More and more customers are turning to Google Search to find local businesses. To put this into numbers, nearly 90 percent of all search engine traffic goes through Google and 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information. It’s also believed that the first three listings on Google search receive 60 percent of all the clicks. This means earning a top spot on the first page of Google’s search results almost guarantees a swarm of new business – if your business isn’t showing, there’s a high chance it’s one of your competitors instead.
So how does a business help to ensure Google positions their listing in this most profitable area at the top? One of the leading factors is a free tool called Google My Business (GMB, formerly known as Google Places for Business). When someone searches for a local service, such as ‘plumbers in Wrexham’ or ‘takeaway Chester’, Google curates a list of local businesses that meet the requirements of the search term. The searcher can check business information and opening hours, look at photos of past work, read reviews and ultimately decide if that business is worth using/ worth ordering from.
GMB listings are a powerful way to increase search engine visibility and reach new customers looking for businesses in the local area. A well-optimised GMB listing is crucial in helping you to get in front of your customers before the competition; this is something we specialise in at Wrexham Tech.
This article explains what Google My Business is and how it can benefit your online profile in 2020 by improving your Google Map rankings, allowing you to control your online presence and helping you to generate more leads.
What Is Google My Business?
Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that allows local businesses to create a profile and control how their business’s information appears in Google search and on Google Maps.
With a GMB, you can display your opening hours and contact details, add photos, create compelling business descriptions and reply to reviews that customers leave on Google for your business. A GMB also offers free analytics which provides information on how people find your business online; this is super important in my opinion!
GMB is a platform that every local business owner should be aware of and using. The information submitted can appear in a number of different ways on the search engine. When a search is submitted on Google, just underneath the advertisement area, you’ll see the section in red commonly referred to as the ‘Local 3 Pack’ or ‘Map Pack’, and then the organic results in blue. But that’s not the only place that search is influenced by Local SEO. Searchers often use Google Maps to find local businesses (marked in green). Getting your business ranking in Google’s ‘Local 3 Pack’ or on the maps for your specific service will help attract local customers who are ready to buy.
Is Google My Business Free?
Yes, GMB is completely free. Google does not charge for business listings. Just like how the Google Maps app is free (this is the platform on which GMB listings appear). Anyone can add a place to Google Maps at no cost.
Can I Have Google My Business Without an Address?
Google requires that you enter a valid mailing address for your business.
Please note: Many businesses who offer local services such as locksmiths or mobile car mechanics may not have a valid business address or operate from multiple addresses. We’ve found a large amount of service area businesses (such as locksmiths and mobile car mechanics) that end up not creating a GMB account either because they don’t want their home address visible in Google, or because they don’t know which of the addresses they operate from to choose. This can become an impediment to prospective customers finding these businesses. We recommend that you use your home address instead. You can then conceal this address from searchers when setting up a Google My Business listing.
Google My Business Benefits In 2020
More people search for businesses online than anywhere else, so it’s important to make sure that your local business listing can be easily found on Google.co.uk and Google Maps. With GMB, creating a great listing takes just a few minutes and doesn’t cost a thing.
1) Edit your listing and speak for yourself – Your business probably already shows up on Google, but you should still verify your listing and make sure that its details are accurate and thorough. Your improvements will start appearing soon after you verify them through GMB.
2) The ability to collect and display reviews – Searchers are increasingly on the lookout for social proof that a business deserves their custom, and online reviews are one of the main methods of influence in 2020. Using GMB means that you can collect reviews from customers and demonstrate the quality of your products or services to potential customers.
3) Practical and easy to manage – Your Google local business listing is an easy way to maintain an online presence even if you don’t have a website. You can visit GMB anytime to edit your information or see how many people have seen and clicked on your listing.
4) Significantly improves local search results – One of the best ways to improve your business’ local search results is by creating a GMB listing. A listing also improves mobile search and visibility. With location settings enabled on mobile phones, searches made both near your business or within the local area can lead to your GMB profile. These listings dominate mobile search results and mobile users are more likely to choose from the first couple of results they see.
5) Premium options, all for free – Make your listing really shine with photos and videos; custom categories like your service area, brands that you sell and how to find parking; and coupons to encourage customers to make a first-time or repeat purchase.
6) Signing up for Google My Business is simple – If you own a business, you probably know the basics. You can add extras like photos and descriptions if you have them handy, or come back to add them later.
7) Understand and expand your presence – Find insights on how customers searched for your business, and where those customers are coming from. You can also find information like how many people called your business directly from the phone number displayed on local search results in Search and Maps.
If you are a business, you simply cannot ignore the benefits that Google My Business can bring to your local visibility in 2020. If you need help with your Google My Business listing, contact us today for some expert advice and guidance. You can either leave us a message, call us on 07514 818232 or email us at [email protected].