How Important is a Google My Business Account for My Business? | How Simple
Google My Business (GMB) is a free digital marketing and SEO tool designed to help marketers better reach their audiences across the Google ecosystem. Getting listed on GMB guarantees increased visibility on both Google Search and Google Maps and can also help with Google Plus and Knowledge Graph performance.
The following are the top reasons why you should consider using the tool as part of your digital marketing strategy.
#1: Display Useful Information
The main function of Google My Business is to display critical business information that can be immediately seen by searchers. These include your hours of operation, busy periods, directions, photos, phone number, and a description of your business.
This is pretty much all the information a searcher needs to know about to do business with you. From the business description, they know what you sell. From the directions, they learn where to find you. And with your contact information (which often includes the business’ phone number), they can contact you with ease.
#2: Appear in the Local “3 Pack”
When you search for something on Google, the first three items in the search results page are typically Google search ads. Then, below that, you’ll find a Google Map, then the local “3 Pack” and finally organic search results.
The local “3 Pack” is essentially a group of three local businesses deemed most relevant to the search query. If someone was searching for a hotel in Bentonville, the local “3 Pack” would contain three hotels from the area that Google feels best meet the search criteria.
The advantages of appearing in the local “3 Pack” include;
- Increases visibility: Everyone from the local area who searches products or services that you rank for is likely to see your business information, location, and offers.
- Each result (business) featured in the “3 Pack” will have its location, contact information, and business description clearly displayed just below the clickable blue title. This further boosts visibility.
- According to one HubSpot study, searchers are 10 times more likely to click on results in the local “3 Pack.”
The first step in claiming a spot in the local “3 Pack” is submitting your business to Google My Business. Without submitting your site to Google My Business, you can’t appear in the local “3 Pack.”
#3: Appear in Google Maps
Submitting your website to Google My Business is also beneficial as it helps you appear in Google Maps. Why do you want to appear in Maps? There are multiple reasons;
- Increases Conversions
Appearing in Maps for local searches gives consumers the information they need to find your physical store if they wish to. If the searcher finds out that your coffee shop is only half a mile away, they can decide to head there to have their coffee.
In fact, some studies show that more than 50% of local searchers who look up a business’ location on Google Maps end up making a purchase there the same day!
- Provides Directions
Another reason you want to appear in Google Maps is to give people directions. There could be local consumers out there who are genuinely interested in your products or services but who don’t know your location. Google Maps allows them to quickly find the shortest route to your store from wherever they might be.
- Increases Visibility
Finally, Google Maps is also good for visibility. Even if the searcher ends up not making a purchase or even seeking your location, they’ll get to see your business on the map. In business, that is very important. They will recall your brand in the future.
#4: Share Business Posts, Photos, and Videos
Google recently updated Google My Business to allow business owners using the platform to share business posts, photos, and videos. This gives you the opportunity to share updates on upcoming events and even product details and announcements.
Even better, the updates are shown in both Google Search and Google Maps so every searcher in your locality can see them! And you can have a clickable Call to Action (CTA) such as “Learn More” or “Visit” somewhere within your posts to encourage searchers to click on them. This is a massive marketing and branding opportunity that you cannot miss out on.
Text posts comprise between 150-300 characters, with the first 100 characters shown in the snippet. The posts have a lifespan of seven days. If choose to include images in your posts (highly recommended), keep in mind that all images are center-weighted.
Finally, if you choose to incorporate a video in there, remember that videos can be a maximum of 30 seconds long, a maximum of 100 mb in size, and have a resolution of at least 720 pixels. Also, it can take up to 24 hours before the video is made available in Google Maps and Google Search results.
Aside from sharing your business information, appearing in both the local “3 Pack” and Google Maps, and being able to share your business posts, photos, and videos, Google My Business also benefits small and mid-sized businesses in the following ways;
- Share “Offer Posts”
We’ve already mentioned normal posts. But, GMB also gives you the chance to share special business promotions through a dedicated Offer Posts feature. An offer post includes: the title of the promotion, start and end dates and times, a CTA, a coupon code, a link, terms and conditions, and relevant photos and videos.
- Share Your Menus
If you run a hotel or restaurant, you’ll be pleased to hear that Google My Business also allows you to “advertise” your menus free of charge, right within the results page! You can add and edit menu titles, descriptions, and prices. You can also break up the menu into sections such as entrees, desserts, and appetizers.
- Find Heat Map Insights
So, people are requesting directions to your physical location. Good. But, where are these people located? You certainly would want to know this so you can make plans to market yourself more in these locations. Guess what? GMB gives businesses heat maps pointing at areas where your direction requests are coming from.
- Call Tracking Is Now Possible
In the early days of Google My Business, there was a problem with call tracking. Businesses couldn’t easily pinpoint where their calls were coming from. That problem is now solved. Google My Business has added a functionality that will tell you where each call is coming from and whether it’s indeed coming from GMB and not AdWords.
- Chat With Clients
Yes, you can now chat right within the search results page! If the consumer is interested, they can send you a message while still on the search results page and you’re able to reply and strike up a conversation right away. However, you must turn on this capability within your Google My Business dashboard to begin receiving messages.
We Can Help
Simplemachine is the preferred digital marketing partner in Bentonville AR, Dallas TX, and Tulsa OK. We can help you submit your site to and optimize your presence on Google My Business. Contact us today at 877-524-6325 to learn more.