Having a Google My Business listing is an indispensable tool in every local business owner’s toolbox, and should be part of your digital marketing strategy.
The first place a potential customer, in search of your products and services on the web, will turn to is Google. According to Google, 46% of all searches have local intent, and that the location of a business is the primary piece of information that is sought in these local searches.
The fastest and easiest way for your business to be front and center in a Google search is to own a Google My Business listing.
What is Google My Business?
This is a crucial step in most local SEO strategies. It makes it simpler for customers to find information about your business and allows them to review the business. Therefore, it’s crucial that the information provided is accurate, complete, and optimized.
Google My Business is an incredibly powerful, free local marketing tool. GMB allows for marketers and business owners to manage how their business appears on Google Search and Maps. The listing shows your businesses:
- Contact Information
- Website Link
- Hours of Operation
To claim your listing, you need to verify the business data by creating a GMB profile or by claiming a pre-existing auto-generated profile.
A GMB listing makes it easier for customers to find business information and leave reviews, making it a critical step for local SEO strategy. It is also important that the information you provide is accurate and complete.
Why Use Google My Business for Local Marketing?
1. It increases visibility
The most significant benefit of a GMB listing is improved visibility on the net. In a typical Google Search, the first three listings will be Google Adword advertisements followed by the local three-pack. Under these is where the organic listings live.
An optimised GMB listing with accurate information increases the chance of making it in the coveted three-pack. Having your business appear in this area can help you engage with more potential customers. Not only is your business displayed on Google Maps, but it will also display above the organic results.
2. Boosts your appeal to potential customers with reviews
Reviews can be quite an influential factor when it comes to customers. Almost 90% of customers will read an online review so they can evaluate the quality of a local business, with most customers typically choosing the business with the highest reviews.
GMB allows customers to leave reviews of your business and provide feedback. Not only can this boost the appeal of your business to potential customers, but it also provides an avenue for you to receive critical feedback back on your services and products.
Reviews can build trust and confidence among your customers. According to a consumer survey, 88% of consumers trust online reviews, believing they carry the same value as personal recommendations. Reviews can also affect your ranking on Google search results.
3. Reply to queries in real-time
Business owners can now take advantage of a new messaging feature, which allows you to chat with your potential customers/ You can quickly answer any queries a current or potential customer has in real-time
Google offers the option to turn the feature off or on. When enabled, users who visit your page will see a message icon, which they can click to start a chat. You can respond via SMS or Google’s messaging app.
Be careful not to share private information such as credit card details or login information!
4. It helps you share information with your potential customers.
A GMB listing allows you to share critical information about your business, such as your; contact information, address, and hours of operation. You can also share important updates and announcements as well as news. Whatever you post will appear on Search and Maps, allowing you to engage with customers.
Before posting anything, it is important to consider what your goals are. Anything you post should align with your general marketing strategy. Are you trying to drive customers to visit your website or visit your storefront? Raise awareness for new service or product? Having goals allows you to customise the posts for you to achieve them. It is also important to always include a Call to Action that compels your customers to take your desired action.
6. Free Advertising On Google
While there are many ways for you to promote your business and get it to place on Google’s front page, you’ll need a budget to achieve those goals! However, a GMB listing can provide a faster way to get exposure on Google. The best part? It’s free! Creating or claiming a listing won’t cost a thing.
Having a listing displays your business for a broad audience of potential customers, providing easy access to your contact information, address and opening hours – free of charge. Allowing you to redirect your resources to other avenues.