An increasing number of searches are local – a trend that has only been growing since the mobile internet and smartphones came to prominence. Today, more than half of web traffic comes from mobile devices and, therefore, it makes a lot of sense that Google surface a special type of search result, called “Google My Business”, if a company or business matches the search in question. We mentioned this before in “Backlinks”.
Getting a Google My Business listing is completely free – just head over to https://www.google.com/intl/en_uk/business/ and register. Be ready to verify your business either with a phone call or a piece of old-school paperwork through the mail.
Once you are registered you will be able to control, to a degree, how your business is presented including:
- Your address
- Your phone number
- Your opening hours
- Pictures of your business (inside and out)
- and reviews of your business
Reviews of your business on Google My Business are incredibly important – they are likely to be one of the first things a new prospective customer will see.
Trustpilot and TripAdvisor may have cornered the market temporarily in online reviews and Google is known to syndicate this data but, if you’re looking for a “mystic Chris” prediction for the future – expect Google to eventually default to using only its own data for star ratings against websites, once the amount of data reaches a “critical mass” and the data from third parties is no longer required.
Any business that offers a service through someone else’s platform that can be replicated by that platform will eventually either be bought by, or put out of business by, that platform.
You like me, you really like me…
It may seem needy but asking your existing customers for a review on Google My Business is an extremely worthwhile exercise. Often, a simple prompt to leave a review is all that it takes.