In order for your business to thrive, you’ve got to utilize every resource at your disposal. Now that people are turning to the internet as their go-to source of information, and with the explosion of ecommerce, your business can’t afford to be underrepresented on the web.
For businesses that compete for local customers, it is imperative they take advantage of the Google My Business (GMB) listing service. Otherwise, they are passing up potential customers to the benefit of the competition without putting up a fight.
That’s because Google is a great resource for consumers as it recommends related businesses when people search for particular keywords.
However, there are certain things to keep in mind when optimizing your Google My Business listings to have the best chance of ranking at the top. For many businesses, it could be the difference between enjoying a lion’s share of the local market or losing out to the business next door.
What is a GMB listing?
The GMB listing can be created free of charge and will appear in what is called the Local Pack. This includes a map and the top 3 listings are located directly underneath this map. The idea is to get in those 3 places so customers do not need to delve deeper into the search results to find you. Under the first 3 listings, there is a “More places” link where you can find further businesses for a particular search.
Why every single business needs a GMB listing
It’s important that your business has a GMB listing because a large segment of your customer base will probably be looking for your services via Google search, as Google dominates the sector with almost 75% of all searches online. If you are not visible there, then the customer will simply use your competitors instead.
Furthermore, nowadays a business that doesn’t have visibility via a GMB listing seems odd, and customers expect legitimacy. It’s quick, easy, and free to place a listing so there is no reason to overlook this useful tool.
The most important factors on a GMB
Before creating a GMB listing, you need to understand how to optimize your listing to have a chance of ranking towards the top for the desired keywords. The most important ranking factors include: having an up-to-date phone number, photos of your products and location, correct store hours, and a verified website and address.
Google strives to deliver the user a positive experience, and a complete listing ensures the customer can figure out if your business is the right match for their needs. Filling out the profile in full ensures that your customers will see your GMB listing.
How a GMB improves local rating
Ranking your website in the search engine for local phrases is another way of acquiring highly targeted traffic. Getting a good GMB listing will help you tilt the odds of success in your favour in terms of ranking for these search terms. It makes sense for Google to pay attention to the GMB system it has created when determining what businesses should rank higher.
Why your business should care about Google reviews
There exists an overwhelming amount of data to support that Google reviews play a role in ranking GMB listings. The reviews are also important for as recommendations by customers, for customers.
Imagine visiting an unfamiliar area and you want to find a restaurant. As there is little chance you will know someone local, the reviews on the map displaying the GMB listings is your best bet.
The quality of the review score is important, but also the number of reviews plays a role in attracting people to your business. A study in 2014 showed that up to 88% of people are now trusting of online reviews. Therefore, if you manage to accumulate a significant number of positive reviews, you’re set to gain the trust of your potential customer base.
By now, the importance of GMB reviews should be self-evident, but acquiring a large number of them can be a slow process. Asking your customers or incentivizing them to leave a genuine review might be a solid strategy that fast tracks you to the top of the GMB pile.
Making an effort to optimize Google My Business listings for best results is a no-brainer if you rely on local customers. The strategies suggested above are just some of the things that you can do in order to eke out an edge on the competition.