3 Reasons Why Google My Business is Better than Website Marketing for Small Businesses
It’s no secret that the customer base for most businesses is on the internet. In recent years, companies have turned their attention to the web for marketing. But with the various digital marketing tools at their disposal, shops are finding it difficult to prioritize a method.
Google My Business listings and websites are two of the most popular marketing tools. While both are equally crucial, GBM listings can be more effective for brick-and-mortar shops. Here are three reasons why:
Higher Page Ranking
Google search algorithms are constantly evolving. In recent developments, GMB ‘signals’ are prioritized over traditional business websites. These days, shops can’t get enough traffic from SEO and paid ads alone. In fact, Google Map Listings are more beneficial than business sites ranked on the leading page of a search engine. Oddly enough, appearing on the first few pages of Google is usually a hassle, by itself, for small companies. Most of them even go to such lengths as hiring SEO specialists to customize their websites.
In addition to presenting web pages, Google also optimizes results according to factors such as physical location and browser history. When the search engine discerns that you’re searching for a business or a place, it, more often than not, displays a list of useful companies relating to your query at the top of the page. Website links then appear lower.
It’s also important to note that a user doesn’t have to specify their location when doing a local search. As long as Google has a consumer’s location details, a search such as ‘taco restaurant’ will provide GMB listings for restaurants nearby – details such as ”in Monterrey” are not required.
With such information, customers can cut down on their options until they find a suitable shop. What’s more interesting is that, even if a shopper searches for your company’s name, your GMB listing will appear higher than your website link.
And if you think about it, everybody wins. Consumers get a handy list of shops that they can visit while Google gets searchers to remain on their site for longer.
Recent data shows that:
- 87% of customers search for businesses’ contacts details online.
- 64% of customers discover shops’ locations and phone numbers through GMB listings
- 49% of customers get businesses’ phone numbers through local websites.
First of all, it’s clear that over 80% of customers get businesses’ details through the internet. It’s also clear that 15% of shoppers prefer Google My Business to company websites when looking for contact details. That means that there are several companies out there that receive calls and leads without customers ever visiting their sites.
Another interesting fact is that 76% of consumers who search for local businesses through mobile phones, visit the shop within a 24-hour timeframe. When customers google businesses, they’re ready to take action – book a reservation, purchase a product, or make an appointment. Google, through GMB listings, offers them all the details they need to take action. Such details include:
- Opening and closing hours
- Business addresses
- Company photos
- Quick links to make purchases
Contrary to what you’ve been led to believe, consumers don’t really care about what you say concerning your business. And there’s data to support this argument. 42% of Americans believe businesses are now less truthful compared to 20 years ago – they don’t trust the company’s’ own advertisements.
What they do care about, though, is what other customers say about your business. 89% of customers trust other consumers’ reviews as much as they believe recommendations from their friends and family members.
For a shopper visiting your website, they only see what you’re offering. And as we’ve seen, that’s not enough. That’s why a handful of customers don’t bother to do so. However, with GMB listings, shoppers can easily access reviews from their fellow customers before they make their purchase decision.
As much as Google focuses on delivering relevant search results, they also rely on customer reviews for rankings. Just like consumers, they’re not only interested in your business activities, but they’re also interested in how consumers perceive your business. The search engine determines this by assessing your overall rating on GMB.
With the recent Google updates, businesses with more GMB ratings are considered more credible than the ones with fewer. And according to Uberall, conversion rates spike by 120% when companies attain 4.9 stars and the number of sales grow by 120% with a rating increase of 3.5 to 3.7 stars. Clearly, reviews build your business reputation and provide validation to future customers.
Here are some tips on how you can increase your GMB ratings:
- Responding to your customer’s reviews, whether good or bad – poor reviews will help your business improve.
- After a purchase, ask your customers to rate and review your services.
- You can request your friends to post a review after they have purchased your products.
- Plan a strategy that will lead to more customers leaving reviews.
Another factor to consider:
Setting up GMB is cheaper
Creating a typical website can set you back around $100, and that’s if you’re only looking for a simple small-shop site. To create one, you’ll need to prepare a budget for domain name and hosting. You can pay around $14.99 yearly for a domain name and $7.99 monthly for web hosting. If you’re looking for a feature-rich website, you can pay $30,000 or more. For a business that’s just starting out, this can be very expensive.
Setting up Google My Business, on the other hand, is currently free. You don’t have to pay any fees for claiming your listing or updating it with photos and contact details. For all the benefits that GMB offers, this is a great deal.
Websites have their benefits too. They contribute a lot to the marketing of brick-and-mortar businesses. But considering the time and effort, small shops spend on sites, they shouldn’t confine themselves to only one medium. GMB offers a higher investment return with lesser time and money spent.