Google My Business and its Importance for Small Businesses Owners

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With new traction in the digital world, the small businesses springing up every day are taking advantage of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to build their online presence and to gain new leads.  As a small business owner, leveraging on any online tool is an easy and cost-effective way to increase your business visibility. One of such tools is ‘Google My Business,’ a tool that allows customers to easily find the physical locations of their favourite go-to brands.  

Not all traditional businesses are aware of what Google My Business is and how important it is, for when you decide to fully take your business online in today’s age of digital economy.  Being a conventional business means your business has a physical location, it could be a restaurant, a café, bookstore, or a fashion shop.  Essentially, you are a business owner whose physical products or services are not sold in digital platforms. Being online is a way to gain a wider scope of potential clients.  Now, if you’re looking to expand your business and create a stronger customer base, you must start doing business and using google my business.

What is Google My Business?

Google my business is a free tool for business owners to manage their online presence across the Google suite of websites, including Google search, mobile search, local search and google maps. It allows you to create, verify and edit a business listing in google.

When a customer or someone from your target audience googles your business name, the google my business automatically shows your business address, opening hours and contact information conveniently without the searcher having to visit your website.

  Google My Business listing allows businesses to provide critical information about what product or service they offer to searchers which includes:

  •  Phone number
  • Website address
  • Business address (with link to directions via google maps)
  • Business reviews
  • Business description
  •  Featured posts
  •  Special or upcoming events
  • And more (depending on your business).

They can also see photos of your business, complete a transaction (like book an appointment) and see other information that grabs a searcher’s attention — all without them even visiting your website. That’s a pretty powerful way of giving your business visibility. According to Google, around 40% of users who conduct a search don’t click on anything, which means they are likely getting the information they need directly from the search results page. This means that as a business owner, you are more likely to benefit from having a google business listing.

Why your business should use a Google My Business Listing?

If you are a business owner, and you don’t have a marketing budget but are looking to increase your brand or market’s awareness, Google My Business is one of the most effective ways to do that and increase your company’s online presence. As a local business, Google My Business helps you to improve your business’ local search engine optimization and online visibility.

Google is at the center of the internet and has a market share of over 88% as a search engine, according to Statista.  Google receives over 63,000 searches per second with an average of 3-4 searches each day per person which means that Google is your greatest asset as a business owner. Here is why you should open a Google My Business Account:

Increases Your Business’s Local Ranking:  

As a local business owner in a particular area that is saturated with the same nature of business, it’s important to have Google My Business which will help you to optimize your business locally. Apart from helping businesses to increase visibility, Google My Business is a key local ranking factor.

In fact, according to local ranking factor industry research, Google My Business “signals” is the most important ranking factor for local pack rankings. Google My Business signals had a significant increase in ranking importance between 2017 and 2018 —rising from 19% to 25%.

It’s an essential local SEO tool that enables your business listing to appear in local search results for queries specific to your product or service. For instance, if you run a coffee shop in a physical location where there are three or two other coffee shops, by using Google My Business, you can rank and optimize uniquely for your business name when potential or returning customers search for your business on Google.

Your Customers Can Find Your Physical Location Easily:

Doing business in a market place in Lagos is a tough nut to crack. Several businesses from cafes, shops, bars, restaurants, and clubs are rather located in weird locations that make it difficult to find. Some are nestled in very residential areas and others are hidden far back in shady alleyways.  Most times, not being able to find the physical location of a business you have heard so much about online, can be frustrating.  Google My Business makes it simple for your customers to find the exact location of your business on Google Maps and  not having to rely on word of mouth directions .Without it, there is a possibility you might lose a potential customer who is looking forward to patronize your business but finds it difficult locating the physical location of your business.    

Helps to Increase Your Business Search Visibility:

Not only does Google My Business help your customers to find you physically, your business gets found digitally too. If a searcher randomly googles your business name or maybe perhaps a returning customer, Google My Business will display your business in the search results. It can vastly improve your search visibility in Google.

They don’t have to search for your business name, it could be specific keywords or phrases related to your business. As long as you have optimized your business on Google My Business, the search results will display your business.

 And also, when prospective customers look for local businesses, they are generally ready to make a purchase (or at the very least are highly interested in making a purchase). People don’t google “best pizza in lekki phase one,” because they are hungry but are ready to make a purchase.

Conclusion

Google My Business is an amazing free tool that allows any business owner, no matter the size of the business, to compete for visibility on Google Search and Maps (Google properties). It is possible for small to medium-sized businesses to be the first seen businesses on Google’s search results for related searches as long as you optimize rightly for certain keywords related to your business. It is also an opportunity for you to acquire new customers and keep your old customers updated on events and new business trends.

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