What is a Google Business Listing and Why Should Pet Retailers Care

Believe it or not, one of the most important resources a pet retail business can leverage doesn’t cost a dime. The way you appear to your customers on Google can be one of your biggest – if not the biggest – drivers when it comes to enticing new customers and making more sales.

How Does a Google Business Listing Help Me?

A Google listing for pet businesses offers a variety of important customer-facing information with just a click.

A business listing on the internet’s biggest search engine isn’t a simple bit of data entered into an index. Because so many tools, programs, and even smartphone devices use Google’s information to retrieve solutions, having your data ready to go means you’re on the front lines of customer curiosity. When your business information is kept up to date and accurate:

  • A pet owner can ask their in-home smart speakers or smartphone assistant to “find the nearest pet store” and automatically receive your information.
  • A potential new customer searching for your store can receive accurate GPS directions as well as an up-to-date photo of your store front.
  • A nervous first-time pet parent can easily find your contact phone and email to ask a question about their new family member.
  • A competing pet business across town without a completed business listing looks a lot less professional by comparison.

Because more Google-powered tech devices are entering the marketplace, business owners that have been proactive about contributing and maintaining their listings will be among the first users to benefit from these collaborations.

A Conversation Beyond the Register

Business owners can review and respond to questions with a personal touch in the Google business listing Q&A section.

Google business listings aren’t just important for people trying to find your pet business, they’re also crucial for those that want to interact with it. The Google business rating system uses a 5-star scale, and these collective star ratings are averaged and displayed prominently in business search results. Google automatically solicits these reviews from customers that physically visit your store, using opted-in smartphone location data to trigger the notification.

Additionally, the “Question and Answer” section of your Google business listing should be carefully monitored and responded to quickly. Not only does this section give your customers a chance to ask questions, it gives you a chance to display your professionalism. A simple “Yes” may answer the question, but a “Yes, and we hope to see both you and Hercules soon for his next grooming session!” lets potential customers know that you’re available, you care, and that you’re a shoo-in to become their next “go to.”

Plant the Seeds of Business Growth

Your pet business listing can also list out upcoming in-store events, coaxing new customers to visit and join the fun.

And finally, while directly soliciting positive reviews is an ethical no-no, you can certainly encourage customers to give their honest reviews whenever possible. A short blurb about leaving a Google review on the bottom of receipts, or prominently on a sign at the register will help remind customers that you’re willing and wanting to hear from them. Proactive messaging like “We always strive for 5 star service! Something wrong? Just let us know!” will help reinforce that you’re willing to make problems right rather than risk a low rating. Set up Instagram-worthy displays and backdrops, and encourage customers to tag themselves with your store’s location and add the photos to your Google business profile. This will increase your store’s search engine popularity, potentially bumping up ratings even more through new sales.

If you’re a pet professional with a retail store and/or dog grooming, NextPaw offers a powerful suite of tools pet pros are using to grow their business and customer base. Get a free 1:1 demo with a NextPaw expert by clicking here.

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