Google My Business. Optional or Integral?
Though it’s been around for ages, Google My Business hasn’t always been an integral part of a businesses online presence. If they use it at all, many businesses fill in the bare minimum of detail, along with just one photo, treating it as the last step on a long checklist of “places to be seen”, like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
But now, GMB has become an essential component for online success. Especially during the age of COVID-19, it’s often the first place that potential customers look for updated information about your company.
When a potential customer wants to phone you, find out about your opening hours, check out what area you’re in, or find out what other customers have been saying about you, the first thing they’re going to do is Google your company’s name and check the right hand panel. If the information they need is not there, their impression of your business is already impacted, and they may choose to go elsewhere.
So Why is GMB so Important?
Because it’s the first thing a customer sees when they search for your business, there are many benefits to a properly optimised GMB profile:
- A complete GMB listing can greatly improve your local SEO ranking.
- It gives a good first impression to potential customers customers who can easily see your company’s essential information on the right-hand side of the search engine
- With Google Maps integration, it becomes much easier for customers to find your company
- Searchers can send messages directly to your business phone or email via GMB
- Customer reviews are visibly displayed under your profile, boosting your businesses social credibility.
With the popularity of crowd-sourced review apps declining, many customers are turning to GMB to source opinions of local businesses, rather than other platforms.
Add to all of these benefits, the fact that a report by Google found that 60% of smartphone users used GMB’s click-to-call functionally to directly contact local businesses, and it’s easy to see why GMB has become a vital component of a business’s online presence.
With the vast majority of customers utilising it as their primary form of communication with local businesses, GMB has become even more important in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. It’s more important than ever to use and optimise Google My Business to display accurate, up-to-date information about your company. Consider your GMB panel to be the initial point of contact for your customers. If your company hours or description are out of current, you risk losing a customer’s trust and losing out on the relationship’s lifetime worth.
Important Google My Business Stats
Businesses receive 943 monthly Search views and 317 monthly Maps views on average?
This data from a BrightLocal research of 45,000 anonymous business listings in 2019 demonstrates that localised content has a big chance of getting more views, clicks, and actions.
You may get data on how many people viewed your listing and engaged by using Google My Business Insights.
Does Google My Business Actually Contribute to SEO?
Yes, it does – at least . It can assist in a variety of ways.
A verified and optimised Google My Business page not only increases your chances of appearing in the local 3-pack, putting your business at the top of search results, but it can also help your website rank indirectly.
This is accomplished through giving Google social signals, boosting traffic to your website, and offering social proof in the form of reviews.
Local search results are based on “relevance, distance, and prominence,” according to Google.
- Relevance: How well a listing matches the searcher’s aim.
- Distance: Google matches searchers with verified companies in their immediate vicinity.
- Prominence: refers to how well-known your company is.
How to Optimise Your GMB Profile
If you need to update your company hours, make sure your GMB profile matches the new hours. This manner, if a consumer complains that you’re not open when you used to be, you’ll have a reference point. Your clients will be advised of any changes to your hours via orange text that displays in your GMB panel.
While you’re at it, add a word or two to your company’s description on how you’ve taken steps to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Be as precise as possible. Mention that you exclusively accept contactless payments if that’s the case. Mention whether you’ve recently increased your cleaning routine. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to create trust with your consumers and soothe their anxieties by using Google My Business.
After that, make sure your company’s photographs are up to date on a regular basis.
Make sure your company is properly classified for a better local rating. Navigate to the “Primary Category” box in your GMB control panel and select the category that most describes your business, as well as adding a secondary category if necessary.
Having an accurate, well-optimised Google My Business listing can help your local search rankings significantly. Your GMB panel is often one of the first points of interaction between you and your customer, and we all know how important first impressions are.
If you need help getting and keeping your Google My Business page up to speed, give us a call. We’d be happy to look at it for you, and help you incorporate it into your SEO strategy and practice.