Initially released in 2014, Google My Business is a free service that allows business owners to manage or create a listing and analyze their data. The multiple features are available for business owners to control and utilize our website, reviews, posts, photos and videos, opening hours and more. The aim of Google My Business is to improve a business’s local SEO and increase its visibility.
Google My Business app is available on the App Store and Google Play and is also accessible when signing up online.
Other than being completely free to use and moderately quick and simple to set up, Google My Business has a number of benefits to improving your business’s local SEO rankings. GMB listing helps Google better understand how relevant your business is to users’ search terms. Businesses are not only able to see where the searches are coming from, but also keywords that are being used and what keywords their listing is appearing for. This makes it easy to optimize your site to achieve the highest possible ranking.
Why You Need to Use Google My Business
Gain Customers Trust
By completing the verification process in Google My Business it shows potential customers that your business is legitimate and active. Furthermore, the rating and review system embedded in your listing is unbiased and this makes your listing more trustworthy to customers than a website where the best ratings and reviews can be the only ones presented.
Superior Presence in Search Results
Google My Business listings are shown at the top of the search results page under a map of the local area and this is important as it has been found that ‘3 listings appear in the top spot in 93% of searches with local intent’. Additionally, this means that your listing may show up twice on the same search page under Google My Business results and standard search results, thus giving the listing and your business more attention and improving local SEO.
The review and rating system allows customers to leave reviews and ratings of their experience with your business along with attached photos and videos. Business owners are able to respond to these and any possible complaints customers may have, this further improves the quality of customer service outside of the initial business environment. Not to mention, you are allowed to post photos and videos of the outside and inside of your business location which improves the brand recognition and personal feel of your business.
With the assistance of Google My Business, more people are likely to know that your business exists as when someone searches for you locally you will be visible in the search results. Whereas this perhaps would not be the case if you did not have a Google My Business listing. Also, posts are allowed to be shown such as current offers or sales on products and this can help to increase purchases. Further helping to drive sales and increase your website’s click-through rate is the feature of call-to-action buttons such as, ‘Buy Now’, ‘Order Online’, and ‘Read More’ that Google enables users to add to their listing.
Business owners are allowed to see the back end insights and analytics of where their searches are coming from (and are not coming from!). This is essential for marketing opportunities where ads are targeted to ensure maximum audiences are reached. Seeing where there are gaps in the initial locations of the searches can help you to improve and alter focus on your target audience or manage current advertisements to utilize costs being spent on direct marketing.
Consistency of Information
In October of 2017, Google enabled third parties such as Oneup, dlvr.it, and Sendible to be involved in scheduling posts to Google My Business and many other third parties receive essential basic information and data about businesses from Google My Business. This means that all the information given to a Google My Business listing is also used by other listing sites and so the overall consistency of data is high and this leads to crawlers and users having more trust in your site.
As we all know, first impressions count and with Google My Business you are able to include photos and videos of your choice to appear in your listing. Moreover, you are able to suggest your best products and services and hide products that are sold out or currently unavailable which allows customers to easily see what your business has to offer and helps to drive direct sales.
In conclusion, Google My Business may not be the best option for a small selection of businesses who lack a physical location but it is definitely useful and worth the short set up and maintenance time for most businesses of any size who are looking to improve their local SEO and boost sales. Afterall, 50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day and 34% who searched on a computer or tablet did the same so no matter what size your business may be, Google My Business is essential!