Remember when you first launched your website? And all the blood, sweat and tears—and money— that went into making it the most beautiful, useful website that would undoubtedly get millions of visits and virtually deliver new customers to your doorstep?
How times have changed.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Websites are still important, relevant and in many cases a necessary hub of information.
But five years ago, Google launched a free platform called Google My Business (GMB for short), which allows users to quickly gather information about a company in a listing format without having to leave Google to go to that company’s website.
“Sounds great,” you may think. “But so what?”
Here’s the kicker: your company’s GMB listing gets at least quadruple the impressions as your website.
And while four times more impressions may not sound significant, that could amount to thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of impressions on your GMB listing—unequivocally making it the most important tool that companies today should prioritize.
To put it bluntly, your GMB listing is a valuable piece of real estate.
Today, there are more than 150 million GMB listings that show up in Google search either on the right side of your screen for a single location (like The Phoenician Resort) or in the Maps section if the company has several locations or listings (such as Goodwill).
Over the past five years, Google has introduced myriad functionalities to the GMB listing that optimize the user experience and make it easier than ever to do virtually everything within the listing itself, such as read customer reviews, see photos, get offers, book a reservation and so much more.
Earlier this summer, the search behemoth announced new GMB features available to businesses that will undoubtedly attract more eyes and clicks: welcome offers for customers who “follow” its GMB listing, company logos and cover photos, the ability for users to purchase items directly within the profile (like tickets to the ballet), and a “Local Favorite” badge for companies in the top 5 percent of their specific category.
And just a few months ago, Google hinted at potentially monetizing listings. In a survey to select local companies, users were asked how much they would be willing to spend each month for certain features, many of which would be new features like automated review responses and the ability to remove ads from your listing. Google is exploring charging businesses anywhere from $25 to $60 per month depending on the option selected, according to this survey. If this ends up being implemented, it will have a significant impact on what information about a company is provided in the GMB profile when users do a search.
When it comes to attracting new customers and generating revenue, your GMB listing should be priority number one. Make sure you’re leveraging all of the available features that will help connect you with potential customers.
If you don’t prioritize GMB, you can bet that your competitors already have.
Are you willing to take that chance?
Joel Coen is chief digital officer for Commit Agency.