Google My Business is the foundation of local SEO, but its actual full capacity is often overlooked. Plus, if you don’t pay close attention it can cause a serious issue for your bottom line and growth of your business.
If you are a business owner and have done everything you think is possible to optimize your website to rank better, you could be losing valuable leads to your competitors.
Why is that? Google could be sending traffic to your competitors, because of ‘Google My Business’.
While the deep optimization opportunities aren’t obvious to you, chances are you have used it to find information in a personal search.
Does this look familiar?
This snippet in Google is called Google My Business, but that’s probably not how you know it. You may know it as the “convenient box”, a box that contains everything you need to know about a business.
How Google My Business is Steering Traffic Away From You
Google My Business plays a role in acquiring tons of customers online and it is slowly becoming more important than your website. Sort of. This little box of valuable information is Google’s way of shifting focus away from your website and more onto its own tools, so it can benefit.
This is also called “No Click Searches.” Great for Google, not always so great for you – unless you have a Google My Business optimized for SERPs.
Google My Business is growing fast and it’s affecting local businesses. In fact, 47% of all search queries are no-click-searches, which means 47% of people don’t click onto your website despite searching for your business.
Well, what if someone searches for something and Google My Business isn’t there to answer searchers? Google will just place ads higher than organic sites, forcing local business owners to consider investing more in ads.
And with more searches happening on mobile, your top ranking is no longer a top listing. Chances are you’ll have to scroll to find your site.
Let’s explore Google My Business in detail.
Heads Up Local Businesses – When It’s The Time To Play Nice
This interesting feature is a product that’s been tweaked and developed over some time and combines many of Google’s own products, including Places, Maps, and more.
While Google is steering traffic away from sites to its own products, local business owners do need to speak to their audience and customers at some point to make a transaction.
How do you do this if Google redirects your searchers? You play nice with Google.
The data says that 46% of Google searches have local intent, which means people searching for local businesses or information. A whopping 93% of local searches now feature Google My Business listings, which means Google is answering questions right in the SERPs.
Despite this, 68% of people contact a business directly from search results, which means you’ll still hear from customers. But there’s an important difference – their action to contact you will probably come from Google’s information about your business, not directly from your website.
If that isn’t enough to persuade you, then listen up – leads from Google My Business are worth 245% more than regular search traffic.
Why Reviews and Social Proof Are Important Too
You can optimize all you want to get a boost from Google, but it’s important to know that word-of-mouth and reviews are still ideal marketing tactics. 88% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and those reviews are front and center on Google.
The reality is – Google is driven by positive reviews. The more positive reviews you have, the better you’ll display on Google. Your social proof is a powerful and persuasive asset.
While you can control what people see on your website, Google is now giving more power to customers to share what they think about your business, services, products and more.
That’s not all. They are also pulling information from other sites that mention your business, including Facebook.
As you can see here, your authority in your field also plays a role. What others say about you has become more important than ever.
It’s no longer about having correct business contact information. It’s a complete view of your business from every perspective.
What are the List of Features That Will Only Continue To Grow
Before you panic, take a deep breath. It’s time to use Google My Business as a marketing tool rather than a block in the road.
Google is only adding features to these listings. Now, customers can also see posts from your blog or website, they can ask questions and receive answers, they can message you directly, and they can even book appointments with your business – without ever going to your website.
We can also expect Google to continue adding features to help them keep most of the traffic to themselves. Google is a business, after all.
It’s therefore important to optimize your presence in Google’s SERPs to take full advantage of Google My Business. The ball is in your court.
Please contact us for more information on how we can help you today.