The Internet has completely transformed how everything is done. If you want to find a product or service today, all it takes are a few clicks of your mouse. Businesses of all sizes are increasingly ensuring their presence online and fighting for the top results in the Google search results to help potential customers find them easily.
Google My Business: Why It Is Critical
Google estimates that 1 in every 5 searches is location-related and Google My Business is an improved search functionality that focuses on this aspect. If you are a small business that targets local customers as opposed to a global audience, Google My Business is one of the best things you can use to ensure the growth of your business.
What is Google My Business?
Formerly known as Google Places, Google My Business is a free tool provided by Google that business owners can use for managing their presence online across Google’s suite of websites, which includes Google Maps, Local Search, Mobile Search, and Google Search.
Google My Business lets you create, edit, and verify a business listing in Google, without the need to do any additional work to a website or even implementing a search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy. It was introduced by Google to make it easier for searchers to find the information they seek quickly and conveniently.
The opening hours, address, and contact information of your business will be featured in your Google My Business listing, without the need to click through to your website in search of this information. Simply put, it helps potential customers find you more easily and get in touch with you.
Why is Google My Business So Important for Small Business Owners?
Google My Business is a must-have service from Google that allows small businesses to be visible and searchable online by people from the specific locality that they cater to. Here are the top benefits of having a Google My Business Listing:
It Is Great for SEO
A Google My Business listing is critical to the success of your Local SEO strategy because it allows your business listing to appear in the local search results for queries specific to the services or products you sell. Even broad queries that have large search volumes also display local results, which is something that the owners of small businesses can take advantage of.
It Allows Your Business to be Easily Found on Google Maps
If your business has a Google My Business listing, it will also be marked in Google Maps, thus giving potential customers the exact location of your business. If you allow your business listing to be found using the relevant keywords that you use in Google Maps, customers on the move that are looking for your business can easily find you without too much of a hassle because it works on mobile devices too.
It is a Cost-Effective Way to Market Your Business
Small businesses should claim their Google My Business listings since it is free. Spending massive amounts of money on radio, television, billboards, or even print ads is not a viable marketing strategy for a small business. Google My Business, on the other hand, lets small businesses advertise their products and services to potential customers in a specific location and is considerably cheaper than other marketing methods.
It Helps You Learn More About Your Customers
Google My Business is a platform that allows small local businesses to learn more about their customers by providing a lot pf analytics data that’s unavailable elsewhere. For instance, Google Maps allows you to access information regarding where requests of driving directions to your business originate from. It can be useful information that can potentially help you target new customers in the area or possibly even target a new suburb you can expand into as the business grows.
It Helps Increase Traffic and Sales
Small local businesses often face the challenge of maintaining an increase in quality website traffic as well as ensuring a steady supply of customers walk through their doors. While it is impossible to completely avoid ups and downs during the year, having a Google My Business listing greatly helps improve your numbers across the board. If you just have a listing and appear in local searches, you will be up to 70 per cent more likely to attract location visits.
It Helps Businesses Better Manage, Showcase, and Respond to Reviews
User Reviews are increasingly one of the most critical elements of Google My Business listings. Google recruits users to serve as “local guides” and rewards them upon rating and reviewing local businesses. If you have mostly positive and high-quality reviews from your customers, the visibility of your business will be enhanced and the chances of a potential customer visiting your location will be high.
It Gives You Control Over Your Information and Service/Product Offering
Last, but not least, a Google My Business listing is a great way to put basic information pertaining to your business into Google’s Local Search Index. Google My Business also provides a variety of tools for attracting and informing local customers. For instance, you can add information such as the payment options you accept, product lists, prices, and menus, as well as interactive features such as reviews and photos. It is even possible to add special offers and coupons that your visitors can use.
How Can You Make Best Use of Google My Business?
Now that you are aware of the benefits of having a Google My Business listing, here are a few tips to make the most of it:
It is important to use the right keywords to create an impressive service or product description that are appealing to your customers. However, you should avoid keyword stuffing or overuse, otherwise you may experience a significant decline in your search engine ranking.
Include Videos and Images:
Businesses listed in Google My Business are allowed to add up to 5 videos and 10 images completely free. You can take advantage of this by uploading images and videos of your business premises so that customers can easily identify and find you.
A Google My Business Listing for Each Location:
If your business has multiple branches situated at different locations, ensure that you have a separate listing for each branch with that location’s phone number and address listed. If you have a single branch but provide your services in multiple locations, create just one page and list down the areas your serve.
You should ask satisfied customers to rate and review your services in Google My Business. The higher your ratings are, the higher the number of customers you are likely to get. Try getting as many reviews as you can, but only from genuine sources. However, you should avoid having too many reviews just for the sake of rankings because Google might push down your listing.
Avoid Skipping over Information:
When filling out information for your Google My Business listing, you will be asked to provide many details. You need to ensure that you fill all of them out because if you fail to fill out the information requested by Google, another person might since the listings can be edited by just about anyone.
A Google My Business listing is simply a must have for any small local business. It isn’t complicated, but it is important. If you haven’t yet claimed your Google My Business listing, you are missing out on one of the easiest, cheapest, and most effective ways of appearing in the Google search results. It takes just a few minutes to set up your listing, so ensure that you do to start enjoying the benefits.