Marketing companies and small business owners themselves, continue to realize that as soon as they get comfortable with a direction or strategy, the virtual ground below them shifts. Nowhere is this more apparent in Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) than with Google My Business (GMB). Watching this trend develop has been fascinating to an internet marketing nerd like myself.
Over a few short years, SERP has changed from:
Sponsored Ads & Organic Listings…to Sponsored Ads, Map Pack 7, & Organic Listings….to Sponsored Ads, GMB 3 Pack, Directories Galore, & Organic Listings
And the change continues…
Google My Business pages now stand out when anyone searches your company name, but also appear at the top of the page for more broadly based search queries. Searching for just about any small business in general terms, say “pool supply store” or “best pool supply store near me”, and you’ll see the 3-pack of Google My Business page links atop all other results.
The value of this position is huge and is also measurable within GMB’s own set of analytics, showing calls, clicks, direction requests, post and Q&A interactions and more. Internet marketing professionals agree, an SMB paying no mind to their GMB page is making a huge mistake.
Like all things Google, learning exactly how to maximize and make your GMB page stand out remains somewhat of a mystery. In trying to crack the code, I have found that following a simple premise seems to consistently pay off wherever Google is concerned….. use logic. Look at your page itself. Is it complete? Have you added all of the elements which Google has enabled? Simple things like correct NAP info (name, address, phone) are obvious, but have you taken them up on some of the additional options, all of which enhance your listing and answer the central question for the consumer: Is this company the best choice for me?
Thinking through how someone answers that question for themselves and you’ll realize a modern truth, the consumer has all the power, not the business or the advertiser.
Google’s quest seems clear. They want to continue being both a verb and a noun. They want there to be no question as to where one goes to get information of any kind. Your small business can use this simple yet powerful premise to shape all future decisions concerning internet marketing.
- Does my listing properly demonstrate who we are?
- Does it showcase what we do?
- What type of vibe does it give off?
Another clue you can glean from the folks in Mountain View, is where are they putting emphasis. We watched Google Plus die a slow death, and in the end when it was going away we knew it, because there were no appreciable changes to its structure or anything new for the last year or so before it evaporated permanently last summer. Realizing there was little to no user engagement, they made the decision to kill it. With GMB, nothing could be further from the truth.
Last month, Google advised that they would no longer accept “stock” photos on GMB on behalf of a small business. This move simply reinforced the other recent changes which aim to provide users with a more authentic and custom feel. Again, think about how you select things yourself. Before investing time or money in anything, you are going attempt to make the very best decision for yourself.
Stay abreast of all the most recent changes in your company’s Google My Business listing, it’s making the difference between just being found, and being chosen.
For more information on how to cash in on your company’s #1 online asset, its Google My Business listing, contact us at OMG National.