8 Google My Business Benefits for Small Businesses
The days of reaching for the phonebook whenever you need a plumber are long gone. Today, the Yellow Pages have moved online, and it’s no longer a perk to list your business in an online directory — today, that’s a necessity.
By now, you’ve surely entertained the idea of getting your business information online so more people can find you. One of the first steps is setting up a Google My Business account and creating a listing for your company. If you do it well, it can be a real game-changer for your business.
To help you understand the Google My Business benefits, we will go through the basics and explain all the perks in real-life numbers.
What is Google My Business?
In the simplest of terms, Google My Business (a.k.a. GMB) is like a digital version of the Yellow Pages you remember from back in the day. GMB is an online business directory that makes it easier for clients to find you on Google, but it also helps you reach potential customers that wouldn’t otherwise know how to find you.
GMB is free to use, and it allows your business listing to show up in search results together with other local businesses in your industry whenever a person is looking for your business name or one of your services. One of the undeniable benefits of Google My Business is that it features all your vital information in one place — your phone number, website, address, review ratings, working hours, and more — all displayed on one easy screen for potential customers.
Why Does Your Small Business Need a Google My Business Listing?
Whether you have been in business for decades or several months, you have surely come across the phrase Google My Business by now. You might think it is not worth your time or that the effort might not justify the ROI. In a rapidly advancing digital world, each and every effort counts. Especially when it is the right effort. So, if you are wondering whether Google My Business is still relevant in 2022, here is the answer. We will let the statistics speak for themselves!
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8 Google My Business Benefits for Small Businesses
Despite those jaw-dropping statistics, many small businesses are still missing out on the importance of Google My Business. So, let’s examine the specifics of how a GMB strategy can benefit your small business, both in the short and long term. Check out these eight Google My Business benefits and how they can help boost your online visibility and sales!
1. You show up in Google Maps searches
One of the most efficient yet underestimated sources of leads for small businesses is Google Maps. While it takes seconds to do a quick Google search and narrow down your options, a staggering 86% of people would use Google Maps to locate nearby businesses. When it’s easier for customers to find you on the map, it’s much more convenient for them to reach out to your company, make a visit to your store/office, and for you to make that sale.
Plus, people who find a business through their GMB listing are up to 50% more likely to convert into paying customers. Simply by creating a listing on Google My Business and completing the necessary steps, your business location will start to pop up in Maps for local searches as well.
If, for example, you have an appliance repair store, a GMB account will allow your company to show up for related searches in Google Maps like this:
2. You can appear at the 3-pack listing that shows up at the top of Google search results for local searches
The problem with first-page results for local searches on Google is that it has become increasingly crowded over the last few years. Today, you have paid ads at the top, then is the so-called local pack of nearby business listings, and then you have organic results. While users can expand the local pack and see all listings, the first-page preview only shows the top 3 listings. If you’re not on them, people likely won’t find you.
What many business owners don’t know is that just by setting up a free GMB listing, they can boost their local rankings and the odds of being featured in Google’s local 3-pack.
The best part about being in the local 3-pack? It not only shows your business location on Google Maps, but it also shows up high on the search results page, which is the first place users look for results. Not only that, but it can also link to your website or a phone number they can immediately call and reach out to you. This is one of the undeniable benefits of Google My Business — it offers a direct line to your customers.
To put things into perspective, the top three listings that are featured in the local 3-pack get a whopping 700% more clicks compared to those outside of the 3-pack.
3. It helps you build trust with customers
Any business owner knows that the key to long-term success is customer loyalty. Loyalty comes from trust, and trust comes from being a transparent and dependable provider. GMB lets you list all important details about your business that a potential customer would need to know before choosing you or moving on to another company.
In addition to your location, working hours, services, and contact details, GMB also features online reviews that your past customers have left. Nothing builds trust like customer reviews in 2022. What is more, businesses that show up on Google are up to three times more likely to be considered trustworthy and reputable by consumers.
Since Google verifies listings to ensure their legitimacy, people rely on it to show dependable results for local searches.
4. Google My Business ratings boost your company appeal
The range of Google My Business benefits does not end with helping you show up in front of more people. It also impacts how you show up in front of people.
More than 90% of users read online reviews before making a purchasing decision. With a well-maintained Google My Business listing, people will be able to review your company and decide if they want to hire you on the spot. They will also be able to leave feedback for others to see.
