July 19, 2024

Advancing Business Excellence

Pioneering Corporate Success

Tourism businesses should maximize their online presence | Business

Last month I went on vacation to Mazatlán, Mexico. Since maps and visitor guides were sparse, I turned to my trusty phone and Google maps to find places, reviews, attractions and plan routes.

It was amazing how few businesses had decent Google listings, managed their presence or responded to reviews. Given that Google is used by 92% of internet users for their search engine and more than 70% of the online map users, I would think business owners would pay closer attention to this simple and free tool.

In today’s digital world, a strong online presence is essential for any business. Google Business Profiles are a crucial tool for visibility and customer engagement, and they are free. Ignoring or neglecting your profile could mean missing out on opportunities to connect and interact with customers.

John Cooper

John Cooper

Google is often the first point of contact between customers and your business. When people search online for a product, place or service, Google’s local search results typically list Google Business Profiles first, especially on mobile devices.

These profiles provide basic information such as business hours, contact details, address, reviews, website link and photos. A well-optimized profile ensures that your business appears prominently in search results.

Google Business Profiles can help establish credibility and trust with your audience. A profile with detailed information, positive reviews, and high-quality photos signals professionalism to customers.

Conversely, incomplete or outdated profiles may lead users to question the legitimacy of your business or opt for others with better online presence. By updating and maintaining your Google Business Profile, you show a commitment to customer satisfaction.

Furthermore, Google Profiles offer valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences. Through features like Google My Business insights, businesses gain access to data regarding how customers find their profiles, what actions they take, and where they are located.

This information is useful for defining marketing strategies and identifying demographics. From these insights, businesses can make decisions that drive efficiency and improve customer experiences.

Here are some tips for optimizing your Google Business Profile:

1. Claim and complete your profile: Be sure all sections of your profile are filled out accurately. This includes hours open, contact information, website URL, and a description of products or services. The more information you provide, the easier it is for customers to learn about your business, attraction or services.

2. Use high quality content: Photos and videos can shape the perception of your business. Upload high-quality images that showcase your products, services and environment. This not only enhances the visual appeal of your profile, but also helps potential customers get a sense of what to expect.

3. Encourage and monitor reviews: Ask customers to leave reviews on your profile. Respond promptly and courteously to all reviews, whether positive or negative. This demonstrates commitment to customer satisfaction.

4. Stay active and engaged: Frequently update your Google Business Profile with relevant information, promotions and events. Engage customers by responding to inquiries, addressing feedback, and providing helpful info.

A well-managed Google Business Profile is essential for businesses to succeed online. By paying attention to this asset, businesses can enhance their visibility, credibility, and engagement with potential customers.

John Cooper is the president and CEO of Yakima Valley Tourism and a Level Eight Local Guide on Google.