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  • you served your country, then the transition back to civilian life and began serving their communities.

  • And for two and 1/2 1,000,000 of you, that meant starting a small business.

  • Your business is for hiring fellow veterans, military spouses, their supporting charities, giving your communities a sense of community.

  • Sure, it hasn't always been easy.

  • You're doing what you've always done, putting in the hard work and learning as you go.

  • So to help Google has created one place where your veteran own small business.

  • Get a step by step guide to reaching customers worldwide at a veteran lead badge to your Google listing and let the world know that you all two and 1/2 1,000,000 of you are open for business.

  • Visit US Online to get started.

  • Hi, everyone and thank you for joining us today as we celebrate National Veterans Small Business Week with today's Lifestream Connect with local customers on Google.

  • My name is Donald Allen, and I'm so excited to be here with you today, so running a small business could be a great second career.

  • After serving in the military, we believe that digital skills training for veteran owned businesses like building a website.

  • Preparing a business plan and honing a marketing an audience strategy will be beneficial as veterans tried to grow or start their businesses this year for National Veterans Small Business Week.

  • We want to celebrate businesses who identify as veteran lead and help them grow their businesses through digital tools and training.

  • After the presentation will be hosting a Q and A where we'll answer your questions live.

  • So throughout the wood, the Lifestream submit your questions.

  • Using the hashtag hash vet lead Livestream on Twitter.

  • We'll also be joined by Northern California v.

  • Bach advocate Karina Conley to ask her about free tools and programs that V.

  • Bach and SP A have to offer for veterans.

  • All right, so first, a bit of background.

  • So in 2017 we launch Grover Ghoul, an initiative to help people across the United States grow their skills, careers and businesses by providing the best of Google's training and tools.

  • Specifically, we've launched products and programs that help the veteran and military spouse community, and we'll be sharing some today as well as resource is to learn more at the end of this life stream.

  • In today's session, we're going to talk about a free tool that businesses can use right away to get started.

  • Connecting with customers online is called Google My Business.

  • And if you're new to Google my business, don't worry.

  • That's why we're here today, and I'll start by sharing an overview.

  • So Google my business offers business is a way to manage how their information appears across Google Search and Maps there what is called a business profile?

  • All right, so try to picture this.

  • When we first moved to the Bay Area a few months ago, my family wanted to go out to eat.

  • All right, so here we are.

  • We're in the Airbnb.

  • We have no food in the house, new to the area.

  • And just like so many of our many PCs adventures, we had no idea what was around us and keep in mind, I've had a family of six, so we can't just go anywhere to go eat.

  • So I opened Google Maps and typed in restaurants near me, and when I came, what popped up was a bunch of business profiles for businesses that were local to our area.

  • And so we found a quaint French comfort food cafe and had pictures and ours directions and a phone number, which is important because I needed to call them to see if they could accommodate my large family.

  • I'll just leave it to say that we went, they could accommodate us.

  • We had a great time and is now a favor.

  • Ours that we now follow and we get updates from all of that was through these business profiles.

  • So research shows that over 90% of customers looking for business information through search engines are looking for specific information like business hours, promotions or available appointments.

  • This is important because how a business is information appears and search results can impact win how or why potential customers engage with you in context of our discussion today of how businesses can use a business profile to connect with local customers.

  • Uh, so I'll add that not only our customers looking for specific, specific information about a business they're looking for specific information about local businesses.

  • There are billions of local search has made every month, and Maur than 30% of all mobile searches are related to location.

  • So what does this mean?

  • All right, you have customers who are looking for specific information and largely looking for this type of information about a business in their community.

  • So today we're going to discuss how to connect those dots using features available through Google, my business.

  • But before we dive in, it's important to note that Google, my business, was designed for businesses who have a physical location or do business face to face with their customers.

  • Okay, but if you have a business or thinking about starting one that doesn't meet one of these two categories, you're fine.

  • There still be opportunities to gain tangible takeaways through today's topic.

  • All right, so this is the part where I tell you what I'm about to tell you in today's workshop.

  • We're going to discuss how businesses can use Google my business, to establish a local online presence, build a loyal customer base highly what makes a service or product unique, and use insights to help Dr Mawr in store or online traffic.

  • All right, so you have options available to this is where having a free business profile on Google can help customers, or 38% more likely to visit and 29% more likely to consider purchasing from businesses that have complete profile information before diving into the features of which can help your business connect with customers locally.

  • Let's first take a review that anatomy of a business profile on Google When a customer discovers your business profile, the initial view they see is your business overview.

  • In a business overview, consumers confined info about your business like address, contact info, hours of operation business, logos, photos and more.

  • This overview allows potential customers quick access to the best ways to connect with your business through Google.

  • My business.

  • You have access to a manager dashboard where you can update all the information shown here.

  • So 96% of customers are more likely to visit a business that has hours of operations on a Google search or maps.

  • Results page.

  • 90% of customers are more likely to visit a business.

  • I had a phone number on a Google search Map results page, and 90% of customers are more likely to be more likely to visit.

  • A business.

  • Has photos on a Google Search on Maps Results page.

  • Ensuring this information is actively managed can help increase the odds of connecting with new customers.

  • A recent update to business profiles on Google allows for businesses the opportunity to include branded images like logos in their profile.

  • Through this update, verified businesses can create a short name or custom name for their business profile to make it easier for customers to find them when business is shared.

  • This short named Earl, customers can enter into the browser search bar using the g dot page slash your custom name to go directly to your business profile.

  • Another great way to stand out to local customers is by using attributes.

  • Attributes like customers.

  • See what your business has to offer, such as whether a restaurant offers WiFi or indoor seating.

  • Some attributes, like women, lead or outdoor seating can be highlighted.

