With so many listings websites and social media platforms available to help you promote your local business, it can be a challenge for small businesses with limited resources to determine how to best allocate their time and effort. It’s important to weigh the benefits of each platform for your unique business needs, weighing criteria such as how many people you can reach or how that audience is aligned with your target customer.
But regardless of your goals, there’s one platform local businesses shouldn’t overlook: Google My Business. Formerly called Google Places, Google My Business is a one-stop listing which allows your local business to appear on search, maps and Google+.
Why Google? It’s where the people are:
- Google is the most-visited digital media property in Canada
- 92.59% of mobile searches worldwide are conducted on Google
- 66% of desktop searches occur on Google
Here are some particularly compelling stats for local businesses:
- 4 out of 5 consumers use search engines to find local information
- 50% of local mobile searches resulted in a store visit within a day
- 34% of computer/tablet searches resulted in a store visit
Listings such as Google My Business or YP.ca are different from (and can complement) your actual website in that they offer additional opportunities to appear within search results. When you optimize your website for SEO, you help your own URL climb higher in the rankings. But Google My Business pages get additional eye-catching placements on search engine results pages and within commonly-used tools such as Google Maps.
Here are some additional reasons why Google My Business is a valuable tool for local businesses:
You own your information
Consistency across listings is a key attribute that helps businesses climb to the top of local searches. By claiming your listing on high-value directories such as Google, you can ensure that each citation of your business has the exact same info (even tiny differences such as listing your address on South Main Street on one site and S. Main Street on another can have a detrimental effect).
It offers robust tools for highlighting your offering
From details such as menus, product lists, hours of operation and accepted payment types to visual and interactive features such as photos and reviews, Google My Business pages offer a range of tools to attract and inform local customers. You can even add coupons and special offers.
You can learn even more about your customers
Google My Business includes extra analytics by platform, enabling local businesses to learn even more about their customers. For example, on Google Maps, data includes where requests for driving directions to your business originate from – something that could help you pick the right neighbourhood to expand to as your business grows.
Maximize your resources with the right local listings
In order to get the highest ROI for digital marketing efforts, it’s important for local businesses to think about which platforms provide the highest reach among potential local customers. Yellow Pages can help you evaluate the options and take smart steps to achieve high visibility in local searches on Google.