Google is one of the most important search engines for business owners, who can’t ignore it if they want to stay competitive. But beyond the general importance of local listings, there are a few reasons why you should be paying attention to your Google listing specifically:
It’s important to understand that Google’s algorithm is constantly changing. In October 2015, they launched a new mobile-first index and then updated it again in July 2017. The goal of this update was to help users find the best content on the web; in other words, it was designed to provide an improved user experience. However, it also had some unintended consequences—namely that it decreased the importance of localized search results and rankings in favor of more broad, generic results.
This isn’t necessarily bad news: while many businesses may have lost visibility on a national scale (due to their lack of influence), local businesses still have plenty of opportunities for growth through localized search! This is especially true if you’re looking into how Google can help your business grow outside its traditional geographic boundaries—a useful practice for any company with global ambitions but limited resources (and who isn’t?).
If your business doesn’t have a website, Google can still help you out. With the Knowledge Graph, Google is able to provide users with more accurate information than ever before. If someone searches for “best restaurants in Chicago,” the results might include reviews from TripAdvisor or Yelp and even restaurant phone numbers and addresses.
Google reports that since they began implementing the Knowledge Graph in 2012, they’ve seen a 20% increase in click-through rate on business listings. This means that if you’re listed correctly on Google maps/search pages, you’ll get more traffic from Google users.
You have a business to run, so you’re probably busy. That’s why we recommend that you link your Google listing to your website and social media profiles. It’s an easy way to make sure that people who find your business on Google are able to contact you right away! By linking those three together, it will ensure that the best information about your company is available in one place — the first place people look when they want to know more about what you do.
Your business listing on Google maps is a great way to get found by people searching for your business. When someone searches for “coffee shops” in your town, they’ll see all of the local ones listed right there in their search results. This means that if you don’t have a listing on Google maps, your competition will be getting more attention—and potential customers—than you are!
Just like when someone searches for “coffee shops” or any other term related to your industry or services, if they don’t see any listings from businesses in their area that offer those services, they may not even bother looking further into it and will just assume there aren’t any local options available. If they do decide to try searching again later (or just go with an out-of-town company), then maybe next time around they’ll use some keywords specific enough so that only businesses with those exact offerings show up.
Google My Business is easy to set up, and you can easily update it.
You can set up your listing on your phone.
It’s quick and simple to add photos and videos that show what you do best.
You can add a description of your business in the “About” section of the page (this could include what makes you different from other businesses in the area).
You can also add links to your website, social media pages, or even a charity donation page if you have one.
A business with a good rating can be shown at the top of search results, and a business with a bad rating may not appear in them at all. With this power comes responsibility: Google uses star ratings and reviews to rank businesses all over their platform, including when people look for them on Google Maps or in Google+.
To get started, head over to your My Business dashboard and click Manage Reviews & Ratings (or if you’re on a mobile device, go to menu > Reviews). You’ll see three sections:
Get reviews & stars (the number of reviews you’ve received)
Handle 1-star reviews (how you respond)
Get 5-star ratings (what it takes).
Google is the most important search engine, and it’s also responsible for the majority of traffic to your website. Google also loves accurate information, so if you’re not paying attention to your listing, you could lose out on important traffic and conversions.
Google will rank local businesses at the top of results when they’re relevant to local searches. If you don’t have a map listing set up yet (and even if you do), make sure that all of your location data is correct—including address info, hours of operation and phone numbers—so people can find you easily.
We hope that this post has helped you to see the importance of having a strong Google listing. It’s not just about getting customers at the moment they search for your business; it’s also about building a consistent online presence that will make it easier for people to find you when they’re ready to buy. If you want more information on how to set up your business profile, contact our team today!