Boosting Local Business Exposure with Your Google My Business Listing
Published on 05 Nov by Melissa Itwar
Since its launch in 1998, Google has become a household name. In 2018, Google dominated 92.42% of the search engine market, making the information present in Google Search Results highly influential.
Google My Business, a part of the G-Suite of programs, is a powerful, free tool that enables business owners to control the information their audience sees in Google Search Results. While a keyword search in Google may yield a link to a specific page result, a well-optimized Google My Business listing can provide a full overview of everything you want the user to see, and attract those whose needs you meet to your website. The more information you provide in your Google My Business listing, the more often your listing will come up for related keywords and location-based searches.
Get Found in Google Maps
Current statistics show that almost half of all Google Search queries are location-based, making it even more important than ever to ensure your business appears in local search results. For mobile searches in particular, ⅓ of mobile searches are location-based, and 88% of users who performed a local search via mobile, such as “near me”, visited a related business within 24 hours. A verified, and fully-optimized Google My Business listing, which includes contact and location information, will provide Google with the information it needs to enable your business’ listing and web pages to appear in nearby searches ahead of other businesses. If you have multiple locations, you can create a unique listing for each of them, providing the opportunity for your business to appear in location-based searches in more than one service area.
Increase Brand Visibility
Businesses have the opportunity to rank in 2 places: organic search, and in the Google Maps 3-pack that appears in Google Search Results. Ideally, your business’s SEO strategy should be optimizing to rank for both organic and local search, but there are always factors that might cause a business to rank higher in one area than the other. For example, Google Search algorithm updates, like the recent BERT update, can often trigger search rank to drop based on new criteria. You may also be revamping your website’s SEO strategy, or implementing one for the very first time, in which case it can take some time to recover from a historically low rank.
With a properly optimized Google My Business listing, your business has the opportunity to appear in the Google Maps 3-pack for local searches, even if your website currently does not rank, or ranks well beyond page 1, thereby allowing you to still get found, build brand visibility, and drive website traffic as you work on boosting your organic search rank.
Boost Online Presence with a One-Page Site
If your business is relatively new, and you have yet to build a budget or vet a developer to build your website, creating and verifying a Google My Business listing allows you to still create an online presence with the One-Page Website Tool. Once you optimize your Google My Business Listing with all of the information you want your potential customers to have, you can create your website with a click of a button, and drag and drop to design your layout. Google’s One-Page Sites unfortunately offer only a single hyperlink, however, you can keep your Google My Business Site active even after your permanent website is launched, and use it to funnel website traffic there.
Put Your Best Foot Forward with Customer Reviews
From a consumer standpoint, spending money with a business you’ve never interacted with before can be daunting and anxiety-inducing, especially if the product or service they’re seeking requires a large investment. A HootSuite study found that 84% of consumers stated that a positive customer review has the same power to build their trust as a personal recommendation from a friend. Google My Business listings include a tool for acquiring and displaying reviews, which also contributes to increased search rank. The more positive reviews a business has, the higher they’ll appear in local search results, and the more likely they are to appear in the Maps 3-pack.
How to Fully Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
There are several sections of a Google My Business listing that are essential to complete in order to show Google - and potential customers - that your business is relevant to their search, and can accommodate their specific needs.
- Business Description & Short Name
- Service Offering
- Locations & Contact Information
- Photos & Posts
- Custom Q & A
- Service Areas
In order to compete with other businesses who offer similar products and services, and operate in the same service areas, it’s not enough to simply provide the above-mentioned information. The way you write this information is crucial to Google’s search criteria in order to rank well in search and 3-pack results, and ultimately your target market's discovery of your business. A BrightLocal Study stated that the average Google My Business listing receives more than 1000 monthly views, with 84% of those views coming from “discovery” searches - or long-tail, non-branded searches - which means carefully crafting the various sections of your listings with the right content is extremely important. This includes research into who your target market is to understand their search and purchase behaviours, and populating your Google My Business listing with content that not only meets current Google Search algorithm criteria, but also appeals to the users performing these searches, for the service areas in which you operate.
Build Better Brand Reputation with Google My Business Listings with Identity.Business
As we head into the holiday season, your Google My Business listing is even more important while consumers perform online research to find the perfect holiday gift. The question is, with the various business initiatives surrounding operations, technology, and marketing needed for a successful holiday season, do you have the time to invest in researching search behaviours and drafting content to build a Google My Business listing that outranks your competitors?
Xi Digital has launched Identity.Business - a digital marketing service where we build you robust and engaging Social Business Profiles, including your Google My Business listing. As Certified Google Partners, we have the tools and expertise to create content that ranks well in online searches, attracts customers and reviews, funnels qualified traffic to your website, and builds your brand authority. Why spread your business’ brain power thin this holiday season? Let us focus on what we do best, so you can focus on delivering exceptional experiences for your customers. Click to learn more about Identity.Business by Xi Digital and how we can help you get found for your most successful holiday season yet!