If your Local Business doesn’t have a Google My Business account, you’re definitely missing out on an important opportunity to increase your local sales and profits.
Regardless of the size of your business, a Google My Business (GMB) listing will help you to connect to the local consumers who are looking for your products/services right now, and want to buy from a local, trusted business like yours.
Research suggests that over 50% of consumers visit a store or business the same day that they performed a local search, such as ‘dry cleaners near me’. You need to be seen online at this critical time in the buying process!
Discovery Searches are on the Rise
Survey data collected by Bright Local found that businesses in the USA, that use a (GMB), received 88% of their monthly searches from ‘discovery searches’ (ex. bakery near me), while ‘direct searches’ (Cocoa Bean Bakery) resulted in just 12% of searches each month.
Having a GMB listing allows a local business to maximize their chances of ranking higher for those local discovery searches.
Start Creating Your Google My Business Listing Here…
If you would like to follow a ‘Step-by-Step’ walk through of the process, check out our post on How to Create a Google My Business Listing .
Here are the Seven Benefits of Building Your Google My Business listing:
1. Google My Business is Free
There are a lot of powerful online business tools available.
It’s just not that often that you find a powerful business tool that is FREE!
2. GMB Makes Your Business more Visible Online
GMB is a tool that puts your business on a global map, literally.
Google is one of the largest search engines in the world. Google receives over 63,000 searches per second on any given day, not to mention Google “near me” searches have increased by 200% over the past year.
Visibility is the Secret to Increasing Your Sales …
About 90% of searchers haven’t made up their mind about a brand before starting their search. This simply means that your business MUST be highly visible in online search to capture their attention and stand out from your competition.
Without Google My Business, you’ll be missing the chance to be visible regardless of how heavily you practice SEO techniques on your website. GMB listings get priority on the first page of local Google searches and Maps queries.
For example, when we searched for “Coffee stores in New York.” You’ll notice that a section of GMB listing appears before ranking websites.
An active, fully optimized Google My Business profile will increase your chances of being found online, and will increase your chances of rising up in the overall search engine results.
3. GMB Helps You Maintain Updated Business Information
As your business grows or undergoes changes, you can to keep your customers informed of changes in service, hours, sales and special events.
Keep your customers in the loop by updating your listing on Google My Business, such as phone numbers, addresses, websites, and social media. So if you ever change your location or you’re using a new number of customers can effortlessly contact and find you.
One of the seven things that can make customers hate your business is searching for your contact details and jumping through hoops to find you.
4. Add Images to Present a Great First Impression
Having a GMB page adds a digitally savvy touch to your online branding because it shows customers that you’re willing to stay updated and modern. Catering to their digital needs so they can quickly call/connect, purchase, and repeat.
Google My Business allows you also to help captivate customers visually by uploading photos and videos of your store or product. You’ll be able to set expectations of what customers can expect from you.
In fact, Search Engine Land found a strong link between Google My Business photo quantity and search performance.
Here are few content ideas for the images you can upload to your GMB listing:
- Inside your store or manufacturer
- Your employees or teammates
- Your local surroundings
- Your CEO or Managing Director
- Awards and Events
- Happy customers or customer testimonials
Try to upload at least 5-10 photos and videos, the more images, the better. No pictures on your Google listing is just as displayed as not having a profile image on social media. Help customers to warm up to your Google My Business listing. Adding a picture puts a face or a meaning to your brand.
5. Google My Business Improves Your SEO
Your Google My Business is an important part of local SEO. But it’s not enough to add a few contact details. You’ll have to optimize your Google My Business to see the best results.
Here’s a graph showing the list of essential items you should optimize in your Google My Business to help rankings and SEO.
6. Customer Reviews Establish Confidence and Trust
Would you ever eat at a restaurant with negative reviews, or zero reviews? I wouldn’t and neither would most people. Google My Business allows prospective customers to view ratings, reviews, and images on your listing. All of which builds confidence and trust in your business.
This is great because happy customers can share their experience with interested and new customers. But it’s also a platform that upset and disgruntled customers can leave bad reviews and images of their experience.
How do you maintain a balance to keep your Google My Business reviews in green?
Always read and respond to your GMB reviews…Good AND Bad!
Each week set aside time (or as an employee to review) and answer and comment to all your reviews.
With an online profile, you can only go so far to convince your customers that you’re the right choice for them, people can only trust you from face value and what real customers have to say about you. People are more willing to trust customers who have visited your business and have had an interaction with you, over your own company advertising.
Here are three reasons why monitoring and responding to all your reviews helps your business off and online.
- 86% of people will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative online reviews. Don’t ignore negative reviews, because they can affect your sales.
- 72% of customers don’t take action until they have read reviews. Customers are searching for reviews before they visit your store or shop with you. What kind of reviews do you want to be waiting for them? Once you know the answer, start working towards it.
- Businesses who reply to reviews at least 25% of the time have an average of 35% more revenue. Customers are looking for brands to reply to customers (regardless if it’s a good or bad review). When you leave reviews, especially negative reviews unattended, buyers are more hesitant to buy from you because they begin to wonder if their concerns will be ignored (on or offline).
7. Google is Increasingly Using Your GMB to Evaluate You
Google is constantly expanding and growing in data and online features for consumers and business. Make Google happy and they will send lots of leads your way. Make Google unhappy and your competitors will get rich.
They’re already a billion dollar giant that has scratched the surface creating online tools to help small and big businesses to increase sales and brand awareness.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to start tapping into the power of Google, start by creating a Google My Business and take your steps into the new form of online branding.
Signing up for Google My Business is a essential step for every business. But with GMB, you can not ‘set it and forget it’. You should optimize and update your GMB listing weekly, monthly or at least, quarterly.
Take care of your Google My Business listing and it will take care of you!
Here’s a quick recap of the ten benefits of using Google My Business:
- Google My Business is Free
- GMB Makes Your Business more Visible Online
- GMB Helps You Maintain Updated Business Information.
- Add Images Images to Present a Great First Impression
- GMB Improves Your SEO.
- Customer Reviews Establish Confidence and Trust
- Google is Increasingly Using Your GMB to evaluate You