In today’s hyper-competitive digital landscape, building your online presence is crucial to getting noticed. And when it comes to attracting potential customers, boosting your visibility within local searches can quickly put you ahead of the pack.
In fact, it’s estimated that nearly half of all Google searches are people looking for local information. Not only that, but 88% of searches for local businesses on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours.
With more people using area-specific terms to search for businesses online, it makes sense to optimise your online presence accordingly. One of the best ways to do this is with a Google My Business listing.
What exactly is a Google My Business listing?
Google My Business is a free tool to manage your online presence across Google, including search results and Maps. A Google My Business (GMB) listing is an online overview of your business including information such as:
- Your website
- Your contact details
- Photos and videos of your business’ products or services
- Category-specific features like menus, product catalogues and amenities
You’ll probably recognise the layout of a typical GMB listing:
Claiming your Google My Business listing allows you to take control of the information people see when they search for your business. It also increases the likelihood your business will pop up in search results when someone in your area searches for your products or services.
Why you need a Google My Business listing
As we touched on, having a Google My Business listing is invaluable for building your online visibility, especially with potential customers in your area. But that’s not the only benefit. There are lots of reasons why GMB is a great tool for businesses:
1. Appear in ‘Local 3-Pack’ results
Google’s 3-Pack shows three local businesses related to a search query. For example, if a person searched for “plumbers near me”, the Google 3-Pack would display three plumbing businesses near that person’s location. Here’s an example:
Businesses that appear in Google’s 3-Pack receive a 700% boost in clicks over businesses that don’t.
2. Build trust with potential customers
When you have a Google My Business listing, customers can leave reviews that other people will see any time your business pops up in search results. Not only does this enable you to collect valuable feedback about your business, but it also helps prove your credibility and trustworthiness to potential customers.
3. Rank higher in search results
Google’s algorithm loves accurate, up-to-date information. The more context and information you can provide about your business through your GMB listing, the higher you’re likely to rank in search results.
4. Drive qualified leads to your business
Because Google My Business helps people find relevant businesses in their area, anyone who finds your business via your GMB listing is specifically looking for your products or services in your location (rather than on the other side of the globe). This means people clicking through to your website or contacting you after seeing your GMB listing are more likely to become paying customers.
How to optimise your Google My Business listing
So, how do you make sure your Google My Business listing is set up to deliver the biggest benefits for your business?
Follow these tips:
- Claim your business on Google and make sure it’s verified.
- Fill in as much information as you can about your business.
- Update your listing regularly with engaging content like photos, videos and special offers.
- Encourage customers to leave reviews.
- Build trust by responding to reviews.
Need help keeping everything up-to-date? White Pages Connect is a streamlined tool that gives you a single point of control to manage your business details across Google, search engines, social media sites, apps and maps — everywhere your customers are searching or talking about you. Find out more here.