Recently Google revealed that when searching in Google one in three searches is about ‘local’ intent.
OK, so what does that mean? It means that when people are searching online for a dry cleaner or pizza or hair salon, they add the suburb or town that they are into their search. If you are a local business understanding this and making your business visible in the search results is paramount to your local success.
Today, attracting local customers is easier than ever thanks to technology that allows you to market in your town or even at individual postcode levels. Marketing within a defined geographic area is much more effective than blanket-style marketing if your ultimate goal is to target local consumers in your area. You need to fish where the fish are!
One of the best ways for you to connect with local customers is to get listed on online directories such as Google My Business. As you can imagine, this is the top local business listing platform directly because it’s owned by Google – the world’s number one search engine.
According to Google, 50% of all the mobile consumers who search for a local business in a day visit it as well. Furthermore, 18% of them end up making a purchase.
The importance of being ranked on the Google search engine is something we all know about. Today, the total global search engine market share of Google is between 70% and 90%, and this isn’t going to decline anytime soon.
However, getting noticed in the search engine results pages (SERPS) includes far more than just aiming for a top spot in the regular results and working on your search engine optimisation.
A complete, verified and optimised Google My Business listing allows you to connect with your target audience and will enable customers to find you in more ways than ever before.
Customers are the lifeline of every business. Without customers, companies cannot flourish or even operate. Today, most of the successful enterprises consider customers more than just ‘financiers.’ For them, customers are their friends, advocates, and regulars. The internet has made it easy for businesses to connect with their target audience every day.
However, finding new customers is still a complicated and time-consuming process for them. Most businesses would love to see a display pop up that gives their location, phone number, hours of operation, address, customer reviews and link to their website when someone Googles their business.
Fortunately for you, this isn’t a pipe dream anymore.
Google My Business offers small businesses a fantastic marketing opportunity as it attracts over a billion unique users every month. So ignoring this platform is a mistake that no local business should make.
In this article, I will go over some of the specific benefits of using Google My Business to gain more local customers and clients.
To get a better idea of what Google My Business has to offer you, it is crucial for you to look at the benefits of using it. Following are the top ten reasons your business should be using it to attract more local leads:
1. It’s Free
A free marketing tool, Google My Business can drastically increase your chances of being found online and generating more revenue. Of course, merely having a listing is not enough – it needs to be 100% complete and optimised to land near the top of the local listing results.
Since it doesn’t cost anything to use it, you’re missing out on a tremendous opportunity to gain more online exposure.
2. Helps Customers Find Your Physical Location
Using Google My Business, you can list the exact address and location of your business on a map. Having a physical location ensures that searchers no longer need to rely on a paper map or scribbled instructions to find you; instead, they can reach you through the precise directions.
3. Better Search Visibility
When you search on Google, you may have noticed a high-visibility panel near the top of the page (below-paid ads and above organic results); it usually contains three local business listings and their information. These are populated with Google My Business listings. A complete and optimised listing can help your business land in this section. Furthermore, a simple click will direct your ‘searchers’ to the rest of your content, such as your website – or even a direct phone call to your establishment.
4. Displays Useful Information
Google My Business gives you a place to make essential business updates that can be immediately seen by searchers. Useful, up-to-date information about your business will readily be displayed on your Google My Business listing; searchers can view your:
- Hours of operation
- Busy Periods
- The call now button displayed for mobile users
- Description of your business
Your listings will be as easy to access on tablets and smartphones as they are on desktops and laptops directly because Google is fully committed to the mobile revolution.
5. Another Communication Channel
You’ll be opening up another new interactive channel of communication with your potential and existing clients and customers by creating a Google My Business profile. Furthermore, it offers you another place to promote your promotions and special offers.
6. Hangout with Customers
Whether you are having a typical chatting session with your customers or are answering their most pressing questions, Google Hangouts is another excellent platform to connect with your customers.
Google Hangouts allows you to communicate with ten to fifteen customers at a time. Talking to this many customers at a single time is a great way to engage customers and promote relationship with them. You can also use Google Hangouts to create instant-content that you can share on multiple channels.
Today, hosting a Hangout is easier than ever because you merely need to navigate to the bottom of your Google My Business dashboard and click on “Join a Hangout” for it.
7. Gain Customer Insight
The “Insights” tab in Google My Business offers you access to a wealth of analytics. The information you see is something you can customise. Also, you can pick the stats to compare, and they will show up on a chart. You can then compare stats with “Insights”.
Visibility, engagement and audience are the three main sections. The visibility section shows the number of views that your profile, posts and photos are getting. Furthermore, you can change the data to show the last 7, 30 or 90 days report and have access to graphs.
The engagement section shows how your audience is interacting with your posts. +1 clicks, shares and comments are where you’ll see the stats. You can also view the results of the last 7, 30 or 90 days, as well as you can plot the graphs.
Finally, the audience section shows the breakdown of the people following you. Age groups, gender, and countries are what this breakdown shows.
You can improve your engagement and sales by using these statistics.
8. Track Website Traffic and Audience
You can use the Google analytic tool in Google My Business to get statistics on your website traffic and audience. Google Analytics is the master key to all the things related to analytics. While Insights looks at the traffic garnered on your Google My Business account, Analytics provides a more in-depth look at your website traffic.
9. Encourage and Actively Respond to Reviews
Your customers are going to leave reviews whether you love them or hate them, and most potential customers will decide whether to buy from you or not based on what people are saying about your business.
Therefore, making it as easy as possible for the customers to leave reviews is something you need to ensure. Fortunately, Google My Business allows you to do that quickly. Customers can add their rating just by googling your name once you register yourself with Google My Business. You can also use your dashboard to monitor and respond to reviews.
A word of advice: It is essential for you to encourage customers to leave reviews. You can do this by sending a feedback request email with a link to your Google My Business page. It is crucial that you don’t panic and respond professionally in case you get a bad review. On the other hand, thank your customers for taking time to share their comments if you get positive reviews.
10. It Ties Everything Together
By just logging into the centralised dashboard of Google My Business, you’ll find all the best Google tools ready for you to use. Google looks to harness the power of its tools suite to attract more to your business. This means that My Business closely ties in AdWords, Insights, Google+, Maps and Search. Having everything in one place makes managing your online presence much easier.
A unified interface, Google My Business looks to make life easier for local businesses by increasing their chances of being found through Google.
To find the right business to meet their needs, four out of every five consumers conduct local searches on search engines.
You can connect with your prospects on the other end of those searches by setting up and optimising your Google My Business Listing. It is a free way to attract customers with this small investment of time. By using this tool, you can connect with your audience, increase your chances of being found, and generate more targeted traffic to your website or other places.
In this report, I have briefed you on Google My Business and the benefits of using it to attract more local customers and clients. However, you may be left wondering if others claim your listing. If it is, you may be wondering if it’s optimised. You also may be curious as to how well your listing ranks.