The sweet, simple days of phonebooks are long behind us, and the trees thank us for that! But that means it’s no longer a nice perk to have your business in an online directory—it’s a must-have.
However, small businesses can’t be expected to upgrade their technology at the rate of giants like Facebook or Microsoft. So we’re here to help you take the first step of getting your business listed on Google My Business by answering the following:
- What is Google My Business? And why is it important?
- What is the purpose of Google My Business?
- What are the benefits of Google My Business?
By the end of this post, you’ll get your business listed on Google like a pro.
PS: Did you hear? Google My Business will now be Google Business Profile!
What is Google My Business?
In short, Google My Business is like a virtual phonebook. Not only does Google My Business make your business easier to find on Google, but online directories such as Google My Business help you to reach potential customers that would otherwise not know how to find you.
Google My Business is a free tool that allows your business listing to show up alongside other related local businesses whenever someone looks up your business name or a related term. Your business information like your phone number, website, address, review ratings, hours, and more will all be available on one easy screen for potential customers.
Why you need a Google My Business listing
When it comes to anything tech-related in the rapidly advancing digital world, you might think Google My Business is old news and wonder “Is Google My Business relevant in 2021?” Well, we’ll let the statistics speak for themselves!
- 97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else.
- More specifically, 91% of adults use search engines to find information.
- Drill down further, you’ll find Google has over 90% of the search engine market share.
- Google has reported that a staggering 46% of all searches have local intent.
Whether you’re considering creating a listing for your business or looking for the best ways to boost your local presence, Google My Business is well worth your time.
Google My Business benefits
Despite those amazing statistics, many businesses are still missing out on the beauty of Google My Business. So, let’s dive deeper into the specifics of how a Google My Business strategy can benefit your small business. Check out these 10 Google My Business benefits:
1. Show up in Google Maps searches to boost sales
While a quick Google search is effective for narrowing down options—especially for consumers on a mobile device—86% of people use Google Maps to locate businesses nearby. When it’s more convenient for customers to come to your business if they find you close by, you’re more likely to make that sale.
If, for example, you’re a pest control business, having a Google My Business account set up will allow your business to show up for searches in the Google Maps view like the one below!
2. You can become a part of Google’s 3-pack with Google My Business
If you’ve used Google’s local search results over the past few years, you’ve probably noticed that the only local listings to show above organic results in a first-page preview are in a limited 3-pack format. What most brands don’t know is that just by creating a free Google My Business listing, you boost your local rankings and odds of being included in Google’s local 3-pack.
The best part about being in the local 3-pack? Not only do these listings show users where your business is located on Google Maps, but they also show up high on the search results page—offering a major benefit to your impression share. To better demonstrate just how important this is from a business perspective, brands that show up on Google’s local 3-pack get a whopping 700% boost in clicks over brands that don’t.
3. Google My Business helps you build trust with customers
One of the biggest hurdles consumers face today is building enough trust with a business to confidently make a purchase. As a business owner, one of the simplest steps you can take to help with that is to provide them your location on Google My Business.
In fact, brands that show up on Google are almost 3 times more likely to be considered reputable by consumers.
This is due largely in part to the known legitimacy of the Google My Business verification process. Since it’s known businesses need to go through specific steps in order to show for a local search, Google is a trustworthy environment that users can rely on.
4. Google My Business ratings boost your appeal
90% of people read reviews before making a purchasing decision. With a Google My Business listing, customers will be able to review your business and leave feedback for others to see.
In doing this, not only will you get honest evaluations about what you’re doing right (or what you could be doing better) but you’ll also get that star rating system next to your business on Google.
Over time, you’ll start to collect more reviews and a higher overall rating (responding to reviews helps with this as well). This is especially helpful when you need to gain a competitive edge.
5. Google My Business can increase your traffic
A common challenge local businesses face is that of getting an increase in quality website traffic as well as in-store visits. While there’s no way to completely avoid the ups and downs throughout the year, having a Google My Business listing can greatly help boost your numbers across the board.
Just by having a listing and showing up in local searches, businesses on Google My Business are 70% more likely to attract potential customers for in-store location visits. Plus, your Google My Business listing can pull in up to 35% more clicks to your website. So, your local listing will grow your traffic in more ways than one—both on the web and on foot!
6. Google My Business can teach you more about your customers
It’s no secret that the more you know about your customers, the better you’ll be able to appeal to them. From your Google My Business page, navigating to the Insights section will give you a wealth of valuable analytics that breaks down how visible your brand is, who your target customers are, and how they’re engaging with your business.
This is a powerful way to gauge how your business is performing so you can zero in on what’s working. By learning more about the kinds of customers your business is attracting, you’ll also be able to modify and improve your marketing strategy performance.
7. A Google My Business profile helps you to rank higher in results
Just like all of us, Google has a job to do. While sometimes it may feel like it’s working against you, Google wants to tell customers about your business because it needs to provide searchers with valuable information. The more Google knows about your business, the higher it will rank you on the search engine and Maps results.
How do you get Google to favor your business more? By supplying quality, consistent, and accurate information. Your Google My Business profile is the best way to feed Google this information so that it can successfully meet your consumers’ search needs.
8. Google My Business can increase engagement with your brand
Google My Business profiles provide ample opportunities for engagement. Potential customers can access your website or call you with one tap or click. Even more beneficial is the ability to reserve a table or book an appointment directly through your listing.
9. Google My Business is essentially free advertising
Running a Google Ads campaign is a great way to get to the top of Google, but it can feel easier said than done once it comes time to maximize your Google Ads budget. The alternative is improving your SEO. But this method takes time and resources to build up your authority and ranking.
A Google My Business listing, on the other hand, offers a form of fast and free advertising on Google. Google My Business gives you targeted exposure on the world’s most trusted search engine–and it costs nothing. It takes less time to optimize your profile than to get a solid paid search campaign up and running. Plus, an accurate and updated listing is an essential component of successful local SEO.
This is not to say that you should not run Google Ads or build your SEO through your website—these are marketing strategies that are well worth your time and money. However, Google My Business is an additional marketing strategy that is cheaper than paid search advertising and faster than SEO—not to mention simpler than both.
10. Get ahead of your competition with Google My Business
Through a small snippet of content, your Google My Business description gives you an opportunity to stand out from your competitors in a consumer’s initial scan through search results. It displays a brief description to help users quickly identify if your business is what they’re looking for. An effective Google My Business description offers a snapshot of your business, includes relevant keywords, and depicts something unique or authentic to help you show your value.