As a local business owner, you probably know the importance of online marketing. In the past, consumers used phone books to find the addresses and phone numbers of nearby businesses. Statistics show, however, that 70 percent of consumers today never open their phone books. Therefore, digital marketing channels like Google My Business (GMB), a key ingredient to any company's organic SEO, are an essential tool to help local businesses connect with their audience and attract more walk-in traffic.
What Is GMB?
Formerly known as Google Places, GMB is a web-based directory consisting of local business and organization listings. A typical listing contains a variety of information pertaining to the business, including its name, address, phone number, hours of operation, popular times, average time customers spend at the business, website address, customer ratings, reviews and more.
GMB listings appear in multiple places, including Google Search and Google Maps. Relevant local searches trigger a few GMB listings -- known as the local pack -- at the top of the organic results along with a link to see additional results.
Challenges of Managing Your GMB Listing
Google uses a complex algorithm to determine the ranking for GMB listings. If a listing isn't properly optimized, it will rank lower than its competitors' listings, resulting in lower online visibility and less traffic to the respective business.
Another challenge business owners face when managing their GMB listing is customer reviews. According to Inc., 91 percent of consumers read online reviews either occasionally or regularly. If a business's GMB listing isn't properly optimized, it will struggle to attract positive reviews, thus limiting the utility of this otherwise powerful marketing tool.
How a Professionally Managed GMB Listing Can Help Your Business
To maximize your local business's exposure on Google and its affiliated properties, you should consider hiring a professional digital marketing agency to manage your business's GMB listing.
A digital marketing agency can help you achieve a higher ranking for your GMB listing. So, when a prospective customer searches for a product or service offered by your business, they'll see your GMB listing at the top of the search results. This is important because Google only displays a few GMB listings on its actual search results page. A poorly optimized listing probably won't rank in this coveted digital real estate, resulting in more traffic to the competitors' businesses instead.
A professionally managed GMB listing can also build stronger brand recognition for your business. They'll update your listing with brand elements like your logo, color scheme and staff photos to help customers remember who you are and what you offer.
Finally, a digital marketing agency can track key metrics of your business's GMB listing, including the number of calls it generates, requests for directions, website visits, user-uploaded photos and more. These are just a few reasons to consider hiring a digital marketing agency to manage your business's GMB listing.
Contact WebMarkets for details on how to optimize your Google My Business listing to perfection.