By doing this, you will receive honest evaluations of your work (what you’re doing right and where you can improve). You will also have a star rating system next to your business on Google that will show the average evaluation your customers give you. Over time, as you start to collect more reviews, you will be able to get a higher overall rating (you need to respond to reviews to help with this as well). This simple yet often neglected aspect of managing your online presence can help you gain a competitive edge with little effort.
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5. It can boost your traffic
One of the main reasons small businesses decide to invest in digital marketing is to get quality traffic to their website so they can get more leads and sales. While there is no way to permanently avoid the ups and downs throughout the year, with a GMB listing, you can immensely help your case.
GMB is a proven method to boost your traffic numbers. Statistics show that just by having a GMB listing and appearing in local searches, businesses are 70% more likely to attract potential customers. Plus, companies with a GMB listing can get up to 35% more clicks to visit your website! In other words, the importance of Google My Business spans beyond increasing your online visibility — it translates into more leads for your business.
6. It can teach you a lot about your customers
One of the best parts about why Google My Business is so important is that it offers you insights into how customers interact with your business. You can easily access that information from your GMB page by going to the Insights section. There, you can see an array of available analytics ranging from how visible your business is, how they’re engaging with your company, the queries people used to find you, and who your target customers are.
By analyzing your analytics, you can focus on what’s working and understand what isn’t as successful — helping you to grow. In learning the types of customers your company is attracting online, you will be able to adjust and improve your marketing strategy to better capture those leads and reduce your bounce rates.
7. A Google My Business listing ensures online consistency
In 2022, one thing’s for sure — people want to stay connected with the businesses they use. It is the best way to keep them informed and educated about any news and changes about your business.
In fact, one of the seven things that can discourage customers from working with you is if they can’t find your contact information instantly. GMB helps you display that for everyone to see without people having to go through your website to find it. There’s even a “Call” button that lets them call you whenever they want – straight from your listing.
8. Google My Business can help boost your SEO
Although it may not be as efficient for organic SEO, a Google My Business listing can significantly, albeit indirectly, help your local SEO, which, if you are a small business owner with location-based services, is a win-win.
According to Google, local search result rankings are based on “relevance, distance, and prominence.” By optimizing your Google My Business profile, getting to the local 3-pack, and putting your business at the top of search results, you will be ticking all three boxes that Google values.
GMB and Covid-19: Why The Pandemic Has Changed The Game
Years from now, history and business books will divide global economy into two periods — before Covid-19 and after it. The pandemic didn’t just close down businesses, but it also made it extremely difficult for those that survived to stay afloat. That’s when digital marketing and Google My Business, in particular, became extremely important. In many cases, they made the difference between the companies that thrived and the businesses that failed.
Previously, it may have been fairly easy to predict business hours, but with the constantly changing health and economic landscape today, things aren’t as simple. Therefore, business owners need to be able to communicate any changes in their working hours, health protocols, and important announcements to their customers as soon as possible. This is where one of the most important Google My Business benefits comes in.
Since Google is the first place customers turn to when they need information about your business, it’s crucial not only to have a GMB listing but to also update it frequently. So the answer to why Google My Business is important is really simple — it is the first point of contact between you and your customers in a vastly growing digital landscape.
You can easily update your operating schedule on the GMB panel, and you have 750 characters to write an update about how your business has adjusted to the challenges of the pandemic, as well as what sanitary measures you’re taking to protect the health of your customers.
Master GMB For Better Business In 2022 and Beyond
Underestimating the importance of GMB in 2022 and beyond can cost you leads. A lot of leads! A recent Google report made an interesting find — about 60% of smartphone users end up contacting a business directly from their GMB listing, using the click-to-call button. GMB is not going anywhere. If anything, it’s strengthening its position as the majority of people use it to contact local businesses.
What is more, a study by Whitespark found how GMB has risen in importance in recent years, and has become one of the most influential ranking factors today.
GMB and other ranking factors changes over time
The aftermath of the pandemic has made it increasingly important for businesses to utilize every available resource that can get them more customers. Think of your GMB panel as the first place potential customers will see you. If you don’t update your business hours, service list, and other crucial information, you appear less credible to people and can easily lose their trust. In turn, this can cost you many lead conversions.
Yes, you can still do business with offline advertising. But you can make THAT much more money if you invest in SEO and digital marketing and set up a Google My Business account. The road to success is pretty straightforward if you follow the advice above.
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