Think of what you do when searching for some information, a company or a product on the internet…if you’re like the vast majority of us, you’ll type the appropriate search term or query into Google.
Whilst there are other search engines out there - such as Bing and Yahoo, for example - Google is the largest and most-used by far.
If you, and everyone you know, use Google in this way, potential customers are very, very likely to do so, too...when in need of a plumber, electrician, painter and decorator, etc., they will turn to Google for help.
Google won’t aim to display a list of plumbers in Cornwall if the person doing the search lives in Scotland – because what would be the use in that?
Let’s look at an example: if a plumber completed his or her ‘Google My Business’ page, the search engine would prioritise their company whenever someone in their vicinity typed in ‘plumbers near me’. Without a Google My Business page, however, they wouldn’t be in the running – they’d likely be languishing amongst the listings on page two instead.
Why wouldn’t you claim and complete your Google My Business page?! Think of the potential business you’re missing out on. And it’s free!
Once you have claimed your page, filling it with information is important. Google will place optimised GMB pages higher in its listings than incomplete pages, so it pays to include as much detail as you can - otherwise, you risk losing out to your competitors. A complete GMB page also verifies your company and gives it credence; it will appear more professional than a simple, basic listing.
Google My Business replaced Google Places in 2014; however, completing your GMB page will still see your company included on Google Maps as a physical location, which can prove very helpful in some scenarios. Think of someone out in their car who unfortunately breaks down – not only will Google list garages within a certain radius, Google Maps will show them the nearest. Location, location, location…
Geographical searches are becoming the norm as people rely more and more on their satnavs than their map-reading skills. ‘Places to eat near me’ may be a search term used when someone isn’t familiar with where they are, for example, and Google will respond accordingly, with GPS providing their whereabouts.
For most traders, their local area is where they get their business, so it doesn’t make any sense to not appear in local searches made online. Your GMB page can include images and videos; why not demonstrate the quality of your work by uploading ‘before and after’ imagery? Save potential customers from having to hunt down this information and wow them from the outset.
Google reviews can be very powerful for social proof. The more reviews you have on your GMB page, the higher up Google’s listing you will appear.
Another reason to stay on top of your GMB page is because anyone can suggest an edit to your listing. If all the info is correct, there’s no need for anyone to flag up to Google that there may be something wrong or inaccurate.
Though you will no doubt have a website for your business, this needs some good SEO and plenty of traffic to appear on page one of Google’s listings. By claiming and completing your GMB page, you’ll already be at the top when it comes to geographical and local searches.
Not every business wants to be on page one of Google for the entire UK. For local traders, Google My Business is key.