Every business, to be successful, needs to be found. Your potential clients need to know that you exist. This is traditionally done though advertising your brand, telling people your story via social media. But what about your location? It is important for customers to find you, but could your location or your listing of your location be leveraged to increased the number of customers.
Why the focus on Google Maps?
Google Maps now has more than a billion users and people visit 1.5 billion destinations based on their Google searches. As Google noted, location-related searches:
- Are almost a third of mobile searches
- Have grown faster than overall mobile searches in the past year
- Three out of every four people who search for something nearby using their smartphone end up visiting a store within a day, and 28% of those searches result in a purchase
According to Sophia Lin, a senior product manager at Google Maps:
“In the coming months, Google Maps will become more assistive and personal with new features that help you figure out what to eat, drink, and do–no matter what part of the world you’re in.”
The fact that Google are concentrating resources on making this feature better, is more important for a business to make sure that your listing is looked after, like any other social media strategy.
Google is using machine learning to better understand the preferences of its users to best match an appropriate search result.
How do you make sure that your business listing is optimised to be available within this search algorithm:
- Make sure your listing has complete information
- Make sure your existing customer base have left reviews
- Update your profile constantly, like you would do with social media
Google places, allow you to add short posts and videos. Google’s aim within the search business, is to make sure that its results are relevant to the user. Having content that will match this search is the first step.
Another important factor, are reviews. It is quite logical to think that a business with 5 reviews, will be listed as more relevant over the same type of business with 0 reviews.
When a company provides a service, the customer is either satisfied or dissatisfied. In the digital world today, customers often take their experience straight to the web.
If the customer expresses a positive experience, the review can be amplified on the web and social media to encourage others:
- 92% of consumers now read online reviews vs. 88% in 2014
- Star rating is the number one factor used by consumers to judge a business
- 44% say a review must be written within one month to be relevant. This highlights the importance of recency in reviews – 88% trust reviews as much as personal recommendations, vs. 83% in 2014
Google knows this, thus reviews are a basic quality check for your business, which has been baked into their deep learning algorithm.
Getting found is the first and most important aspect of any business. Make sure your Google Place listing is optimised by having an internal processes in place that focuses on this. Your amazing product/service can only be discovered, if you allow it to be.