Marketing is an important aspect of a successful local business. Companies spend a lot of money on marketing, which highlights how crucial it can be to success. You likely have a lot of competition (no matter your industry), and your marketing is what can separate you from the pack.
While you can market on TV, on the radio, in the local paper or other ways to reach your local audience, online marketing has taken off in recent years. There are several different kinds of online marketing, and these methods are often more cost-efficient and effective than the traditional ways to market a business.
One of the most underrated ways to market your business online is with a Google My Business Listing. This business listing and profile is an important tool for marketing that comes with a lot of benefits for the companies and entrepreneurs that use it.
Whether you want to reach the top of Google search results, or simply have a great way to engage with your customers, a Google My Business (GMB) listing is right for you. Read on to learn about 7 different reasons why local businesses should be using Google My Business.
Build Trust and Appear Legitimate
Customers want to work with companies they can trust and ones that appear legitimate. Many customers are apprehensive about working with new companies, and you need to do all you can to ease their worries.
One of the best ways to convey this trust and a sense of legitimacy is reviews. Thankfully, your GMB profile comes complete with the ability for customers to leave reviews. Online reviews are amongst the most used tools when people research products and services, as well. In fact, many people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
If your profile and company have a lot of positive reviews, it can help potential customers feel more confident buying from you. Of course, this can also go the other way. If your reviews are poor, it could scare some customers away and make them not trust you. As a result, be sure to offer high-quality products and services, while also maintaining strong customer service.
Rank Higher on Search Engines
When it comes to online marketing, one of the goals every company has is to get more traffic. The more traffic you get, the higher your sales will often be and the more visible your business is. One of the best ways to get more traffic is to rank higher on search engines like Google.
The search results that are ranked at the top almost always get more eyes and clicks on them than results that are lower down the list. As a result, being sure to update and optimize your GMB listing as best you can.
Google attempts to provide the most relevant results when searches are completed, so ensure your GMB listing and content is optimized with the right keywords that people are searching for. You should also add photos, make posts and make sure you entered complete data and information when creating your listing and profile.
Of course, your GMB listing is only a small part of the overall algorithm that decides which companies and sites rank the highest. Be sure to use SEO best practices throughout your website and content, to give yourself an even better chance of ranking highly. The algorithm is always changing, so new strategies will have to be adopted frequently.
Allows You to Show Up in Google Maps
When many people are looking for local businesses in their area, they will go to Google Maps instead of the Google search engine. This is because, next to reviews, the location of a business is often a deciding factor for local customers.
They want to find out what options are within close proximity to their location. If you don’t have a GMB listing, your company won’t pop up in the list of options on Google Maps. This could lose you a lot of customers, often to your closest competition.
In addition to Google Maps, having (and optimizing) a GMB listing can help you potentially get placement in the limited local 3-pack on Google. This can put your business front and center, and get a lot more clicks and eyes than if you were simply one of the organic results on the page that resulted from their search.
Makes it Incredibly Easy to Share Information
Sharing information with the public about your business is very important. If they have no background information, they may not know how to reach your company or where to find you. Thankfully, a GMB listing lets you easily share this information for all to see.
This includes things like your website, your hours, your address, products and services, and contact information. You can also quickly make changes or updates and share them instantly. While you could alert people of any changes or alterations on social media, not everyone will frequently check your Facebook or Twitter profiles.
Also, having a Google My Business listing will ensure that the information being shared with the public is accurate. If you don’t have a listing and haven’t claimed your business, Google might pull your company information like hours, address or services provided, from a third-party source that might not be the most accurate.
To ensure only accurate and up-to-date information reaches your customers and potential customers, you need to have a GMB listing.
It Can Increase Your Sales
A GMB profile can also help to increase your sales. An updated and accurate listing can generate a ton of traffic and, as briefly mentioned earlier, more traffic can often mean more sales. Simply by showing up and being a legitimate option in search results, you have a much better chance of gaining customers.
If people never see your company as an option and are never presented with more information about it, they simply won’t become customers. Sure, not everyone who sees your business will choose it, but you have a much better chance of gaining a customer if 100 people see your listing compared to only 10.
Of course, you also need to make sure that your website or online store is high quality. If someone clicks on your site to make a purchase, and is greeted by a slow or confusing page, there is a chance they will click away. While a GMB profile is a great foot in the door, it is often things like your website, products and customer experience that can close the sale.
Helps to Engage With Customers
Your GMB listing is also great for engaging with customers. A customer who is engaged is often more loyal and generally has an emotional connection to a brand. They are more likely to promote your company and be a customer for the long term.
The ways you can engage with customers within GMB are plentiful. First of all, you can engage with customers by responding to their reviews. A simple thank you or other message of encouragement to someone who left a positive review can help them develop a deeper connection to your brand.
However, instead of simply responding to positive comments and reviews, be sure to respond to negative ones. Be as empathetic and understanding as possible, and offer solutions and fixes when appropriate. This gives you a chance to turn a negative customer experience into a positive one, and other people will see this effort you put in and appreciate it.
You can also do things like make posts and also send messages. All in all, there are several ways to engage with those who visit your listing or profile, so be sure to take advantage of them.
You Can Learn More About The Customer Journey
Perhaps one of the best and most underrated reasons to use a GMB listing for your local business comes down to analytics and insights. These insights can help you take a detailed look at the customer journey as a whole.
You can learn how and where they found your profile (was it by a search or in Google Maps?), as well as the actions they took when they found you. This could be a website visit, a call to your company or even a request for the directions.
Other valuable information that can be analyzed include the search queries used to find your profile, the overall visibility of your brand and who your target market is. This data can be incredibly valuable and can tell you what aspects of your listing and/or posts have been effective, and which could use some work. From helping your customers trust you more, to ranking higher in search engine results, there are several reasons why your local business should market with a GMB listing. We hope the reasons included in this article were enough to get you to consider trying out Google My Business for your company.