As small to medium sized business owners there are limited resources available and there are daily struggles faced that are inevitable; however, the goal remains the same. These struggles can range from financing to time management to marketing costs and access to new technology. Therefore, it is important to take advantage and leverage on any available resources.
In addition, businesses also have to keep up with the ever-evolving digital and technological world, when it comes to marketing there has been a huge transformation from traditional marketing to digital as it has proven to have sustainable competitive advantage.
Google my business is one of the most easily accessible, free and beneficial marketing platforms for any business whether it be a small to medium-sized business or even a large corporation. It serves as a platform and business tool to help manage the online presence of businesses across the google suite of websites; therefore, as the internet continues to grow it is increasingly important for businesses to carve a niche for themselves and have their footprint online.
Having a Google My Business listing is one of the easiest ways to do this and it also helps to make a business’ website perform at its best so as to get the desired result. A Google My Business listing has the opening hours, contact information, and address of the business, without the need for someone to click through to the business’ website and go looking. Put simply, it allows potential customers to more easily find and contact businesses. Below are important benefits of a Google My Business listing, for businesses:
1. Improves Local Search Visibility
When consumers search for a business, proximity to the location is very important and a quick Google search helps narrow down those options as Google uses one’s location to show the most related results. Whether searching for local salons or a popular spot to get some sushi, Google Maps efficiently populates with dozens of red markers, each indicating a local business that meets the search criteria and with a Google My Business listing, one’s business instantly appears in local search results.
This is a great benefit that allows users to see how close a business is to their location; thereby, increasing the likelihood that they’ll pay a visit and patronize.
As Google continuously includes more and more local results and map listings into search results, smart business owners need to focus their marketing time and efforts to optimize and promote these listings.
The first step is to simply create a Google My Business listing and complete the verification steps, so as to have your business location and service offerings appear in local searches.
2. Businesses Own and Control Their Information
With a Google My Business listing, a business is able to tailor the information that is shared on the world’s biggest search engine platform- Google. A GMB listing helps businesses to tailor their information to better suit their desired target audience; thereby, owning their information and sharing the appropriate content while promoting said content, products and/or service offerings.
Google My Business listings also allow businesses post links to
information, events and articles about their business. This helps a business differentiate itself in its immediate community and industry, and businesses have the opportunity to effectively and efficiently own& control their brand identity, image and voice.
3. Helps Improve the Search Engine Optimization
As a business owner, you have probably heard the acronym SEO used by marketers and wondered what exactly it is and how to go about it. In simple words, SEO is the process of growing the quality and quantity of a website’s traffic by increasing the visibility of the website or a web page to users of a web search engine- it is the improvement of unpaid results and excludes direct traffic and the purchase of paid placement.
A Google My Business listing is essential for Local SEO as it enables one’s business listing appear in local search results for queries specific to the products or services offered. Even broad queries with large search volumes display local results in the three-pack, and this is something small business owners can capitalise on. Another challenge local business’ face is that of maintaining an increase in quality website traffic and keeping a steady supply of foot traffic filtering through their doors. While there’s no way to completely avoid the ups and downs throughout the year, having a Google My Business listing can greatly help boost a business’ numbers across the board.
This also serves as a form of free google advertising as you get targeted exposure on the world’s most trusted search engine, it costs nothing to create, claim, and verify your listing. It takes less time to optimize your profile than to get a solid paid search campaign up and running. You will also see results more quickly than with building up your organic search results through website pages over time.
4. Helps Businesses Connect with Existing and Potential Customers
Google My Business profiles provide ample opportunities for engagement from as little as giving potential customers easy access to a business’ website or contact information in one tap or click. Even more beneficial is the ability to reserve a table or book an appointment directly through a GMB listing. With a Google My Business listing, customers will be able to review a business and leave feedback for others to see. In doing this, not only does a business get honest evaluations about what they’re doing right and what can be improved on, but they also get that infinity star rating system next to their business on Google.
As long as a business is delivering quality products and experience, over time, it’ll start to collect more reviews and a higher overall rating (responding to reviews helps with this as well). This is especially helpful when there are competing businesses nearby so as to have a competitive edge. High-quality, positive reviews from customers will improve a business’ visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit the business. The Google My Business platform enables local businesses to learn even more about their customers by including a lot of extra analytics data that other platforms can’t provide.
An example is the access to information Google Maps provide, in which businesses can know where requests for driving directions to their business originates from. This might be useful information that can help businesses target new customers in the area, or potentially target a new suburb to expand into as their business grows.
5. Helps Collect Data
No matter what kind of product or service a business offers, it is important to know about one’s customers so as to better appeal to them. The insights section of a Google My Business page gives a wealth of valuable analytics that breaks down how visible one’s brand is, who one’s target customers are, and how they’re engaging with the business.
This is a powerful way to gauge how one’s business is performing throughout the year so as to better zero in on what’s working and what’s not. By learning more about the kind of customers one’s business attracts, the business is better able to modify and improve its marketing strategy performance. Businesses can obtain detailed reports and analytics data.
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In conclusion, the more Google likes a business, the higher it will rank it in its Search and Maps results. How do you get Google to like a business more? By supplying quality, consistent, and accurate information. The more Google can tell consumers about a business, the more it will like it. Your Google My Business profile is the best way to feed Google this information and it is all free.