When it comes to local SEO services, nothing is more important as a first step than setting up your own Google My Business profile. Search engine marketing is going increasingly local, so nothing is more important for storefronts, service area businesses, and local small business brands than showing up in local search results.
The Google My Business suite of tools makes it easier for search users to find your business when there’s a match between your business and the search user’s needs. Plus, the tools give business owners the advantage of offering consumers a media-rich experience, showcasing your own media and key business information upfront. It’s no wonder that Google My Business can have a big impact on your sales when you implement the tool properly.
What Google My Business Offers
Google My Business first debuted more than three years ago. The purpose was to bring all brands under a unified interface to help local businesses and local consumers connect more easily.
Unlike listing in past directories, like the print edition of the Yellow Pages, Google My Business listings are free. In a sense, there’s no reason not to set this up if you have a local business. It can only help your bottom line, whether you’re a restaurant, store, taxi service, food truck, music group, nonprofit, etc.
When businesses set up a Google My Business listing, they claim their business address, verify ownership, then build a listing — with contact info, hours, website URL, business description, business category, photos, and even a virtual tour.
Having a listing opens a business up to many possibilities. Notably, your business could appear in more local search results based on your proximity to a searcher and relevant keywords within your listing. You could also begin taking Google business reviews, which could further help your business rank highly in location-based searches.
All in all, a listing means your business can be featured in search results for Google users looking for the products you sell, the type of food you serve, or the services you offer — and looking to make such purchases or transactions right in your vicinity.
Special Features to Try Out
Since Google My Business’s debut in 2014, the search giant has continued to tweak the product offering, adding new features to better serve consumers — which in turn help business owners close more sales if they act to take advantage of them.
Earlier this year, Google added the ability for local businesses in relevant categories to add a call-to-action button to their Google My Business profiles which then takes the search user to a landing page where they can complete specific actions. This is really, really helpful for businesses hoping to win over new customers.
So far, the available CTAs here are for booking an appointment, placing an order, reserving a table, searching for product items, and viewing a menu. Not every type of business will be able to take advantage here, but some such as restaurants, professional service providers, and some online retailers.
Another new feature is Posts on Google. With this feature, businesses can post a message that lives alongside their Google search results. The message is prominently displayed to mobile search users and mobile Google Maps users.
This feature can be used for a host of purposes: sharing daily specials, sharing current promotions, promoting storefront events, or showcasing top products or new products. Businesses can add their own eye-catching visual, choose dates to run the post on, and add a special CTA button.
How a Listing Can Improve Your Sales
It should be clear to most business owners by from these descriptions that Google My Business could really improve your traffic, business, and sales figures. But data also tells the same story.
Google told Search Engine Journal last month that today, more than 80% of people — that’s four out of five web users — search the web today to find local information. Local internet searches are the go-to source for locations, business options, business hours, business directions, product and service category searches, and more, for the vast majority of people. Doing a local search, with search keywords like “near me,” gets internet users the info they’re looking for quickly.
And often it helps them choose a business to patronize and influences their buying behavior. Google revealed that businesses that claim and then fully fill out their Google My Business listing are able to earn 50% more trust from search users with their listing. The same businesses can expect 38% more in-store visits and 29% more purchases from search users.
A complete, free, and visually attractive business listing awaits your business on Google My Business. Populated by positive reviews, striking visual images, and the info your customers need on their mobile device when they’re on the go, you’re sure to make a great impression. And with the new features like showcasing daily specials or featuring a custom CTA button, even more search users will have reason to come down to your shop. If you already have a Google My Business listing, consider taking advantage of some of the new feature offerings. And if you don’t yet have one set up, now’s the time to act.