(The following is a transcript of a presentation to the Trade2Business networking group from 2017)

First off I would like to know how many of you have a website?

Who has a Google account?

Who has an Android phone?

Google has an 83% share of the search engine market in the UK and because the main operating system for Smartphones is Android (which was created by Google) then Google search and maps are already installed on millions of phones in the UK by default!

Last week I touched on Google listings so in this presentation I will go into a bit more detail on what they are and how having one can help your business and I will also go over what this has to do with social media.

Essentially a Google Business listing is a listing created by Google that appears when somebody searches for you using Google search or on Google Maps.

Do you know how much of your business comes from Google?

Sometimes Google will generate a business listing for you automatically using the information from your website but if you haven’t got one then you can create one yourself. All you need is a Google Account.

If Google has already created one for your business then you can claim it and take ownership of it if you already have a Google Account.

A lot of businesses don’t realise they have a Google listing so when someone searches for them on Google they are being presented with a Google listing that may not be correct or in some cases damaging.

If a Google listing is unclaimed Google rely on Joe Public to keep the information on the listing updated which leaves a risk of information about your business being provided by a competitor or someone who hasn’t got the best intentions!

Even worse, somebody could have left a negative review or reviews of your business on the Google listing and if you don’t have control over the listing you won’t have the slightest idea about it!

Here’s an example: Imagine someone searches on Google for a driving instructor in Poole. Jim (the driving instructor) is in the top 5 results. Unbeknownst to Jim someone has a left a negative review so they click onto one of Jim’s competitor’s websites instead.

Jim might have spent a fortune on Google ads and paid a small fortune to a web specialist to get his website high up in the Google rankings only to be shot down in flames by a negative review he didn’t even know about.

How unfair is that?

If Jim had known about it then he could have taken positive action and gotten his students to leave him positive reviews on Google which then would have canceled out the negative review.

So as you can see claiming your Google listing is very important!