Why Every Small Business Should Use Google My Business
As a small business that provides local services, your customers typically gravitate around your place of business and make search queries based on location. Therefore, it is important that when conducting a local search, your business appears at the top of the search results. In fact, what people usually look for is an address. Those local searches lead to 50% of mobile searchers visiting the store in a day. Google My Business can help your local business convert mobile searchers into buying 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 maps and search. The list will display 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. In fact, 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 that the information provided is always accurate and up-to-date.
To get a GMB listing, you'll need to verify your business details using your Gmail address by creating a Google My Business profile. You can also claim an existing automatically generated profile.
So why does every business need Google My Business?
1. Increase online visibility.
As a small business, it can be difficult to compete with brands that are much larger and more established than you. Google My Business helps increase your online visibility. Especially since 46% of all searches have local intent.
When people perform a search query online, they'll see three listings: Google Ads, a map with a local pack, and then the organic results. If you're a small business with a limited marketing budget, you can't spend on ads. Since SEO is not a quick fix, increasing your rankings will get them there.
Therefore, it is crucial that you show it in the local package list, which will show the three most relevant local businesses. While there is no secret ingredient to getting into the local pack, creating a Google My Business significantly increases your chances.
Getting your business listed on the Local 3 package can help you tap into potential income. In fact, Google not only shows customers your business on Google Maps, but also places it before organic search results.
2. Makes your business information easily available
The great thing about Google My Business is that it allows you to share information about your business: name, location, address, phone number, contact details, business hours. You can also share updates, announcements, promotions, etc. Those posts will show up on Search and Maps, thus keeping your potential customers updated. Your listing will also allow you to customize each post you are posting. Its design and the information displayed will vary depending on the objective you have chosen for each particular publication.
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".
3. 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. Therefore, you can answer any questions they may have on the spot.
You do not need to have this messaging feature as Google gives you the opportunity to disable it. However, it is a very useful feature for customer service. Some companies will let people book services directly through the app, for example. It is important that if you enable the feature, you respond to all inquiries in a timely manner or Google My Business will disable messaging. Also, be careful not to share sensitive information such as credit cards or login credentials.
4. It can serve as social proof.
90% of customers read online reviews to assess the quality of a business and the services it provides. The better the review, the higher the chances of getting new customers. Google My Business allows current users and customers to leave a review about your business. Other users and potential customers can see them. You also have the opportunity to respond to each comment, showing that you take each comment seriously and are always looking for ways to improve your business. Which is something that people love.
Not only does this give you honest reviews, but it also increases your appeal to potential customers. Reviews build trust among customers. 88% of people trust them and believe they carry the same weight as a personal recommendation. Additionally, reviews are also a ranking factor used by Google to determine where to rank your business in search results. By setting up a Google My Business listing and providing quality services, you will earn more reviews, which will give you a higher overall rating and increase your search ranking.
5. Increase 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 appear 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 through your Google My Business profile and visit your website. However, a long load time results in a high bounce rate and does not help increase revenue.
Every small business should set up a Google My Business profile for all the benefits it offers. It enables higher ranking in search results, increased online visibility, and increased trust that customers have in your business.