Never heard of Google My Business (GMB)? Or maybe you know little about it?
No worries – You are not alone. Study made by Brandmuscle announced that around 56% of Local Retailers Haven’t Claimed Google My Business Listing. If you belong to that 56%, I am sure you have no idea how much you’re missing. That is why we gathered all information in one piece, so you could start using GMB right away and get the advantages immediately!
Why Google My Business?
GMB helps you to manage your online presence on Google search including Google Maps. It helps to increase visibility on 1st Google page, also it’s an easy way to expose your business identity through pictures, information, and services.
It’s a great tool for all businesses, organizations, brands, etc. but it is mostly used and essentially beneficial for local businesses, such as hotels, restaurants, shops, etc. And if you’re running location-based business – this is something you don’t want to miss out.
Companies that optimize their profile on Google My Business, get 42% more directions to the company and 35% more clicks to the website, than firms that do not.
Google is becoming more “human” and wants to give you the most relevant results, so they change the algorithms constantly, to improve search engines. There are no clear rules how to rank for top positions. However, Google has some local ranking factors to take into consideration if you want your business to be visible in top local search results positions. The local search results are based on these factors:
How well a local listing matches what a person is searching for. Therefore adding more information can help Google better understand your business and match your listing to relevant searches.
It’s becoming more popular to search for a nearby locations or businesses. If a person doesn’t specify a location, Google will suggest the nearest locations based on what’s known about the person’s location.
Prominence refers to how well-known a business is. Depending on your offline popularity, search results try to reflect this in local ranking. For example, popular hotels, or famous museums, that are familiar to many people are also likely to be prominent in local search results.
Can’t find your business? It’s about time to update and improve your information on Google My Business.
#1. Improved local ranking on 1st Google search results page
Providing full and updated business information in Google My Business can help your business’s local ranking on Google and enhance your presence in Search and Maps.
First of all, you should know that there are few ways how your business can appear in search results. When a person is searching for a business in a specific location or searching for a business in the location near him. For example “hotel in san diego near me” – a local pack of multiple locations will be displayed. When someone is searching particularly for your business, then your Single card is displayed.
72% of costumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles. (WordStream, 2016)
#2. More Views on the same page
Having verified GMB account and all information updated, allows you to take more space on the 1st Google result page. If you are also running AdWords campaigns, your business will be displayed in three different positions: paid ads, GMB location card & organic results. It is an easy way to increase visibility!
See the example below.
#3. Even better visibility on mobile devices
In 2016 Google made a research on mobile devices that states: over 30% of mobile searches are related to a location. Google local listing results on mobile has meant that GMB is significant for local SEO.
You might see in the screenshot below, that on mobile devices, paid ads are shown first and organic results are shown below, however there is nothing to worry about. The analysis, published on Moz made by Casey Meraz explains that in the most cases with ads at the top and the local pack beneath, most users clicked on the first local result. Also, on mobile devices, only the top three Google local results being shown – so there’s huge traffic opportunities for being listed for competitive searches.
78% of local-mobile searches result in offline purchases.
#4. Clear call to action buttons
Google local listings have call to action buttons, which can drive leads to your business directly. It has three main CTA (call to action) options:
- Direct link to website – free visits and increased traffic.
- Highlighted call feature – for immediate calls.
- Driving directions to the location – an easy way to find you.
#5. Optimized company description
With GMB you can provide a set of information about the business, for example: working hours, the services and etc. It is especially great when someone is searching for an industry and not for exact business. The provided information can put up your business listing above other competitors, due to your business categories.
#6. Gain insights into customer actions
You can also get the insights on customer actions on GMB, for example which photos were most appealing to your customers and which where most clicked. You can also see whether your customers found your business directly or discovered for a category, product or service. Moreover, there is a visibility, customer engagement charts – to see how many people viewed your profile, and what your customers are most likely to do – click call button, ask for directions or visit your website.
On GMB you can easily manage your customers’ reviews and reply to those comments, to say thank you, or solve problems with clients privately. It’s a great advantage to have, because in most OTAs (Online Travel Agencies) such as Booking, you cannot manage the reviews or reply to them. Responding to reviews shows that you value your customer and their opinion about your business. Moreover, having lots of positive reviews are essential for local ranking – it immediately improves your visibility amongst the others. You should encourage your customers to leave feedback on your GMB listing.
Since Google My Business listings are first thing you see in the search results, you probably want to use this as part of your content marketing strategy.