business might feel like “just another” social media platform.
You might even be asking yourself, “Does anyone even use Google My Business?”
While people don’t use Google My Business the same way that they use, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn, it’s a platform that Google itself prioritizes over the others.
That makes it one of the most overlooked lean marketing hacks available today.
Your FREE Google My Business profile allows you to control how your business is listed. The best part? You can easily connect with customers searching for you on Google Search and on Google Maps.
When customers search for “coffee shops near me,” “printing services near me,” “day care near me,” or any similar term, Google utilizes the data from local Google My Business profiles to determine who to display in the search results.
If your profile has an address, then mobile users can easily get directions through Google or their mobile device to your business.
In short, Google My Business is a business listing that allows you to publish:
How your business name is displayed
Hours of operation
Photos of storefront and/or products
Take-out, dine-in, delivery options for restaurants
By fully publishing your profile, you are able to give Google the exact details about your business that you want customers to know!
Customers even have the opportunity to leave reviews on your profile, which increases your rankings and can help attract potential clients.
How Small Businesses Should Optimize Google My Business
The #1 mistake that small businesses make when creating a Google Business profile is failing to verify it!
To prevent spammers from taking advantage of Google maps and search results, Google requires that businesses verify their listing.
How does this work?
Google will mail a postcard to the physical address of your business. On the back of the postcard is a verification number that you must input on the backend of your business listing.
If your business doesn’t have a storefront, you can verify your business through a business phone number. Similarly, Google will call you with a verification code that must be confirmed on your listing profile.
Some business owners don’t create a listing on Google because they already have a website and other social media profiles.
However, if you want to appear on Google Maps or in the “map pack” at the top of search rankings, then you’ll need a Google My Business profile, because that’s where Google finds the information.
Even if you don’t have a storefront, a verified business listing will help improve the SEO (search engine optimization) of your website.
When it comes to lean marketing methods, few things are as easy yet as effective as fully optimizing your profile!
Other factors to consider when optimizing your profile:
Make sure your business name is listed the same everywhere. If your business name is listed differently on Google My Business compared to your website or other social profiles, it might confuse Google.
Select the best category for your business (i.e. finance, restaurant, clothing, education, etc.).
Load high quality images.
Encourage reviews from customers.
Are There Other Lean Methods I Can Utilize?
Lean methods apply to everything about your business, not just marketing. Process improvements create efficiency.
This means better service for your customers and smooth workflows that benefit your bottom line.
When lean processes are in place, your business has the fundamental structure in place for massive growth.
Will there be challenges along the way?
Sure, but now you’ll have a strategic plan to help you meet every challenge with an effective solution.
At Exceptional Services Agency, we help small businesses in every industry discover and implement the lean methods that are best for them.
If you’re wanting to optimize more than just your Google My Business profile, we’re here to help!