If your business does not have a Google My Business account, you are missing out on serious local sales and opportunities. Google My Business (GMB) was created to connect businesses with local consumers which helps boost online marketing and consumer shopping. Google has said that it receives about 5.6 billion searches in a day, and a large percentage of these queries have local intent. This means a lot of the searches are done by individuals who are looking for places within their vicinity. Basically, the more visible you are — or the more often your business shows up in search results — the better the chances are of drawing people’s attention to you through your GMB listing.
Here are a few proven benefits of having a Google My Business account.
It is free. GMB is a free tool that allows you to start promoting your business easily for free – it only requires your time to set it up. And, setting up your listing is not lengthy or complicated. Getting your business included on this free platform is a budget, and beginner-friendly, way to start building your business.
It makes you visible. GMB listings get priority on for local Google searches and Maps queries. Consumers generally search for a local business in proximity to their location. While a quick Google search is certainly effective for narrowing down the options—especially those on a smartphone—most consumers use Google Maps to locate businesses nearby.
For example, if you are a lawn care business, having a Google My Business will allow your business to show up for searches like the one below:
Ensure trust from customers. Having a legitimate business these days is important and due to the inherent trust and confidence, most users place in Google, your business benefits whenever it pops up in a local search, as prospects will automatically be more likely to trust your brand. In fact, brands that show up on Google are 2.7 times more likely to be considered reputable.
Star ratings from reviews boost your appeal. With a Google My Business listing, customers will be able to review your business and leave feedback for others to see. 72% of customers will not act until they have read reviews so having reviews online in GMB can be a benefit for you and for them. Over time, you will start collecting more reviews and a higher overall rating (responding to reviews helps with this as well). This is especially helpful when there are competing businesses nearby and you need to gain a competitive edge.
Ensure online consistency. As your business grows or undergoes changes, GMB allows you to update your information to keep customers informed and educated.
Gain customer insight. GMB insights/analytics focuses on how visible your brand is, who your target customers are, how customers find your listing on Search and Maps, and how they are engaging with your business. This is a powerful tool to determine how your business is performing throughout the year so you can better zero in on what is working and what is not.
Improves SEO. GMB can be a key part of your local SEO and marketing strategy, helping customers in your area find you, and your business helps improve search engine rankings. And the more Google likes your business, the higher it will rank you in its Search and Maps results.
Creates a good first impression. Creating an accurate and detailed GMB listing helps your business put its best face forward. Captivate customers visually by uploading photos and videos of your store or product. You are then able to give your customers the most thorough idea of what your business can offer them.
It is a social media magnet for engagement. Post events, products, or campaigns in their posting feature. Since Google got rid of Google+, GMB postings can be extremely handy to post the latest offers and news for your business.
Show up in Google’s 3-Pack. I placed this one last because it can be the most difficult placement to obtain. The best part about being in the local 3-pack is that these listings not only show users where your business is located on Google Maps, but they also show up BEFORE organic results—offering a major benefit to your visibility. So how do you get here? There are a few things that matter, making sure your Google listing is complete and that other online listings are consistent, having multiple reviews, cultivating locally relevant links to boost your visibility and building reputable backlinks to your site that attracts readers. Lastly, having a strong presence on social media also helps. By starting with a free Google My Business listing, you can greatly increase your odds of making it onto this highly sought-after list.
Using the same example as above, when I conduct a search on lawncare you will see the top three listings (3-pack) listed underneath the map.
Our advice to any local business is to create a good website that represents your business well, then shift your focus to a Google My Business profile, ensuring that’s the first to be updated with new business info and the first to be checked for customer interactions via Google Reviews and Google Q&A. By optimizing and updating your GMB postings weekly, monthly, or even quarterly can be beneficial for your business.
Need some help? We specialize in GMB optimization! Contact us for a complimentary consultation.