Do I need a Google My Business (GMB) listing?
Google is ever changing to keep in step with business and user needs and one way it continues to refine user experience is through Google My Business. Google My Business is where a user can search, and pull up results, for a specific business or service near them. It is imperative for local business operators to create and verify a My Business account in order to be in front of potential leads from local customers actively looking for a particular service or product.
What is a Google My Business listing?
Google My Business is a free service created to assist businesses in managing their online presence throughout Google platforms. Google My Business listings could be considered a hybrid directory listing / social media profile.
As is the case with online directories, business owners create and claim ownership of their Google My Business listing and fill it out with primary information such as hours, address, and images relating to the business.
Similar to social media platforms, Google My Business offers the ability to create and publish posts although these are impermanent and no longer show after set periods of time. Customers or clients are also able to upload their own photos of your business to your profile without the need to leave a review.
Do I Need a Google My Business profile?
Yes, you do. A Google My Business listing showcases your profile in Google Maps and Search. It builds instant credibility for customers engaging with your listing. There is also a tool in the dashboard called Insights which shows how users are finding you and what they are looking for.
Your Google My Business profile allows you to publish important information about your business, allows your customers to learn more about your brand and it even allows you to communicate directly with them. Ultimately, this will improve your rank and attract more potential customers to your business.
What benefits are there to having a Google My Business listing?
- Show up in Google Maps Searches
- Show up in Google’s Local 3-Pack
- Earn Trust from Customers
- Star Ratings Boost Your Appeal
- Increase Traffic & Sales
- Learn More About Your Business
- Rank Higher in Results
- Increase Engagement
- Free Google Advertising
- Stand Out From Competitors
Google has reported that an incredible 46% of all searches have local intent. But in spite of this, many businesses fail to utilise the free Google My Business platform. There are multiple perks of setting up a profile so if you are at the stage of considering a listing or looking for ways to enhance your local presence you will find the below information useful.
1. Show Up in Google Maps Searches
Similar to online reviews, the second most important factor that users consider when looking for a business is how far away they are. Most users user smartphones to locate nearby businesses.
Whether searching for a local gym or a place to get some Thai food, Google Maps can quickly pull up heaps of red location markers indicating that a nearby business is relevant to your search. If you create a Google My Business profile you will also come through local searches too. This allows users to see how close you are which increases the likelihood that they will stop by.
As an example, if you have a Thai food business, having a Google My Business profile will present your information when people run searches like the below:
2. Show up in Google’s Local 3-Pack
The act of simply creating a listing increases your odds of showing up in the Google Local 3-Pack list. These listings display where your business is and they also appear before all of the organic results so it greatly increases your visibility. Brands that appear in this position also have a 700% boost in clicks than those that don’t.
3. Earn Trust From Customers
Your job as a business owner is to build enough trust in a consumer’s mind where they are confident in making a purchase from you. One of the easiest things you can do to endorse this is to show that you have an actual physical location.
The more your business appears in the local searches, the more likely a user will trust your brand. Brands that appear on Google are 2.7 times more likely to be considered by customers.
This is a result of the processes that a business must go through in order to be verified on Google as Google creates a trustworthy environment that users can rely upon.
4. Star Ratings Boost Appeal
Online reviews are a big factor in influencing buying behaviour. Think about the way you go about making a purchase. Were you influenced by the highest number of reviews or the lowest?
Customers can review your business through your My Business listing and can also leave public feedback. Through this process, you will get honest opinions evaluations about the things you are doing right and those helpful yellow stars that appear next to your business on Google. If you continue to deliver quality products and services, you’ll begin to generate a higher overall rating. Responding to reviews also helps. It can give you a competitive edge when there are competing businesses nearby.
5. Increase Traffic & Sales
Maintaining a steady stream of traffic can be challenging for local businesses. There is simply no way to avoid the ups and downs of being in trade, Google My Business can help boost numbers across the board.
Google has discovered that, by simply having a listing, businesses can improve clicks by as much as 70%. Users who find a business via Google My Business are 50% more likely to make a purchase.
6. Find Out More About Your Business
It doesn’t matter what product or service you sell, the more you understand your customer base, the easier it will be to appeal to them. From your Google My Business dashboard, visiting the Insights section will provide you with a treasure trove of valuable information regarding how visible your brand is, who your target customers are and how they are engaging with your business.
It’s a powerful way to gauge performance and allows you to better focus on what is, and isn’t working. By learning more about your customer base, you’ll be able to tailor your marketing strategy to suit.
7. Rank Higher in Results
The more that Google likes your business, the better it will rank you in it’s organic listings. How do you go about garnering that favour? By providing quality, consistent and accurate data. The more information Google can provide to your customers, the more it will like you. Your Google My Business profile is an ideal way to feed this data to Google.
8. Increase Engagement
Google My Business offers a number of ways customers can engage with your business. They can visit your website or give you a call in so much as a single click. As well as this, they can reserve a table or book an appointment right from your listing.
9. Free Google Advertising
A Google My Business listing is basically free advertising space on Google. You receive targeted traffic from the world’s most utilised search engine. It costs nothing to create and claim your listing and it takes substantially less time to set up than it does to create an ad campaign. You will also see results much more quickly than paid advertising. That is not to say that Google Ads and SEO are not important in your marketing strategy – Google My Business is simply quicker and easier than both.
10. Stand Out From Competitors
Google My Business displays essential information that users need to engage with your business. It also includes a terse description to help users quickly identify what your business is about. An effective business description gives an overview of your business, includes some relevant keywords and showcases something unique or authentic to show your value. Although small, this text space gives you an opportunity to stand out from the crowd so it shouldn’t be ignored.
Who can have a Google My Business listing?
Google is particular about the types of businesses that can be listed in its directory as it aims to keep search results limited to local brands that customers can physically visit. Physical locations, mobile businesses, individual practitioners and service area businesses are typical examples of accepted Google My Business businesses.
Google’s search listings are becoming more and more robust and the benefits of having a Google My Business listing are only growing. Need a hand with claiming your own listing? Contact us for a chat.