Nowadays, more and more businesses are using the Internet to promote their products and services. This marketing change is an expected result, especially with technology changing our daily lives.
Furthermore, businesses don’t just use the web to promote or sell. The Internet provides the chance to allow customers to book appointments. Online booking is now an essential tool for many, as it is possible to schedule flights, doctor appointments, restaurant tables, and more.
Logically, if your business operates under a booking system, you want to add appointment URLs to your online business listings. Here, we’ll talk about how to carry on with this process and get the most out of it.
Take a Look Into the Appointment World
You probably know by now that bookings are different depending on the industry you are in. Restaurants have reservations, whereas hair salons and health offices got appointments. However, there are two main categories in which bookings divide: direct and indirect.
Direct bookings, as the name states, are those whose in which you carry the booking process directly at the establishment. Whether through walk-ins or phone calls, your business handles the channels through which clients make their appointments. Direct bookings also have their subcategories, which include:
- Instant: Instant bookings are for those in which the client can choose their appointment’s date, select the number of visitors, and pay instantly.
- Pending: Some booking service providers offer the option of managing your appointments before the customer completes the process. This system is especially beneficial to prevent general issues like overbooking.
Indirect bookings are those in which you use a booking provider to handle this aspect of your business. Third-party providers or direct bookings aren’t secluded. You can use both options as this allows you to update your business to today’s online demands and makes it easy for customers to have access to your establishment through several communication channels.
Adding Appointment Links to Your GMB Profile
You probably have heard of Google Business profile optimization. This process includes several tasks, such as adding an accurate Google Maps address of your establishment or uploading photos. Furthermore, Google allows you to add a booking link to your Google Business profile.
Today’s world has resorted to the interweb to run errands, buy products and services, and more. Think about it this way: a potential customer does a Google search of your business and decides they would like to book your services or order your products, yet, they are not able to book directly from your GMB profile. Here is where the new feature on your page will come in handy, as it will make it easier for customers to acquire what you’re selling.
How to Add a Booking URL to Your Profile
Now that you know that adding booking links to Google Business profiles is an excellent customer acquisition strategy online, take a look at how you can add an appointment URL to your GMB profile:
- Start from your Google Business profile manager.
- Head to Bookings.
- Search for your Google’s supported scheduling providers. Next, sign up with your preferred booking option.
- Afterward, you will get a call-to-action button on your profile page. It might take a few days for the button to show up.
By completing just four steps, you will get the service automatically linked to your profile within a week, approximately.
If you happen to work with scheduling software on your website, you need to add a direct link to it. Here’s what you have to do:
- Start from your account’s profile manager.
- Go to Bookings.
- There, you will find the Link To Your Online Booking Tools option.
- Add your website’s link. Save the changes.
After following these steps, you will see the website has been automatically linked to your Business profile.
Reserve With Google
Google offers more options than adding an URL. You can use Reserve With Google, a tool that helps customers make their bookings through Google business listings. To use this option, you must fill out a form provided by Google and make sure you have an account with one of their partners. Keep in mind that Reserve With Google is a free service, but third-party online appointment service providers can require payment.
What if There Is an Appointment Link on My Business Profile
Let’s use our imagination for a bit: imagine you are ready to add an appointment link to your GMB profile, but what if you find your business has a link already? There is nothing to worry about, as this could happen for two reasons: a partnership.
As you saw above, you could be working with a Google partner booking page or a preferred scheduling provider account. Take a deeper look into these two partnership categories:
Google has partnerships with several online appointment booking sites, and you can choose the one that fits your business best.
For example, if you own a barbershop, you could use Barberly. If you are a restaurant owner, EatApp might be the right choice for you.
On the other hand, if you work with a third-party service provider, you likely find an appointment booking link on your GMB automatically. Customers can get accurate, verified information directly from Google, and the search engine obtains this data from these websites.
Appointment Management: Optimize Your Bookings
As with everything related to business management, bookings require you to optimize to its best potential. You can add a link and leave it there, but that does not ensure the success of your GMB profile.
Appointment-based businesses need to provide as much information as possible about the products or services they offer. Customers can make decisions based on this, even if there is a “Book An Appointment” button in front of them.
If possible, let your customers know who will be handling their appointments or who will delivering their products. Let them know the materials you work with. Also, add photos of the areas where your appointments will take place.
Suppose that you are a restaurant owner. For example, let your customers know some of your staff members create an inclusive environment through ASL proficiency.
By managing your bookings, you’ll be able to provide high-quality services and products to your customers, which is one of the ultimate goals of a business owner.
Optimized GMB Profiles and Its Effects on Customers
We know online platforms are essential to businesses nowadays, but this does not mean you need to create a page and update it here and there.
Optimized profiles improve their SEO rankings, showing up on local search results, which brings more customers to your company. Many customers verify what people say about an establishment before making any decisions, which makes review management crucial for your platforms, too.
Think from your potential clients’ points of view. Adding an appointment link to your Google My Business profile can help simply click on a button and book right away. Allowing customers to schedule bookings directly on Google listings is incredibly advantageous for you.
Integrate all the tools Google offers to have an excellent Google Business profile and chances are that you will see a significant boost in your reputation, online engagement, and sales.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Google Forms Be Used as a Booking System?
Yes, you can. However, if you want specific actions related to your bookings, Google Forms might not provide them. These forms can be particularly beneficial for small businesses and start-ups, as they can help you manage your bookings directly at no cost.
Of course, as your business grows, customers also expect growth in everything related to your business, like online presence and accommodations, so you might want to look into Google Business partners or third-party partners to help you enhance your overall customer service.
Is Google My Business Free?
Yes, Google My Business is entirely free. You do need to pay to create or claim a business listing within the platform. Adding photos, replying to reviews, and updating your page is free too. If you wish to use further Google tools to promote your business, you can look into paid products like Google Ads.
What Is the Key Difference Between an Appointment and a Meeting?
Appointments happen at specific dates, locations, and more. They tend to be within just a few people, sometimes just two, in the case of beauty salons or health-related appointments, to name a few. On the contrary, meetings are held with several attendees, and they are not always scheduled days before.
How Do I Get Clients to Keep Appointments?
There are a few strategies you can use for this. One effective way of making sure your clients keep their appointments is through reminders. Phone calls are the most usual way of performing this task. Make sure your profile has updated information. If you feel it could be effective, you can introduce a no-show policy on your establishment. Of course, do not introduce drastic measures, as that could drive customers away.
How Do I Arrange My Appointments?
If you want to ensure the success of your appointment system, you can implement these tips:
- Make sure you stay up-to-date with your schedule.
- Offer several appointment slots.
- However, be careful of overbooking. Arranging bookings back-to-back can be troublesome, especially if your business is within the beauty or hospitality industries.
- Confirm attendance at least 24 hours before the appointment date.
As you saw, adding Google My Business appointment links is not just easy, but also an effective way to improve your profile.
Consider using all the tools Google offers to help you boost your company’s reach. Online presence is now an essential part of business management, so make sure you are updated with everything these platforms add for business owners.