If you’re a business without an online presence . . . well, you likely won’t be in business for long. But, of course, you likely already know this since you’re reading a blog on local online marketing.
But let’s quickly look at some of the statistics that back up that statement before we present a simple way that you can leverage this to get potentially up to 30% more traffic to your website courtesy of Google and a little local SEO.
Four out of 5 consumers use search engines to find local information. This is from a survey conducted late last year by Google. We’re not talking about looking for the stuff they buy at Amazon. We’re talking about information on products and services that they intend to buy locally. Anything from restaurants to cleaning services to high end jewelry and financial advice. If something is being sold locally, consumers are searching for it online.
They’re using desktops, smartphones, tablets, and pretty much anything else that’s connected to the Internet – with mobile usage climbing every day.
In fact, according to the study, 50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store that same day. And we’ve seen other research suggesting this number is as high as 70%.
What are consumers looking for?
The most common information being searched for are a business’ hours of operation, address, and a simple way of getting directions.
And guess what? A complete and verified Google My Business page provides all of that and much more.
Google’s research showed that consumers are more engaged and have much more trust in a business that has a complete listing on the platform. 78% said that the business was more likely to be viewed as well established. And almost 200% more likely to be a “place they could depend on”. There’s much more to the research but the bottom line was Google concluded that a complete and verified Google My Business page led to about 30% more click throughs from that page to the business’ website.
And here’s the great news (for you). Less than 40% of businesses have even CLAIMED their listing on Google, let alone ensured that it’s complete and well written.
If you’re not familiar with Google My Business (GMB from now on), perhaps you’re familiar with it under its previous names of Google Places or Google Plus Local. While the name has changed over the past few years, the platform has continued to evolve in a very positive way. GMB pages cost absolutely nothing to create, although you might be wise to utilize the services of a company like Crush My Market to make sure your page is complete, verified, and follows all of the ever-changing Google guidelines.
You can have a GMB page for any business, brand, artist, organization, etc. But for our purpose, we’ll focus on the local aspect. Still, there are a couple of options to consider.
To have a GMB page that will show up in local search results and in Google Maps, you have to sell a product or service face to face to consumers. You can’t have a GMB local page if you’re strictly an e-commerce company. And if you provide your product or service at your customer’s location, or otherwise do not maintain normal business hours at your own location, than you’re also defined as a “service area business” which basically means you need to hide your address when the page is setup. Google doesn’t want people just showing up at a business if people aren’t there. That looks bad for Google (and the business).
Here’s a list of everything you can include on a GMB page:
- Business name
- Phone number
- Email address
- Business hours
- A text introduction to the business
- Posts (similar to other social networks)
- Videos (with YouTube integration)
- Reviews from customers
- Images of your business and team members
- Google Business View virtual tour
There’s absolutely no reason why a business doesn’t have a Google My Business page. It’s one of the easiest ways of getting new leads and customers to your business. And it provides great help to your existing customers who are looking up information on the business to make additional purchases or service requests.
If you don’t have a Google My Business page, I highly encourage you to get one today. And if you do, I’m sure there’s more you can do to make it complete and even more valuable to your current and future customers.