Back in the day, the Yellow Pages were the go-to resource for finding local businesses. You pulled out that trusty book and either looked up the number you needed or went to the relevant business category to figure out who to call. It goes without saying that times have changed. Breaking out the phone book has been replaced with using a search engine on your phone or computer. Even typing that search query yourself is slowly being replaced by asking Alexa, Google or Siri to do it for you!
With customers relying on online searches for so many aspects of their daily lives, it’s critical that your business is easily found on the search engine results page (SERP). In fact, 82% of smartphone users go to search engines as their first step in fulfilling a need. A Google My Business profile can play a critical role in achieving a top search engine ranking and connecting with customers online. Keep reading to learn more about this important tool for local SEO and improving your business’s online presence.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free tool for businesses to share key information about themselves and manage their presence on Google Search and Google Maps. It allows you to display information such as your name, location and business hours, collect and respond to user reviews, share photos and more. Google My Business is critical for local SEO, or ensuring that you are found for searches relevant to your products or services in the geographic area you serve.
More visibility in the modern SERP
Yes, your website may show up in the regular listings. Without a Google My Business profile, however, you won’t be found in the maps listings or on the right-hand sidebar. These features are becoming increasingly prominent, especially for mobile searches, so if your business isn’t found here then it’s less likely that users will scroll down to and click on your website listing.
Online presence, even without a website
While we’re strong advocates for the importance of having a website, you don’t actually need one to create a Google My Business profile. This is a great way to connect with customers online if you’re a new business and haven’t gotten your website up yet. It can also be your shortcut to having an online presence if a website simply isn’t feasible for one reason or another.
Full control over your business information
Another key benefit of a Google My Business profile is that it allows you to control the information that Google shares about you. If you don’t create and manage the profile yourself, Google may pull information from other sources, such as your website, social media or other online listings. On one hand, Google creating a listing for you can be a handy feature. On the other hand, this information isn’t always correct. The last thing you need is customers calling the wrong phone number, showing up when you’re closed, or even going to the wrong location!
Creating and managing the profile yourself is the best way of making sure it is always accurate and up-to-date. This is especially useful for businesses that may adjust their hours throughout the year, or when you’ve changed locations or contact information. In a nutshell, Google My Business is a free and easy way of boosting your local SEO and connecting with customers online. Here are our tips on how to further improve and optimize your profile to improve your SEO and the value this profile provides for your customers.
Google My Business is an important tool for reaching local searchers. Given that 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information, and 88% of mobile searches for a local business lead to a call or visit within 24 hours, your online presence is simply incomplete without Google My Business. Once you’ve created your profile, use our expert advice to maximize its visibility and impact, then sit back and relax as the phone starts ringing and the customers file on in.
If you’re looking to improve your Google My Business profile or SEO rankings in Brantford or beyond, our SEO specialists are ready to help. Get in touch today and see what Design Thinking can do for your online presence.