Why Google My Business is Important for your Business
As a business owner you have so many things on your plate - your products or services, marketing, your website, employees, bookkeeping… we get it! So bear with us when you tell you that (if you haven’t already) you need to add a Google My Business listing to your list of “to-do’s”. Especially if you are a local business, have a physical store or office location, or service a certain area!
Stick with us for a few minutes - we’re going to tell you why we think you need to add Google My Business to your business’ arsenal, and how it will benefit you!
First up, what is Google My Business?
Google only exists because people use it to search for things they need/want. So, if they don’t make it as easy as possible for this to occur, people will use a different search engine, right? Ok - so Google My Business is Google’s answer to convenience for people searching for a product, service or business that is local to them. They developed Google My Business to make it easier for searchers to get the information they need, whether it be contact details, directions, or opening hours, without having to click through to a website and search (again) for it.
From a businesses’ perspective, it’s a free tool for business owners to use to manage their online presence across the Google suite of websites, including Google Search, Mobile Search, Local Search and Google Maps. It allows you to create, verify, and edit a business listing in Google - arguably the world’s biggest search engine.
So why do you need a listing?
1. Your Audience is Using It
Considering that 46% of all searches on Google are seeking local information, you can bet some of those people are your people. So if they’re using Google to find a local business or product, and you don’t have a Google listing, then quite simply, you won’t be found! We reckon that’s pretty good motivation hey?
If someone is searching for your business name specifically, then they are already aware of your brand - TICK! And if you have a full Google My Business listing displaying in the results, then they’ll quickly and easily be able to find your address, phone number or opening hours without having to go to your website. One less click = more convenience for your customer!
If they are using a more generic search phrase like “hair salons near me” or “local electrician”, each search result will get a “three-pack” result of local businesses that appears above the standard organic listings. These are pulled from Google My Business, and setting up your listing can be enough to get you featured in a three-pack, and as a result, introduce your brand to people who may not have heard about you already.
For this reason alone we reckon it’s worth the time and effort it takes to set up a listing. But if you’re still not convinced, here are a few other benefits for you to consider!
2. It’s Free
That’s right - besides the cost of the time it takes to set it up, verify it and optimise it, your Google My Business listing is a FREE tool offered by Google.
3. Information Consistency
Ever seen a business listing online where their opening hours are wrong? Or the web address is incorrect? Annoying isn’t it?
If you set up - and manage - your own listing (rather than letting the public add information on your behalf, which they can do with Google), then you can make sure your information is a) correct, and b) consistent with information you putting online in other places.
4. Better First Impressions
With Google My Business, you can upload your own photos and videos (of product, staff, shop front etc). You will then have full control over what images prospective clients see when they encounter your business for the first time online, and in turn make a better first impression!
5. Gain Instant Trust
Google allows searchers to submit reviews of businesses, and these display in your search result listing. By gaining top-notch reviews, and displaying this to prospective clients, you gain that notorious trust factor - or social proof - that other searchers look for when they’re deciding whether or not to use a business for the first time.
6. Customer Engagement
You can use the tool’s posting feature to communicate announcements, events, promotions and offers to your customers, which will help keep you top of mind with customers new and old. You can also include a call to action - like a “Call Now” button or a link to your website - to make it easier for customers to contact you.
7. Learn More About Your Customers
Google My Business has an Insights tool which shows you customer data that you wouldn’t find elsewhere. For example - it can show you how many customers got directions to your business through your listing and Google Maps. It can then also show you where those people are requesting directions from, so it could highlight a new suburb for you to target. Any customer data you can get your hands on is worthwhile!
8. It’s For Everyone
Google My Business can be used by pretty much any business, big or small. So it can help put you on a more even playing field with the big boys in your industry.
Not sure where to start? Check out Hubspot’s Guide to Google My Business for setup instructions.
What’s The Catch?
We’ll admit, it isn’t all roses when it comes to Google My Business. There are some downsides:
It does require a time-effort to set up, verify and optimise your listing
Your posts expire every 7 days and you can’t schedule posts in advance, so this becomes a manual task to do each week
The Insights data is somewhat limited and does expire after some time - it’s not the most user-friendly data tool
It can be even more time-consuming to manage if you have multiple locations, as each one needs to be managed separately
Users can suggest edits and add their own photos, so you do need to keep an eye on this
Virtual or online-only business can’t set up a Google My Business listing. It’s designed for local businesses - if you work from home but service a local area, you can still set up a listing and just hide your physical address (instead showing your service area), but if you operate nationwide as an online business, you can’t set up a profile
Having said that, we still think the benefits outweigh these cons. Google My Business is an essential tool for a local marketing strategy, and it is the only way to effectively manage and optimise what appears in Google’s local map pack results. So, if you want local visibility for your business, you gotta get on that!
See the benefits but don’t have the time to set it up, or manage your listing? Let us come to the rescue. We have a Local SEO package that can get you started, or we can manage your listing totally so you don’t need to remember to do it yourself! Just hit is up for more details!