Google My Business - The Power of Local Google Map Listings
by David Dwyer on 02/10/2015
Google Map Listing | The Most Effective Way To Be Found Locally
There are over 1 trillion searches on Google. Google however are very protective of how that is broken down and since 2012 often reply with the figure is now "over that".
How does that breakdown in terms of Local Search? Well the answer is it depends....
That’s a lot of people looking for the services you offer.
Are you making the most of the opportunity?
Or are you one of the many small business owners that fail to take advantage of the free online marketing opportunities that are open to you?
Fuelled by mobile device use, the volume of local searches is set to grow even further.
Google My Business - What is it?
Google haven’t done a great job in packaging local search marketing services to small business owners. They’ve tried Google Places and Google+ for Small Businesses, but their latest attempt has streamlined the process.
Google My Business brings the different elements of Google Search Marketing under one umbrella. It’s a central dashboard for managing your business within the Google universe.
It’s a one-stop-shop.
You can manage so many aspects of your Google marketing from one dashboard, saving you the time and hassle of having to deal with multiple websites. The modular nature allows you to -
1. Share updates with Google+
2. Add your address to integrate with Google Maps
3. Manage your YouTube Channel
4. See who is interacting with your business (Insights)
5. Monitor & Manage your reviews
6. Monitor your website traffic (Google Analytics)
7. Google Hangouts
Helps You Get Found
Using Google My Business quite literally puts your business on the map. When you register your business on Google My Business, you have the opportunity to register your NAP (Name, Address, Phone).
If you’re a local business, offering a local service, Google gives prominence to the map listing, which appear at the top of the search results page, immediately underneath any sponsored listings.
Local Google search works well on any device but particularly comes into its own on mobile phones. From a user experience perspective, it makes the finding and contacting of any business a breeze.
If I’m looking for a "Butcher in Dundee,” a Google Map with map listings for the top results is presented to me.
As a user, it’s convenient for me because with two simple actions; a search and then a click, I can make a call to Scott Brothers.
When a 7 Pack, became a 3 Pack
Google is famed for making regular changes to their search results pages, often with little or no notice.
The most recent change retains the premium positioning of local map listings, but with one significant change. Instead of showing seven listings, they’ve now limited this to display just the first three results.
This is a particular issue, especially if you’ve previously occupied the 4th to 7th position.
So if I’m Scott Brothers, I’m very happy, but if I’m Yorkes, who occupy the 4th position, I’m probably a bit frustrated. That being said, there is a ‘More Results’ option that when clicked will display a larger list of results.
But the reality, as we know all too well from organic search engine rankings, is that you want to be on the first page of any search results.
History has taught us that fewer and fewer people will have the patience to delve that bit deeper, with many preferring to try an alternative search term rather than trolling through pages and pages of results.
Google Marketing Services at Inspire
One of the major benefits is that most of the Google marketing services for businesses are available for free. We urge all our clients to take advantage of Google’s generosity because it can make a dramatic difference to your online visibility. We also know that for many businesses, time and knowledge are not on their side, plus in many cases "Google My Business" simply isn’t enough.
That’s why we offer a broad range of Google Marketing Services. From on-site and off-site search engine optimisation to paid for advertising through Google Adwords. We also have the experience to understand the factors that influence your local Google maps listing ranking.
We’ll help you put in place a strategy that gives you a better chance of appearing in the top 3 positions. Nobody can ever guarantee getting you to the top of the rankings, and you should be cautious of any business that suggests otherwise. There are however principles that when applied will give you a better chance of featuring more prominently.
The last word though is a call to action - whatever you do and whatever stage your business is at - do yourself a huge favour and register your business with Google My Business.
David Dwyer is Managing Director of Inspire Web Development. He has years of experience in a range of web and IT roles plus seven years in sales and marketing in a blue-chip FMCG company. David’s academic and professional qualifications include a BA (Hons) in Business Economics (Personnel & Ergonomics) from the University of Paisley, an MSc in Information Technology (Systems) from Heriot-Watt University and PRINCE2 Practitioner-level certification. He is also an active member of the British Computer Society, Entrepreneurial Exchange and Business for Scotland.
Follow Inspire on Twitter @inspireltd and @developersos
CLV, Customer Lifetime Value, Digital Marketing, Google My Business, Inspire Web Services, Local SEO, Location Based Digital Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, Search Engine Optimisation (Web Copy), Smart Phones, Web Consultancy