Google My Business has many benefits, both to the merchant and the searcher.
7 Ways Google My Business benefits consumers
Up-to-date, accurate Google My Business listings help consumers in a multitude of ways.
1. Making it easier for searchers to source important information
Having a GMB profile makes it far easier for consumers to locate information such as a business’s phone number, address, or health and safety policies.
How many times have you found yourself wanting to call up and ask a question, or check a business’s hygiene measures before visiting?
With all this information easily locatable on a business’s GMB listing, searchers can get on with the important stuff, like working out if a business is really suitable for their needs.
2. Quick and easy local business comparison in one place
Finding and switching between multiple businesses’ websites can be a real headache for searchers. With Google My Business, it’s easy to compare and contrast businesses’ offerings by flicking between their listings.
Looking at the example above, it’s clear how much information a searcher can quickly and easily glean just from flicking through a handful of listings on Google Maps.
This makes the searcher’s journey far easier, and means they’re able to make a decision much more quickly.
So, if you have high local rankings, offer relevant services, and give the searcher enough information, you could quickly win a new customer.
3. Searchers can easily check out photos, reviews, and offers from nearby businesses
Through photos and Posts, businesses are able to showcase their offerings, their brand, and even their personality.
With so much information available these are the features that searchers will likely be paying attention to.
Knowing what a cocktail bar looks like (Does it have heaters in its outdoor seating area? How spacious is the bar area? Is there room to dance?) can help to inform searchers quickly. Having the option to read relevant reviews will help the searcher understand if your business offers what they need.
Features like this can be make or break in saturated markets where consumers often feel inundated and overwhelmed by choice. Your potential customers are sure to be grateful that you’ve saved them precious time and energy by providing them with all the information they need to make a decision.
It could save your business time, too. After all, searchers no longer need to call up and ask these questions because the answers are immediately visible right there on your GMB profile.
Likewise, review content can provide answers to these types of questions.
This all means that when the searcher does contact your business or visit you in-store, they’re even more prepared to invest in your product or service. Think of it this way: you’ve turned a lead from warm to hot, all without lifting a finger.
4. It’s easy to make bookings and appointments in Google My Business
With its Book an Appointment feature, Google My Business makes it accessible for consumers to get what they need from your listing. In the case of beauty salons, spas, dentists, or other appointment-taking industries, this can be an extremely useful function that saves both the searcher and the business time.
Simplifying the customer journey through tools like this is only going to lead to happier customers, which in turn should mean happier businesses.
5. Google Maps users can follow and make lists of their favorite local businesses
You thought Google+ was dead? Well, Google isn’t done playing in the social and community space. Even Google Maps has a social function!
Users are able to follow businesses they like and create a list of their favorites. This makes it easier for searchers to keep up with their favorite local stores, and support them, too.
When a Maps user opts to follow a business, they’ll be notified of Offers, Events, Posts, and changes to opening hours. Again, this saves time and makes the user journey much easier.
Beyond that, this element of Google My Business allows customers to feel even more connected with businesses, which is vital in the age of eCommerce giants like Amazon.
6. ‘Justifications’ make it easy for searchers to see how relevant a business is to their search
Google My Business has simplified the search for relevant, nearby businesses. Thanks to the ever-evolving local algorithm, Google (generally) does a great job of surfacing the right businesses for users’ search queries.
As a result, finding the right business is easy.
Look what happens when I search for something niche, like a specific product:
Google Maps returns relevant businesses and highlights content I might find useful to assist in my search.
Under the heading ‘Related to your search,’ Google has returned Q&A content it thinks will be relevant, highlighting keywords in response to queries about the ps5.
This is something that Google does frequently, in order to provide more relevant results.
If I search for a restaurant that’s family-friendly, Google will return results where that phrase has been mentioned in reviews, or even on the business’s website (in the case of Bubby’s, below). This function is sometimes called ‘Justifications’.
7. It gives consumers ways to provide feedback and improve local businesses
Google My Business allows Google Maps users to provide their own feedback on businesses through the app and validate the opinions of others, ensuring a more accurate, picture of the business.
Through user-focused features like ‘Suggest an Edit’ or ‘Provide Feedback’, Google ensures any information found on GMB profiles is as up-to-date as possible.
Crowdsourced features like Q&A, reviews, and even photos also help to provide a fair picture of businesses on GMB.
All this contributes to simplifying the process of searching for and pinpointing the relevant local business for a user’s search.