Did you know that 70% of online searches are conducted via Google, and one out of every five of those searches is regarding a business or a place, according to Search Engine Watch? Put simply, this means that potential consumers are actively searching online for businesses just like yours. In order to get your business found as quickly and easily as possible, you need to harness the power of Google and its product offerings to ensure you put forward the best representation of your business. From this, If you don’t have your small business listed on Google My Business, that job needs to be put on the top of your ‘To Do’ list!
What is Google My Business?
Google my business is a free, easy-to-set-up online platform that Google provides to allow small business owners to manage their presence on Google’s search engine, increase their online visibility and to help people find and review businesses in their local area. Simply put, it’s the most comprehensive and easily accessible business directory ever!
On your Google My Business page you can display important information about your business, such as the opening/closing times, contact phone number, your website link and more advanced options such as your upcoming events.
When someone searches for a business on Google, information such as the business phone number, address, reviews, website etc are pulled from the businesses’ Google My Business page and displayed in the results.
Whenever someone is searching for something which Google determines to have local intent, such as ‘restaurant in Chorley’, links to several Google My Business listings will be displayed below a map of the local area. When clicking on a business’s Google My Business listing, the following information is displayed;
- The business’s name, address and phone number
- The business’s location on a map.
- The business’s opening hours.
- A link to the business’s website.
- Photos related to the business.
- Reviews of the business left by previous customers which give the business a rating out of 5.
This is an example of what a Google My Business listing looks like:
Creating a listing is free and should be regarded as a necessity by all businesses. Even If your business is an online business with no physical shop then you should still consider having a Google My Business page as there are plenty of benefits!
Why Every Small Business Should Be Using Google My Business
People go online multiple times a day to find information to make their lives easier, after all how many times do you hear —”just Google it!.” Whether through a search result or a maps query, over five billion searches are made each day through Google which makes improving how your business appears on Google a crucial element in your business online presence. Here are four benefits of having a Google My Business listing;
It’s Free and Easy to Set Up
Creating a GMB listing has many benefits, but at a most basic level, listings provide key information quickly for searchers which can help them to find a business, decide on a visit and with the handy maps section to help with directions – it all makes it more likely that searchers will visit your store/place of business. Moreover, even creating a relatively basic listing can help to improve your search presence, so it’s well worth setting one up.
TOP TIP! Your Google My Business page determines how your information will show on Google’s results. Since you are in complete control of this information, you have to make sure that every detail of your business is listed accurately and you don’t miss any critical steps to showcase your business!
Gain Trust and Credibility With Customers
With the overwhelming popularity of Google, web users searching for businesses on the platform are now accustomed to seeing these GMB profiles and as such, having one yourself will add a degree of credibility to your business. Google itself says that businesses that verify their information with Google My Business are twice as likely to be considered reputable by consumers.
Beyond this, the listing looks professional, provides key information that helps people to decide whether you’re a credible business or not and of course the unbiased rating/review system used for Google My Business listings makes reviews on there more trustworthy than those on a business website. Google makes it very difficult for unscrupulous businesses to attain good rankings in their local search results so reviews on here are held in higher esteem than those directly of a business website for example that may not be genuine. Set your sights on achieving as many genuine, positive reviews on Google My Business as;
- Reviews are a ranking factor that Google uses to determine where you should be placed on search results.
- Your reviews will showcase your positive business efforts and people are way more likely to visit a business with multiple positive reviews.
- According to Moz’s Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, online reviews are thought to make up 10% of how Google and other search engines decide to rank search results.
Better Prominence in Search Results
Google My Business listings are displayed above the standard search results which means the businesses shown there have a greater presence and get more attention. This of course also has the added benefit of you having two 1st page listings instead of one. It’s important to note that whilst having a listing guarantees that you’ll appear front and center in brand name searches, this prominent position isn’t automatic and guaranteed for general ‘business type’ results. For example, my business will appear when someone searches for ‘Scarlett Darbyshire’ on Google, but I may not appear so prominently if the search made was ‘Social Media Marketing Consultant in Lancashire.’ Getting into the ‘top results’ for a generic business search is the aim for all businesses but achieving this can depend on the level of competition in your local area for your business type and factors such as review scores.
TOP TIP! In an effort to prevent spam, Google will not allow you to enter a P.O. Box as your address because this is not considered a physical location. If you don’t have a storefront you can verify your business by using your home address. Don’t be put off by this fearing your privacy – Google will not make your home address public, as long as you mark that you do not receive customers at this address.
Find Insights into Customer Behaviour
Google provides useful insights such as how customers searched for your business, where those customers are coming from and how many people called your business directly from the phone number displayed on local search results in Search and Maps. All of which you can use to gain insights into customer behaviour.
TOP TIP! Post photos that show off what you do! Businesses that add photos to their listings receive 42% more requests for driving directions on Google Maps and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t.
Get started with your listing now, with help from the comprehensive guide from Google: https://support.google.com/business#topic=4539639