Is your small business losing prospective customers because of Google Maps — or, to be more specific, because your business isn't showing up on Google Maps?
For businesses that target a local customer base, such as restaurants, retailers or professional services companies, your digital marketing strategy isn't complete without a plan for making the most of Google Maps.
Why does your business’s placement on Google Maps matter so much? Consumers searching for businesses naturally care about location. After all, the closer your business is, the more convenient it is for them. No wonder that mobile searches including the phrase “where to buy” have grown by 85 percent since 2015. Consumers also search for businesses using the phrase “near me” or using their town or city name. Even when shoppers don’t specify location, Google uses information about their location to list nearby businesses higher in search results.
Online searches are a key signal of a prospect’s intent to buy. In fact, more than three-fourths (76 percent) of online searches for local businesses result in foot traffic to those locations in 24 hours or less. If prospective customers search for what you sell, and your competitor’s business pops up in Google Maps instead of yours, who do you think will make the sale?
Google Maps isn't the only local search directory out there, of course — but it is by far the most important one. A whopping 96 percent of mobile search traffic comes from Google. By comparison, Yahoo drives just 2 percent of mobile search traffic, and Bing only 1 percent. Clearly, Google Maps is the place to put most of your efforts.
Now that you know how important Google Maps is for your marketing efforts, here are some tips to help you maximize results from your local search listing.
Working with digital marketing experts is a smart way to get more from your Google Maps placement. Look for a digital marketing solution that identifies your ideal customers, researches how they search online, and uses search engine optimization and placement on Google Maps to ensure your business ranks high in local search listings.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship.