4 Reasons Local Businesses Need to Use Google My Business

Google is an ever changing tool that is imperative for businesses to survive. Because of this, we believe it is best for your business to make the most of the free tool, Google My Business.

We are here to discuss four reasons local businesses need to use Google My Business:

  1. It is a FREE acquisition tool
  2. Increase your leads by posting regular updates.
  3. Getting a Google seal of approval  is an easy way to stand out
  4. Reviews on Google allow you to take a look at your customer’s experience

Google is a FREE Acquisition Tool

Google has a 92% market share of searches.  A FREE tool that you and your business do not want to miss out on is Google My Business.  

Each day there are 5.6 billion searches on Google. So, it is a huge missed opportunity if your business is not showing up in the results.  This is especially true for local businesses like senior living facilities or financial planning providers.

Google My Business includes search and maps. It is how a majority of customers find local businesses based on location, hours, and reviews. This is why keeping your Google My Business profile up to date is key.

Increase Your Leads by Posting Regular Updates

Would you like to increase your business’s number of leads?

You need to update your Google My Business profile! Updating your profile will grow your business’s number of leads and local. Keeping an up-to-date and accurate GMB profile impacts Google’s algorithm and helps your business show up for more local searches. 

Out-of-date or inaccurate information, it can lead to missed opportunities.

A Story of Missed Opportunity

For example, not too long ago, I was searching on Google to see if my favorite restaurant was open for dining in. Their profile said they were only doing take-out and delivery because of COVID-19.

The next day, I overheard someone saying they went to my favorite restaurant to eat. I called the business and asked if they were offering their dine-in service and to my surprise, they said yes.

Because their Google profile was not up to date, they lost my business to a competitor who had an updated profile. 

Moral of the Story

Keep your Google My Business profile current and accurate. Update your hours of operation, location, phone number, and website. This will help Google and those local searcher find your business at the right time.

Remember: if your business’s hours change seasonally, make sure to update your profile so you do not miss out on those valuable seasonal customers!

Google’s Seal of Approval

Google currently has three different seals of approval depending on the type of business you own. The goal of these approvals is to protect customers from unlicensed businesses and increase customer’s trust in local search results.

First, the easiest seal of approval is verifying your business with Google. This is a required step for your Google My Business profile, so it is free and easy to do.  

Google Guarantee

Next, the program called “Google Guarantee” is for local service-based businesses like locksmiths, plumbers, and painters. Your business must pass a screening by Google. Then it is only $50 per month to have a “Google Guaranteed” badge on your listing.  Check out: Google Guarantee 101 from Orbit Local.

This fee of $50 a month allows unhappy customers to submit a claim to Google. Google will cover up to $2,000 per claim. The only catch is that customers must book your service through Google Local Services.

Google Screened

Finally, for services, like financial planners or lawyers, there is a “Google Screened”. To get this approval, your business must have a Google rating of at least 3 stars, pass a background check and each employee needs to pass a license check.

This free seal of approval gives your business a green check mark and notates your profile as “Google Screened”.

Google My Business Google Screened Example

So, if your business is eligible for any of these seals by Google, then they are a great way to stand out from your competitors. 

Google Reviews Allow You to Understand Your Customer’s Experience

Google Reviews are a great way to see what your customer’s experience is like. Positive and negative reviews allow you to get an idea of areas within your business that your customers are happy with and areas that may need some work.

Don’t view a negative review as a bad thing. This is an opportunity to make your overall customer experience better and promote good relationships with your consumers. 

First, if you receive a negative review, respond to it promptly (..and with kindness).

These interactions are public so it is a great way to show that your business is customer-focused.

Once you tackle responding to the negative review, find a resolution so that this same review does not come from a different customer. You want to avoid duplicate negative reviews. 

Plus, some consumers feel that having a “less than perfect” rating means that your reviews feel more authentic. When you respond to those reviews, potential new customers see how you run your business and how much you care.

Impact on the 3-Pack

Having good reviews ranks your business higher on the search engine results page (SERP).

The top three results in the Google 3-Pack receive 44% of clicks and the 3-Pack ranks number one in 93% of searches.

The Google 3-Pack is the top three Google My Business listings that show up on both the SERP and Google Maps. To learn more about how to optimize your GMB listing for the Google 3-Pack, check out our blog post on it here. 

If you need assistance in building your business’s online reputation and reviews, Smart Girl Digital offers Online Reviews & Business Reputation Services. Our team helps your business monitor its reputation online, seek positive reviews, and prevent bad reviews before they happen. If this service sounds like something your business could use, schedule a FREE discovery session with us!

88% of customers who do a search looking for a local service, visit or call the store within one day. Having a strong Google Profile can only help your business.

Why not take advantage of this free tool and increase the number of customers your business sees?

If you are interested in Google My Business best practices, schedule a free discovery call with Smart Girl Digital.

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