Nowadays, Google is the go-to place to find nearly everything we need.
In fact, the term “Googling” has become synonymous with searching or looking up something – even if you’re not actually using Google!
Needless to say, having a presence on Google is a MUST for all businesses. This is especially important for local businesses!
So why do so many business owners miss out on this great opportunity to boost local awareness?
In our experience, most local business owners fall into one of two categories:
This is a HUGE problem for businesses – especially those who need a strong, local online presence.
Here’s the thing: Having a well-optimized Google My Business page is a no brainer for your business.
No matter which service we provide our clients – whether we’re building them a beautiful website or coaching them 1:1, we always make sure that creating and optimizing a Google My Business page is included in the project.
Why? Because it’s not a good idea, it’s a must.
Today, we wanted to share just a few of the reasons why creating an optimized Google My Business page is so important for local businesses:
Your Google My Business profile affects how your business will appear in local search results, maps, and Google+. Think of it as your newly improved, completely-online Yellow Pages.
Let’s say you’re hungry for pizza, and you live in Haddon Heights, NJ. You may Google, “Pizza Haddon Heights” to find a shop to place an order. You know that map that appears with a list of local results? Guess what plays a role in which businesses appear in that search?
You got it – Google My Business.
Did you know more than 50% of people who search on mobile devices will specifically look for a business’ opening hours, directions and an address?
Having an optimized online presence isn’t just important for how you rank in search results; it’s an important service to provide your customers (or potential customers!) with accurate and relevant information about your business.
Whether it’s your opening hours, correct website address, contact information, or pictures of your products, having the right information easily accessible and simple to find is key to driving traffic to your door or website!
Here’s an example from one of our coaching client’s business, Lauren Elsasser Photography. Lauren is a wedding photography looking to attract and book more brides in Lynchburg, VA.
By creating and verifying her local Google My Business page, her business information will pop up on the right hand side when searched in Google. This gives your visitors way more information that’s super easy to find, even without navigating around your website.
It’s no secret that reviews play a very important role when it comes to building credibility and trust online.
Having a Google My Business page allows users to rate and leave reviews for local businesses, which are important factors in consumer buyer behavior. In fact, Spectoos revealed that 90% of customers’ buying decisions are influenced by customer reviews and testimonials.
Think about the example of the pizza shop above: are you more likely to order from the business with a 4.7 Star rating or the 3.8 Star rating? What if one had zero reviews or ratings? Would you trust that business? Would it be your first choice to call?
If someone is searching for pizza in Google, odds are the big players are going to appear in search results before the local Ma-and-pop shop. Here’s where Google My Business can make a big difference: even if I do not include “Haddon Heights” in my search results, Google takes your location into consideration and will show you the results that it thinks are most relevant to your search (including those local businesses).
This means you are less likely to complete with all of the “big players” and more likely to grow a stronger local presence. This also saves you from having to spend a lot of money in AdWords to appear at the top of search results.
This doesn’t only work for businesses like pizza shops. Let’s take the wedding industry for example – an extremely competitive industry.
Most of our wedding professional clients serve a specific geographic area. As such, it’s super important for their website and information to rank first (and have great reviews + all of the correct contact info!). Google My Business is one simple piece of the puzzle to helping you build a stronger search ranking.
According to Google itself, more people search on mobile devices than desktop computers. This has become even more important over the last few years, as mobile-friendliness is now a key factor considered by Google when ranking websites.
(Side note: if your website isn’t mobile friendly, we should chat. It’s suuuuuper important + can seriously be hurting your online presence!)
So if our client Lauren didn’t have a mobile-friendly website, she would most likely rank lower than a competitor in her area that has a mobile and responsive website. BUT, if Lauren has a Google My Business page (which she now does!), these results are more likely to appear first on mobile results before any website at all.
Although it’s still super important to have a mobile-friendly site too 🙂
While these are very high-level descriptions, the main concept to take away from all of this is this:
If you are a small business owner, you NEED a local online presence – and that all starts with having a verified, optimized Google My Business page.
Have a question on setting up your Google My Business page? Drop us a comment below or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!