Google maps allows every user to contribute their content, describe their experience by providing reviews & insights with answers, sharing photographs, , updating information with place edits, add missing places, or verify information by checking facts.
Business review sites matter to any local business. Why? The answer is in front of you every day. We all search for local shops and restaurants on our phones, and the first sites that usually come up are identified on Google Maps, Trip Advisor, Yelp, and Open Table (just to name a few). Review sites matter to us as customers, and should 100% matter to you as a business owner.
The program lets users plug into the Google Maps app, and contribute photos, reviews, and confirm info about businesses and public venues. According to Google, it has 33 million Local Guides in more than 240 communities.
Through the user-friendly interface, and ability to rank in trust. It is an empowering experience, for anyone who has an experience with a business to contribute and share information about their experience. Once you get your ranking above Level 2, your “trust” level also rises. This is the same as Yelp, and it’s “Elite” program.
Today, user experience correlates with speed. When your trust level is raised, your changes are published quicker. Likewise, if you submit a new a business listing, it gets approved faster.
Next to online reviews, the second most important factor that consumers take into consideration when searching for a local business is proximity to their location. While a quick Google search is certainly effective for narrowing the down the options—especially those on a smartphone—most consumers use Google Maps to locate businesses nearby.
Whether searching for local mechanics or a popular spot to get some ramen noodles, Google Maps will quickly populate with dozens of red markers, each indicating a local business that meets your search criteria. By simply creating a Google My Business listing and completing the verification steps, your store location will start to pop up for local searches as well. This is a great benefit that allows users to instantly see how close you are to their location, increasing the likelihood that they’ll pay you a visit.
If you’ve been following Google’s local search results for the past few years, you’ve probably noticed that the once inclusive 7-pack has now become the limited 3-pack. In order to get into this special club, businesses around the world have been trying a number of different SEO tricks to boost their local rankings and odds of being included in Google’s local 3-pack.
What most brands don’t know is, by simply creating a free Google My Business listing, you can greatly increase your odds of making it onto this highly sought after list. The best part about being in the local 3-pack, you ask? Not only do these listings show users where your business is located on Google Maps, but they also show up BEFORE organic results—offering a major benefit to your visibility. To better demonstrate just how important this is from a business perspective, brands that show up on Google’s local 3-pack get a whopping 700% boost in clicks over brands that don’t.
For modern customers, one of the biggest hurdles they have to face is that of building enough trust to confidently make a purchase. As a business owner, your job is to help them make that jump as easily as possible. To do this, one of the simplest steps you can take is that of helping potential customers see that your business has an actual location.
Due to the inherent trust and confidence most users place in Google, your business benefits whenever it pops up in a local search, as prospects will automatically be more likely to trust your brand. In fact, brands that show up on Google are 2.7 times more likely to be considered reputable by consumers.
This is due largely in part to the thorough process businesses must go through before being listed on Google My Business. Thanks to the multiple verification steps every brand must complete before appearing in local searches, Google creates a trustworthy environment that users can rely on.
Few factors can influence a potential customer’s purchase decision as much as online reviews. As a consumer, think about the last time you were buying something online. Did you go with the product that had the highest reviews, or the lowest?
With a Google My Business listing, customers will able to review your business and leave feedback for others to see. In doing this, not only will you get honest evaluations about what you’re doing right and what you could be doing better, but you’ll also get that nifty star rating system next to your business on Google. As long as you’re delivering quality products and a quality experience, over time, you’ll start to collect more reviews and a higher overall rating (responding to reviews helps with this as well). This is especially helpful when there are competing businesses nearby and you need to gain a competitive edge.
Another challenge local businesses face is that of maintaining an increase in quality website traffic and keeping a steady supply of foot traffic filtering through their doors. While there’s no way to completely avoid the ups and downs throughout the year, having a Google My Business listing can greatly help boost your numbers across the board.
Just by having a listing and showing up in local searches, Google has found that businesses are as much as 70% more likely to attract location visits from browsing potentials. An even more impressive figure revealed that customers who find a brand through their Google My Business listing are up to 50% more likely to make a purchase.
The more Google likes your business, the higher it will rank you in its Search and Maps results. How do you get Google to like your business more? By supplying quality, consistent, and accurate information. The more Google can tell consumers about your business, the more it will like you. Your Google My Business profile is the best way to feed Google this information.