People care about who they do business with. Millennials and Gen Z, in particular, want to put their money where their morals are and support companies they believe in. This often means moving their spending power away from large corporations and supporting local businesses.
But what makes your local business stand out? Small businesses are not only competing against other small businesses, but also bigger companies with more visibility in their area and online. Luckily, Google has given small businesses a leg up with a customizable Google My Business (GMB) listing that sits right at the top of local search results.
First, let’s dive in to how you can leverage the attributes that speak to your customers and help you stand out from the competition. Then, let’s explore how you can showcase them on your Google My Business listing through the ‘attributes’ feature.
The numbers don’t lie – consumers of all ages are making a conscious effort to shop local more often. In 2018, Small Business Saturday saw a record $17.8 billion in sales at independent small businesses.
From trust, security and convenience to supporting a family-owned business, the reasons why customers choose to shop at small businesses are plentiful. Small business owners have known this for a while, and the savvy ones are capitalizing on it.
54% of the companies surveyed by The Institute for Family Business said identifying as a family business was important for their branding and their marketing strategy. Most of them – 64% – also said they believed that promoting themselves as a family business was beneficial. According to the survey, “A distinct family business brand is assumed to contribute to a company’s image of trustworthiness (81%), social responsibility (70%), quality-orientation (68%) and customer-orientation (67%).”
Google My Business has just the thing to showcase your family-run business online and help you differentiate yourself from your competitors.
It’s important to fill out your Google My Business profile thoroughly, answer customers’ questions and optimize your listing. One of the ways you can customize your page and stand out from your competitors is through ‘attributes’ that are included in the details of your listing and show up as badges on mobile.
These attributes are divided into two categories: factual and subjective. Factual attributes are those that Google allow you to add to your listing, such as family-, woman- or veteran-led, wheelchair accessible, outdoor seating and more. The ones available to add are determined by the type of business you have. The subjective attributes “rely on the opinions of Google users who’ve visited your business” and include things like highly rated, on critic’s lists or cozy atmosphere.
While there haven’t been any studies that show a direct correlation between adding attributes on your Google My Business account and higher sales, highlighting areas of your business that set you apart from your competition is a vital part of your small business marketing strategy. Customers will have a much better user experience when presented with useful information about the accessibility and experience expected at your business. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to showcase a sneak-peak into your business values. As we discussed before, that could be the deciding factor for someone in the process of choosing between you and your competitor.
We recommend that you check your Google My Business account to see if there are any relevant attributes you can add. To add them, first log into your Google My Business listing. Then click on ‘Info’ in the far left-hand column.
After that, you’ll see the page shown in the screenshot above. Look in the middle column of that page for ‘Add attributes’. It’s in the bottom half of the page.
Once you click ‘Add attributes’, you’ll see a pop-up. From there you’ll be able to add the ‘Family-, Woman- or Veteran-led’ attribute, and other attributes as well.
Here’s a screenshot of what it will look like:
Click to add that attribute to your listing (do not add any attributes that aren’t true) and click ‘Apply’.
To update on mobile, click ‘Profile’, then ‘Edit’. Find the ‘Attributes’ section, click ‘Edit’ then ‘Apply’ when finished.
One important thing to know: the attributes you can add to your account may be different than what you see above. This may be because some accounts are newer than others, the attribute hasn’t rolled out to all accounts yet, or may not be available for your business type.
Google My Business listings are a terrific, free way to promote your business. Not only do they help your small business get found online, they also give you an opportunity to highlight the attributes that make your business unique.
Figure out what those attributes are, then log into your Google My Business account today to see if you can add them. And don’t forget – some attributes are earned, so be sure to focus on quality customer service and remember to ask happy customers to leave a review.
Feature Image: Unsplash / Andrew Neel
All screenshots taken by the author, April 2019.
Image 1, 3, 5: via Google
Image 2: via Downtown Bend
Image 4: via Google Support
Image 6: via SEL