As we all know, getting found by prospect customers is very important for any business. If you are just getting started with SEO, Google My Business can be a great tool to help your online presence get the boost it may well need.
This free marketing tool provides businesses with a sense of credibility, makes them easy to find and serves as a channel to keep customers on the loop in the case of changes (the coronavirus pandemic being a great example of this) among many other benefits.
Google My Business?… What Is That?
Google My Business’ listings appear on the right side of Google organic search engine result pages (SERPs) for branded searches or related keywords where your company is the authority brand. They ensure that your business name with all its details such as location, opening hours, website, photos, customer reviews and much more are made available easily for customers.
In case your business does not require customers to physically visit your location – no worries. You can still create a profile on Google’s listing. Google My Business allows you to hide your exact location on the map if your business address is the same as your home address for instance.
There are numerous specific features available on Google My Business. For instance, bars and restaurants can add links for online reservations, orders and even menus to their business profile. There are also other options for adding events information, special offers, updating business hours, posting updates depending on the type of business you’re in.
All of this sounds great (and it is) but in case you are still not sure if you actually *need* a Google My Business account – here’s why you may want to consider one.
1. Be Discoverable
Search is digital. Regardless of your industry, your customers and prospects are most likely online. And that’s exactly where they’ll typically start their search for your company, products or services.
A Google My Business account ensures that whenever someone looks your company up on Google – they’ll have no problem finding it. And even better – once they do, your listing will signal them towards visiting your store, whether you have a web or physical address.
2. Keep Your Customers in the Loop
Never leave customers guessing about the important details about your business. Make sure that when someone searches for your business, they find legitimate information straight from the source.
Google My Business listings contain all the essential details such as contact information and business hours. Make sure to update your profile in case you expand services, temporarily closed or fully reopened (this is especially important during the current COVID-19 situation).
Misinformation can lead to bad customer experience and missed opportunities. Imagine the letdown a customer feels when they make a trip to your store only to find out that it is in fact closed. Or maybe you are open but a prospective customer chose to go to a competitor since they were not certain. By keeping an updated listing, you can avoid these unfortunate situations.
3. Boost Consumer Confidence
It should come as no surprise that trust is a key factor when it comes to making a purchase decision. It sets your business apart from the competition and inspires brand loyalty. At the end of the day, it all boils down to this: the more confident a consumer feels about your business, the more likely they are to buy something from you.
By keeping an updated Google profile you’ll lend more credibility to your business. Studies have shown that businesses that verify their information with Google My Business are twice as likely to earn trust from consumers.
Also, let’s not forget about reviews! Research by Think with Google has found that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. So make sure to encourage customers to rate your product/service and manage & reply to reviews on a timely basis.
4. Local SEO
Studies have shown that 46% of Google searches are local. Yet, an impressive 56% of local businesses still haven’t claimed their Google My Business listings. Goes without saying that this amounts to a huge waste of SEO potential.
By having an optimized Google My Business profile, you’ll be able to capture valuable traffic and get ahead of the competition. In order to do so, make sure to enter complete and accurate information about your business, verify your location, keep your opening hours accurate, and manage & respond to all reviews.
According to Google, local ranking is based on relevance, distance and prominence. In other words, how well does a local listing match what someone is looking for? How far is each potential search result from the user? And how well-known is a business? These are the questions your listing should be answering.
5. Google My Business Insights
As with any marketing tactic, measuring the impact of your Google My Business listing is key for success. And Google has built in tools to help with that. Google My Business Insights can tell you:
- How users are finding your business (direct vs. indirect searches)
- Where are users finding your listing (Search vs. Maps)
- What actions are users taking on your listing (calling you, browsing the photo gallery, clicking on directions, etc.)
- Areas where your customers are living (based on direction queries)
By keeping close mind to these metrics, not only will you get a better understanding of your brand’s place in the marketplace but also how can you best optimize your online presence.
Google My Business is a powerful marketing tool for any business. Not only does it position important business information right in front of the eyes of your potential customers – but also offers a chance to engage and learn about customers’ purchasing paths.
So make sure to claim your Google My Business, and actively use it in favour of your business. Enjoy the benefits that’ll follow! 😉