“Why Local Businesses Need a Google My Business Page”

“Why Local Businesses Need a Google My Business Page”

 Google My Business is a free tool from Google that if optimized properly can help you create a solid online presence for your business. It can also increase your leads and sales opportunities.

Developed by Google in 2004, it wasn’t released to businesses until 2014.  For local businesses a Google My Business page can be instrumental in getting attention for your business online. This free tool allows business owner to register and verify their business on Google, let potential customers know details like parking availability, hours of operation and products and services offered.

Google developed it to not only help their users experience but to help business owners reach their target market.  By setting up a Google My Business page, you have a much better chance of reaching consumers in your local market.  A Google My Business listing is good for an approximately 20 mile radius from your location.

Benefits

Aside from the obvious benefit of a higher ranking in Google search results(if your profile is optimized correctly), a Google My Business page can:

  • give you data-driven insights about your online presence.
  • allow your customers to leave reviews which enables you to build relationships with your customers as well as drive more business to you.
  • its dashboard is user-friendly and allows you to manage your business information across several Google-based platforms.
  • create posts like a social media platform.  You have the option to create up to 300-word posts where you can post offers, discounts and updates about your business.

More People Are Buying Online Today

According to Optinmonster, the online shopping market is expected to hit 4 trillion people in 2020.  In the US alone it’s expected that there will be 300 million online shoppers by 2023.  Currently, that’s 91% of the country’s population!

Here are some other statistics:

  • 69% of Americans have shopped online.
  • 25% of Americans shop online at least once a month.
  • 59% of these shoppers bought clothing items.
  • 47% bought their first item on Amazon.

E-commerce continues to grow also. People with online store fronts account for over 14% of retail purchases worldwide.  In 2023, e-commerce retail sales are expected to grow to 22%.   

Having a GMB page increases the likelihood of your business being seen by potential customers whether you’re a traditional brick and mortar store or provide a service without a physical location. 

Reviews Matter

A big part of optimizing your Google My Business page is getting consistent reviews.  And the more the better.

As you can see with the above numbers the online world is where more and more people are gravitating to purchase just about everything.  It’s well known that people make their online—and many times offline—buying decisions by reading online reviews.

According to BrightLocal’s local consumer survey, consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.  The survey also found that, on average, a business needs at least 40 reviews before a consumer will believe a business’ star rating on Google.

Overall, marketers are seeing a rise in consumer trust of reviews over traditional advertising.  And getting reviews on your Google My Business page is a great way to establish your credibility with potential customers.

Keep Your Page Up-To-Date

I recently had a potential client come to me who’s business was essentially dead in the water.  She had a cleaning business with many residential customers and a few commercial accounts.  Her website was very outdated and she told me all of her clients came from her GMB page.  She never posted on her page or made changes to her information on there in the the few years she had been in business. She had been on the first page of Google for a while.  Since Google changes their algorithm often (2400 times a year, on average), in November of 2019, she disappeared from the first page and her business dried up.

This is a case in point for posting regularly on your page, keeping it updated and getting reviews. Google doesn’t like anything static: websites or a Google My Business listing.

A GMB page can boost your online presence, drive traffic to your business that you wouldn’t normally have had and increase your revenue. The best thing about it is that it’s free, is easy to set up and maintain, if you know how to do it correctly.

Tim Piccirillo is a digital marketing consultant and copywriter who lives in St. Petersburg, FL.  If you don’t have a Google My Business page and want one set up and optimized correctly, reach out to Tim by email at tim@timpic.com or call him at (352) 638-4284. 

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