As a small business that delivers local services, your clients usually gravitate around your place of business already and perform search queries based on location. Thus, it is important that when doing a local search, your business shows up high in search results. Indeed, what people are usually looking for is indeed an address. Those local searches lead 50% of mobile searchers to visit the store within one day. Google My Business can help your local business and convert mobile searchers into purchasing customers.
So, what is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free local SEO marketing tool. It allows business owners to manage how their business is displayed on Google search and maps. The listing will show your business name, address, contact information, hours of operation, website, etc.
You will be able to add all your products and services to your listing, including information, price and link to the product page. You can also post updates and promotions to entice new customers to visit your location or website.
How do you get a Google My Business listing?
A Google My Business listing is a critical step in any local SEO strategy. Indeed, it makes it easier for customers to find information about your business. They will also be able to see reviews from previous customers. Make sure the information provided is always accurate and up to date.
To get a GMB listing, you will need to verify your business data using your gmail address by creating a Google My Business profile. You may also be able to claim an existing auto-generated profile.
So, why does every small business need Google My Business?
It increases online visibility
As a small business, it can be hard to compete with brands that are much bigger and more established than you. Google My Business helps increase your online visibility. Especially as 46% of all searches have a local intent.
When people perform a search query online, they will see three listings: Google Ads, a map with a local pack and then the organic results. If you are a small business with a limited marketing budget, you may not invest in ads. As SEO is not a quick fix, increasing your ranking will take them.
Thus, it is crucial that you show in the local pack listing, which will display the three most relevant local businesses. Although there is no secret ingredient to get into the local pack, creating a Google My Business significantly increases your chances.
Having your business appear in the Local 3-pack can help you tap into potential revenue. Indeed, Google not only shows customers your business on Google Maps, but it also places it before organic search results.
It makes your business information readily available
The great thing with Google My Business is that it allows you to share information about your business: name, location, address, phone number, contact details, working hours. You can also share updates, announcements, promotions, etc. Those posts will show on Search and Maps, therefore keeping your potential customers updated.
Your listing will also allow you to customize each post that you are publishing. Their layout and information displayed will vary according to the goal you will have chosen for each particular post.
You can add a Call-to-Action that compels potential customers to take action such as “Call,” “Visit,” “Buy,” or “Learn more.” Post options include “add offer”, “add update” or “add event”.
Google My Business has a great messaging feature
Google My Business added a messaging feature, which you can only access through the app. It allows you to chat directly with potential customers who may already know you or have just found your business. You can thus answer any questions they may have on the spot.
You do not have to have this messaging feature as Google gives you the opportunity to turn it off. However, it is a very helpful feature for customer service. Some companies will let people book services directly through the app for example.
It is important that, should you activate the feature, you answer all queries in a timely manner or Google My Business will deactivate messaging. Furthermore, be careful not to share sensitive information such as credit card or login credentials.
It can serve as social proof
90% of customers read online reviews to evaluate the quality of a business and the services it performs. The better the review, the bigger the chances to land new clients. Google My Business let users and current clients drop a review on your business. Other users and potential customers can see them.
You also have the opportunity to answer to each feedback, thus showing to take each review seriously and always looking for ways to improve your business. Which is something people love.
Not only does this get you honest reviews but it also boosts your appeal to potential customers. Reviews build trust and confidence amongst customers. 88% off people trust them and believe they have the same weight as a personal recommendation. Furthermore, reviews are also a ranking factor used by Google to determine where to place your business on search results.
By setting up a Google My Business listing and delivering quality services, you will get more reviews, which will get you a higher overall rating and boost your search rankings.
It increases traffic and leads
Last but not least, a Google My Business listing will help your business increase traffic and get more leads. According to Google, by having a Google My Business listing, businesses are 70% more likely to attract local visits from browsing users.
Creating a GMB listing involves going through a serious verification process. Therefore, your business will look more trustworthy and genuine to potential customers. This will help increase sales.
Having appeared in local searches, your website needs to capitalize on the opportunity by loading quickly. People will find you thanks to your Google My Business profile and will hop on your website. However, a long loading time results in a high bounce rate and does not help to increase revenue.
Every small business must set up a Google My Business profile for all the advantages it offers. It allows for higher ranking in search results, increased online visibility and strengthened trust customers have in your business.