It is no secret that Google is the internet giant of our age. The company, with its numerous innovative online products and services has managed to make a huge name for itself over the past three decades. Today, Google is widely known for its search engine which is used by billions of people from around the world. Apart from its search engine, another popular product offered by the company is Google Maps. Google Maps is a service that enables users to virtually find almost any geo-location on the face of the earth.
With Google Maps, you can easily locate and navigate key areas such as cities and major towns. You can also locate local businesses in your vicinity that offer a wide range of products and services. Now, Google has recently revealed that one in every three searches done on its search engine has a local association. Local searches currently enable people to find key businesses and service providers within their vicinity. Businesses that prominently feature on local search results have been observed to attract more traffic than their competitors.
Today, technology has made it easy for small and medium business enterprises to market themselves within defined geographical regions. This form of targeted marketing is much more effective than any other form of marketing out there today. Google Maps allow you to market your local business in your city, town or postal code level. Google My Business is essentially a huge directory of Google Maps listings for local businesses. Google My Business is currently the top local business listing platform in the world and this is no surprise as it is owned by Google.
Google My Business is a modern replacement for traditional local business directories like the Yellow Pages. Having a listing on Google My Business is very similar to featuring in your local Yellow Pages. The latter however is currently obsolete and outdated as no one uses physical business directories anymore. Getting a Google My Business listing for your local business allows you to better reach out to your target market and also be easily found by potential customers and clients. Attracting local customers has never been this easy before.
In order to really understand what Google My Business is all about, it is important that you get to know the various benefits of using it. Below are some of the benefits of being listed on Google My Business:
1. Its Free
If you are always on the lookout for free or cost-effective opportunities to market your small or medium business enterprise then you are in luck. Google My Business is a free marketing tool that promotes your local business and increases its chances of being found on the internet. This increased exposure directly translates to increased revenue for your business. The fact that this marketing tool is free means that you do not have spend a lot of money to get you business recognized in your local area. However, getting listed on Google My Business is not enough as you also need optimize your listing so that it appears at the top of local business listings.
2. Helps Customers To Find Your Business
A Google My Business listing shows the exact location and physical address of your business on a map. This means that your small or medium business will feature on all versions of maps offered on Google Maps for your local area. Customers and clients who may not know how to get to your business can easily follow the directions and use the navigation assistance offered by Google Maps. Getting this listing is important if you do not want to lose precious customers and clients to other businesses in your locality.
3. Better Search Visibility
Google My Business listings have a top priority on search engine results pages. Local business listings appear just below the paid ads section. In most cases, three to five local businesses are listed on the Google My Business section. This strategic positioning on search engine results pages is a key benefit of Google My Business. The listed businesses usually have their information displayed to millions of potential customers and clients. Furthermore, search engine users can be directed to your business website with a single click.
4. Display of Useful Information To Potential Customers
Useful and up-to-date information about your business is made available to local searches. Information can be anything from:
- Business updates
- Opening and Closing hours
- Busy Periods
- Brief description of your business
- A call-now button for customers who would like to contact you immediately
- Photos of your business and/or staff
Google makes all the above information accessible by searches on smartphones, tablets, computers and other internet enabled gadgets.
5. Alternative Communication Channel
A Google My Business profile offers an alternative communication channel for you to interact with existing and potential clients. With this profile, your business can get a new avenue to market its product and services. Also, you can use your profile to publicize special offers and discounts being offered by your business.
6. Gain Customer Insights
Another key benefit of using Google My Business is the ability to gain crucial customer insights. There is a special ‘insights’ tab on your profile where you can view crucial information on visibility, engagement and audience. Visibility info highlights the number of views your profile and content is getting on a daily basis. Engagement info highlights how well your posts are interacting with your target audience (likes, retweets etc.). Finally, audience info breaks down the different type of people who are interested in your business listing based on age, gender and location. These statistics can greatly help to improve your service delivery and customer relations activities.
7. Get Reviews and Respond To Them
Customers are allowed to leave reviews of your business on your Google My Business profile. These reviews can be both positive and negative. The important thing however is that you can actively respond to these reviews in order to improve overall customer experience and satisfaction.