Your Google My Business profile is your digital storefront.
In today’s digital era you cannot only focus on your physical storefront, you have to pay close attention to your online presence. To drive new customers to your business, you need to make sure they find you and that their first impression of your business outweighs the ones of your competitors. Customers expect to find the business they are looking for both on search and on Maps. If you want the customer to find your business and you want to look credible and legitimate, it is time you put effort into your Google My Business profile.
Of all the search engines, Google is the most important one. Every month, Google has 5 billion searches for restaurants, 3 billion searches for hotels, and 600 million searches for hair and beauty salons. To have a well-optimized Google My Business profile is the foundation of a successful local search strategy.
For example, last week my friend was looking to book an appointment with a local hairdresser. She more or less knew where it was, but wanted to check up the exact address. The hair salon had not claimed their Google My Business and could therefore not be found on Google Maps. The first thing that came to my friend’s mind was that the salon was out of business or had moved somewhere else. If you have a local business and have not yet claimed your Google My Business profile – you are probably losing business at this moment.
In fact, 97% of people learn more about a local company online than any other medium and 88% of mobile online searches for local businesses result in either a call or business visit within one day after the search is made.HubSpot
With these statistics in hand, you really want to make sure your Google My Business listing is not only claimed but also actively managed. Your GMB listing does not only work as your digital storefront but it also improves your search engine rankings significantly. Also, a Google My Business profile fuel word of mouth marketing, one of the strongest marketing tools today.
Customers and potential customers compare their options before making a purchase decision online. As a business owner, you really want to make a good impression every time the customer looks up your industry or more specifically your business on Maps and Search. To stand out among your competition, you need to make sure your profile is up to date and that it is appealing. Research shows that the aesthetic factors of the online presence of a business influence the customer’s perceptions about the brand and the brand’s trustworthiness significantly.
When a customer is searching for a location or business, they usually want a glimpse of what they can expect when they arrive at your location. This little sneak peek can spark true excitement in new potential customers. The key benefits of having a Google My Business listing are:
- Customers find your location and can view it before making a visit
- Businesses can have an active conversation with customers online
- Businesses can build their reputation by collecting reviews and by replying to reviews
- Showcase your business in its best light with engaging and high quality pictures of your business. In fact, photos are an really easy and fast way for potential customers to get an impression of a business and according to research businesses with photos get 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps.
A seamless online customer experience
The customer journey and purchase decision-making process has become much more complex and gone through significant changes during the last years. Therefore, the customer journey should be actively maintained, managed, and measured in order to stay competitive. In order to deliver a superior customer experience, it is vital that the company put the customer at the heart of the company.
Marketers must pay more attention to all of the touchpoints in the customer journey and the role technology and media have on the touchpoints throughout the journey. If you as a local business deliver an extraordinary online experience, by delivering a smooth customer journey and knowing your customer, you will stand out from the competition online. Google My Business is an excellent tool for creating a seamless online experience for your customers.