Google My Business And Why It Is Important For Your Local Business
Every day there are said to be 5.6 Billion searches on the Google Search Engine. It is also said nearly 50% of all those searches are by people looking to find local businesses, products and services.
Local Search Statistics for Businesses:
46% of all Google searches are those in search of local information.
4 in 5 users use search engines (namely, Google) to find local information.
By 2021, mobile devices are expected to influence over $1.4 trillion worth of local sales.
Searches for “Near me” or “close by” keywords grew by more than 900% since 2018.
It’s expected that local search will send 70% of customers to a physical store.
78% of location-specific mobile searches result in an in-store purchase.
That word local is extremely important because most businesses online, probably including yours, are local and have no interest in selling products and services outside local areas or regions.
In this post we look at a free platform which allows your business to market locally in its location. This makes sense for delivery of products or services to customers and clients.
The vast majority of businesses online are local to their location and region, area or country. Apart from the huge cross border corporations and conglomerates, most small mom and pop stores or SME’s are local to where they are physically located.
They operate in a clear and defined geolocation. It is therefore important that these economic backbone businesses have a means and a way of marketing their products and services locally.
Of course this is possible with digital strategies such as those we create at Digital Marketers Nairobi for Digital Display and Search Marketing or Paid Social Marketing.
These digital solutions allow your business to advertise and market with what are known as targeting parameters which include location where the ads will be displayed. This for instance we can specify that your ads are only viewed by an audience in a specific country such as Kenya. We can even become more granular and specify the ads should only be shown to audiences in specific locations such as Nairobi.
But what if you are a growing business without an ad budget ? How do you market your product and services to a local based audience ?
You might say in answer to this try Social Media Marketing and indeed this is one approach that we would use at https://digitalmarketers.co.ke
Although it is not disastrous to advertise on social media outside your businesses location, there is no way of ensuring that the ads are targeted exclusively or primarily at your local audience. This makes the Social media marketing inefficient for local businesses because it is more akin to traditional forms of marketing known as scatter gun or spray and pray. In scatter gun advertising and marketing you publish content and hope your preferred subset of a local audience is to be found in the global audience that views your ad.
As a concrete example you cannot post a non paid social media ad on Twitter or Facebook and specify that it should only appear in a specific locality. By definition, it will be viewable across the entire global social media platform.
Google My Business
The answer to the question, How do you market your product and services to a local based audience, if you have a limited or non existent ad budget ? is answered by Google My Business also known as GMB
Google allows businesses to create profiles that can be searched for and located on maps by audiences of people in a geographic area that is local to the business.
The profile has to be verified by Google before you can complete the business information. Verification can sometimes be difficult but here at Digital Marketers in Nairobi we have experience of getting the profiles readily verified as long as they are created with a verified google account. Once verified your business can take advantage of a free platform that will show up for local searches for products and services as well as businesses in a particular location.
With a Google My Business Profile, a local business can do local marketing where the business can respond to customer reviews, answer questions from prospects or create its own questions as a way of pre answering potential prospect queries.
The business can publish full posts or excerpts of posts, photographs of the business and its products and it can give detailed descriptions about products and services on the profile. Google My Business also allows the business to give details of the business operations such as hours of business, exact geographical location and even access facilities for people with special needs such as wheelchairs.
GMB also allows direct communication with prospects who view the profile while doing local searches. They can message your business and you can respond to the query immediately. Your business customers are also able to give after contact reviews which is great social proof that facilitates more trust with future prospects and customers if the reviews are generally positive.
Google My Business also has insight capability so you can see how prospects who view your business profile find you. This may be from a direct search for your business or by searching for your type of products and services or by other means. By understanding how your business is being found by your audience you are in a better position to target those sources of traffic to generate more leads.
GMB is therefore almost like a localized Social Media Platform. Using this platform allows you to engage with a specifically local audience near to where your physical store or office is located. A completely filled out profile and updated with photo, post and informative content becomes a powerful and free way in which to market and advertise your business to people or audiences that are close to the business and therefore more likely to convert into customers than those you may find on the better known global social media platforms.
At Digital Marketers Nairobi we are competent in setting up Google My Business profiles for local business marketing, getting them verified and providing ongoing content for the profiles. If you would like help with this or any other digital marketing strategy please contact us on our website at https://digitalmarketers.co.ke
Digital Marketers in Nairobi https://digitalmarketers.co.ke is a one stop shop for best of class full digital marketing consultancy services in Kenya.
Our sister business Nairobi Business Courses offers training in digital marketing visit them at Nairobi Business Courses