  • His badges when customers find your business on mobile For a veteran led businesses watching today, we create a specific veteran.

  • Lead Business Attributes Toe.

  • Let your community know that your business is run by a veteran, so all of these features are great.

  • But what if a business doesn't have a website for consumers to visit?

  • Once they found your business profile, It's okay, Google.

  • My business includes the option to create a free, simple website generated with the information from your business profile.

  • So it's a great starting point of being online perfect for small businesses who don't do not yet have a Web presence and creating a website with Google.

  • My business takes about five minutes.

  • There are three steps to creating a website with Google, my business one click website from your Google, my business dashboard.

  • And once you do this Google, my business will pull the information from your profile to populate the website.

  • You have the option.

  • Then customize some elements of the site, including, like the theme tax and photos, and when you're ready to go live, you click the publish button.

  • These websites also come with a free you earl and hosting.

  • You can customize your website address by entering the first part of the domain name, and it will automatically be followed by dot business DOT site.

  • So if you enter the name stations bakery, your website address would be stations bakery dot business dot site.

  • Alternatively, you can register your own domain name.

  • This option is not free, and you'll need to register domain through Google domains.

  • But if you already have a registered domain name, even with the registrar.

  • Other than Google, you can use it for your new Google side as well.

  • Okay, let's discuss a couple of creative ways.

  • Businesses could use the website feature in Google.

  • My business.

  • If you wanted to build a website for a hair so long, you would first consider how you would want your customer to engage with this.

  • Some of the questions you might ask yourself include whether the what are the deciding factors that potential customer would use when choosing a salon?

  • Do they want to see before and after photos?

  • Do customers like to read reviews?

  • Uh, the customers prefer to make appointments or just walk in.

  • What customers prefer to see pricing on individual service is these are all the things that can be solved through the website template.

  • For example, you could showcase before and after photos and include reviews from your business profile on Google so customers can see proof of the quality work that you d'oh Next.

  • You could include a book now called the Action Button.

  • So it's important to note one out of two customers that want to schedule an appointment when searching for business online are looking for a way to schedule that appointment.

  • So So one of the things that really came out to me was when I first got out of the military.

  • I need to get a haircut.

  • I couldn't just go on base and go get my hair cut like I had been had to go find a real barber.

  • Uh, and so I actually use the Google search and found a profile for a business near me.

  • And the one that I chose for me was the one that I could schedule the appointment right there in the in the profile.

  • It was great.

  • And Google works with third parties scheduling software provider Sorry.

  • Google works with third parties, scheduling software providers to enable online booking through Google Surge maps and reserve with Google, a service that allows people to book appointments and reservations directly within the search engine.

  • Found at google dot com slash map slash reserve And the last feature that you could use to utilize would be pricing information to include info about the cost of service is another thing that you can do is use photos and bright and vibrant ones are best to showcase products in the gallery On this slide, you can see how a bakery showcases examples of how the food looks me personally.

  • I definitely prefer more pictures of doughnuts.

  • And if I were still thinking of the hair salon, I may want to show before and after pictures to demonstrate my good work.

  • Choosing the right photos can go a long way in helping customers feel confident that the service types and quality of work you provide a line with their goals.

  • Another future that I want to point now is custom domains guru.

  • My business will allow you a free domain, which includes a dot business dot site.

  • At the end of the business name.

  • However you can.

  • You may decide that you want to purchase a custom domain, which is shorter, and when thinking about which domain is best for your business.

  • A few the best practices include making it easy to type, keeping it short, using keywords that your customers are already using to find you, avoid numbers and hyphens and be memorable.

  • Those are just a few ways that you can customize a website for your business through Google.

  • My business.

  • In addition to the features I just mentioned businesses can also customize their website using a pre designed templates.

  • These templates come in a variety of layouts and color schemes, allowing you to select one that supports your brand guidelines.

  • All right, so in this section we're going to discuss ways to help you build a loyal customer base using welcome offers.

  • All right, so when people follow your business, they become a follower.

  • Um, and they will see your updates and offers and photos across Google, and then therefore you feed.

  • When you go into maps, business owners can check out the customer's tab to learn more about their followers into Google.

  • My business app.

  • The benefit here is that this creates an additional channel for business owners to reach their customers.

  • And then you have the welcome offer.

  • You can attract people to your business with the welcome offer.

  • Now what this is is when they click, follow our maps or search, they'll get an offer, such as $5 off your first meal, and then they can redeem it in person.

  • The benefit here is you're giving users another reason to visit you again, going back to the O.

  • R.

  • Stat, which said that 90% of customers are looking for business information through search engines are looking for specific information like business hours, promotions or available appointments.

  • Promotion serve as a great way to capture consumer attention and convert them into customers.

  • Here's what that process looks like for your customer, so a user follows a business that has a welcome offer set up.

  • The user is informed of what it means to follow your business via pop up.

  • The user can choose a, dismissed the offer or choose to save it.

  • And then the user can go back to the business profile and view the offer when they are ready to use it.

  • All right, there's three ways that we can create an offer.

  • All right, so the 1st 1 is Click the Creator Welcome offer from the home screen.

  • I find that to be very aptly named The Second Way is to set up a welcome offer in the profile editor screen, and the Third Way is a click Create offer during the first time.

  • Used problem.

  • Now that we've decided to create an offer when we've navigated our way to the starting point, they're just four steps in creating the offer.

  • The 1st 1 is to enter information about the offer.

  • Next, you want to add a photo.

  • Uh, and then third, you wanna add a title and description toe.

  • Which offer is the last one is Thio.

  • View the welcome offer and double check the details and then click publish another useful feature in Google.

  • My business is a post feature, which allows merchants to post live updates directly on their business profile.