“The world searches through Google.” At least, that’s what Google says. And while that might just be a clever marketing tagline, the fact is, it’s true. According to some statistics, 80% of all desktop search traffic is conducted through Google.
This includes over 1 billion unique searches for hotels, over 5 billion searches for restaurants and 1 billion searches for clothing shops.
Amongst all this online traffic, how can your small business create an online presence that will attract potential customers? Put simply, you need to have a business listing that is optimised for local traffic.
This is why Google My Business is important for any small business.
What Is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free tool that has been designed by Google to help businesses manage their online presence across multiple Google platforms (including Search and Maps).
Once you’ve verified your business listing, you’ll be able to add useful information such as opening hours, contact details and even photos.
But if you’re new to Google My Business, you may be wondering why this is necessary…especially if you already have a business website and social media pages. The fact is, Google My Business is important for 5 key reasons:
5 Reasons Why Google My Business Is Important
Google Rankings: An up-to-date Google My Business account will help your business to achieve higher rankings within Google searches. If someone googles your business name, then your Google My Business listing will appear at the top right of the search listings, making it easier for customers to find you.
Optimise Your Business for Local SEO: If someone conducts a more generic search through Google (e.g. ‘plumber near me’) then the list of search results will begin with a map showing three relevant businesses within the local search area. These businesses aren’t selected at random – the results are based on who has current Google My Business listings. In this way, Google is effectively promoting your business as one of the best local options.
Provide Business Information: Having a Google My Business listing enables customers to immediately receive key information relating to your business. This could include your company name, address, phone number and opening hours, as well as a link to your website.
Encourage Customer Feedback: A Google My Business listing allows customers to leave reviews for your business, providing you with valuable feedback. And the ability to respond to reviews presents your business with fantastic opportunities to engage with customers on a one-on-one level.
Display Images: Google data shows that a business listing with images has a 35% higher click-through rate than a business without images. Additionally, Google My Business listings with photos are 42% more likely to result in follow up searches requesting driving directions to the business address.
Simply put, a free Google My Business listing will boost your Google rankings, increase local search traffic and drive customer engagement.
It’s an essential tool that every small business needs to include in their overall marketing strategy.