I grew up in a world before Google. You may remember what that world looked like too. I seem to recall whenever my parents wanted a nice restaurant, a plumber, or any other service, they would look it up in the thick, bulky yellow covered book called “The Yellow Pages”.
Thankfully, we live in times where it is more common to use a search engine for all your queries without having to rely on a weighty-business directory.
Now, rather than your customers having to thumb through the yellow pages, they can use a more effective tool, called Google My Business.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is free and enables companies, even those without an authoritative “presence on the web to be included in and manage how they appear on Google Search and Maps”. Google My Business lists your company name, address, and opening times, and more.
It also allows you to survey and respond to customer reviews, gain insights on how and where your prospects are searching for you, and also share updates and photos. Here are 9 advantages of using Google My Business.
1) Increased Click-Through Rate
Since its launch in 2014, more businesses from different industries are using Google My Business. BrightLocal.com explored Google My Business trends in 36 different industries located across 4 different countries.
BrightLocal.com compared trends of Google My Business use in 2017 to Google My Business use in 2018. They discovered that in 2018, there were 38% more direct searches and 6% more discovery searches. They also found that companies that used this tool received a 29% more click-through rate to their website in addition to receiving 22% more calls from customers.
2) Greater Visibility
Among the many advantages of listing your company on Google Business is it boosts your ranking on a Search Engine Results Page. When prospects perform a search, your business will be among the first results.
Google My Business listings typically appear just below the Google Adwords advertisements. The next thing that your prospects will see is a map with local results often called a 3-pack. These will be among the first organic results.
So what factors are involved in local pack rankings? Local ranking factor industry research shows that Google My Business signals are among the most crucial factors for local pack rankings. Bright Local research cited in Moz.com shows that “Google My Business signals had a significant increase in ranking importance between 2017 and 2018 — rising from 19% to 25%”.
3) Google Reviews
Google allows your business to prove its worth. Any prospect can go online and find positive reviews which will help to persuade them to make a purchasing decision.
The business that takes the initiative and implements Google Reviews “puts them in the position to rank higher in local search results”. So if your injury law firm provides customers with a better experience, it's likely to outperform the Goliaths of this world who have offices across the country.
Research shows that “90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business’. Google Reviews also generates trust, with 88% of consumers trusting online reviews as much as they do a friend or family members' recommendation.
4) Cost Effective
As we have mentioned, Google My Business is a free platform for listing your business on the largest search engine with +5 Billion searches each day. For owners of a small company starting its journey or a business with a tight budget, Google My Business is a better choice than other industry business directories, where there is a fixed monthly or annual fee.
5) Booking a Meeting
One of my favorite things about Google My Business is the Booking Button feature. In an increasingly competitive niche market, this feature will differentiate your business from the crowd. Your customers crave a touch-of-button rapid service. The booking button feature enables your customers to book a direct appointment, which means they won't have to call you, and you won't miss their voicemail.
Did you know that Google My Business offers you a text messaging feature to connect with your customers and prospects?
Google's text messaging feature enables you to connect directly with your customers and prospects. People are waiting to hear from you who have an interest in your services and products; texting is an opportunity to connect directly to them!
Bare it in mind that if you want to boost your ranking on search results, Google monitors engagement and focuses on businesses that create outstanding experiences for their customers.
7) Questions and Answers
Google's Q&A feature is a fantastic tool for you to hear from the people your business cares most about; your customers! Q&A allows you to answer customer questions about your services, give customers’ directions, and respond to any other queries they have. So how do you know and directly respond when your customers ask a question? Google has recently added email notification letting you know when a customer has sent you a question.
A forward-thinking idea from Moz.com is to add a selection of Frequently Asked Questions. To implement this, ask your sales or customer service team to record questions that customers most commonly ask, and add these to your GMB account.
Google My Business used to offer only categories, which weren't always adequate for describing a niche business. For example, if you were an injury law firm, 'law' is only a generic term, and won't describe the specialist services you offer. This problem is now a thing of the past with descriptions.
Google My Business gives you 750 characters (minus 250 characters for the "Read More" separator) and 3,000 categories to describe your business, your services, and product offerings.
9) Google Posts
In 2018, Google introduced Google Posts, a feature that enables business owners to post promotional offers. For example, an end of season offer on products or a limited offer on services. The advantage is this feature is free on Google My Business, why pay for Pay-Per-Click Ads if you don't need them?
To find out how to compose a post that will wow your customers' click here!
Google My Business: why its importance keeps on growing?
Google My Business is an essential tool for any business. And it doesn't matter how big or small your company is. Google's business directory is for every type of organization in any industry. Your customers need and want direct contact with you! Google My Business also makes it easier to make your customers' feel special.
They can directly book an appointment with you, ask for directions, and leave a positive review, which in turn boosts engagement and interest. Another advantage of a Google My Business listing is that your business will appear near the top of a results page, increasing the opportunity to generate more revenue.
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Jonathan Gordon is the chief writer and PR liaison for an HR firm. His passions are creating inspiring and engaging content. Jonathan has a love for learning about new industries and acquiring new skills. Jonathan is also a trained classical and jazz pianist and loves meeting new people and is open to new experiences.