Google My Business(GMB) is the platform created by Google to assist small businesses in enhancing their online presence. The listing is made in the form of a profile that enables small business owners to display their products, services, images, opening hours, address, website address and other vital information about their company. Google My Business listings are also linked to other Google platforms such as Google maps to help you reach out to customers on every search that relates to your business.

Since it has been launched in 2014, lots of researches and analysis have been carried out to know all the benefits of Google My Business, and to evaluate if it meets up the purpose of its set up. Just of recent, the Brightlocal group launched a study on Google My Business, and for a period of a year and a half analyzed about 45,000 different GMB listings in 36 industries to know the attitude of consumers to Google My Business, what companies are doing to get the best result from GMB, and how small business owners can optimize their profile to reach more customers.

In the course of this study, they were able to come up with five insightful discoveries among others that every business must know about GMB listings. These five discoveries are authentic base on the comparison of different businesses profile, and they are going to cause a huge difference when activated. Below are the five great discoveries on analyzing 45000 Google my business listings.

  1. Your business undoubtedly needs a website.

Well, Google My Business profile indeed portrays your business to consumers out there. An appreciable percentage of consumers can recall using GMB to obtain the address, phone number and details of restaurants, coffee shops, and caf├ęs around the neighborhood and the same goes for website and directories. Even though GMB receives more ratings in this aspect, but that does not in any way underrate the value of a local business website.

However, when it comes to the question of which of these means do consumers presume to have accurate and up-to-date information about a business? About 56% of the total respondents consider a local business website as the true source of authentic information about a business, 32% goes to Google My Business, and directories receive the remaining 12%. Also, the group poses the question of how frequently do respondent visit a local website of businesses before making a final decision on which brand to patronize? 76% of them check the business website half of the time they have made local intent researches, while 22% of them claim they must check the business website on every decision time, and 8% voted that they never care to visit the website for once.

The whole essence of a GMB profile is to be your business preacher, to introduce your business to consumers, but you gain the trust and confidence of your customers through a website.

  1. Images improve engagement.

The more the images present on a Google My Business profile, the more the level of engagement of buyers. Imagine you are making researches on cake shop in Jacksonville, Florida, you will surely spend more time on the business profile with the highest number of photos, carefully observing each cakes images to know the one that meets your desire. From the research, it shows that average Google My Business profile has 11 high-quality images, and those with over 100 images like hotels and car dealers receive 20 times more selection than those with the average number of images. Meanwhile, those with only one image suffer by 65% of getting clicks compared to the average listings.

  1. GMB is not only meant for brand searches.

Some people used to have the thought that Google My Business helps when consumers are already aware of the name of their business. However, Brightlocal group research result shows that only 16% of searches that involve GMB are direct searches(the customers already know the name of the business) while the remaining 84% goes to discovery searches. Discovery searches are listings result produced by search engines when a consumer makes non-branded searches, such as a dentist in New York, a coffee shop in my area e.t.c.

Getting more consumers to explore your business listing on Google requires you to do some necessary optimization by choosing the perfect GMB category for your profile and ensuring your business rank higher for those keywords. Choosing the right primary and secondary categories for your business profile requires you to try different categories out from time to time and noticing the effect of each by using analytic tools. As far as the result of the research is concerned, it is not of any benefit for businesses like beauty salon, tattoo studio to opt for practice and practitioner listing category.

  1. Customers action rate is increasing.

The rate at which buyers are relating to GMB listing is rising from what we used to have in the past. According to the study result, the customer action rate increased from 3.9% in 2017 to 4.8% in 2018. This increment is said to be a result of new features added to the profile which give researchers more chance and reasons to engage in Google My Business listings.

  1. Car dealerships are making exceptional progress in GMB.

Out of the 36 different companies that Brightlocal base the study on, car dealership receives an outstanding and astonishing result. This is because, even though fewer people are concerned about buying a car unlike looking for a coffee shop or restaurant, car dealership came third to hotels(first) and restaurants(second) in the ranking of companies with the highest average monthly direct and discovery searches. The industry gets more clicks, average images, calls, and engagement from consumers in all ramifications.

From Brightlocal findings, they discovered that the company gains such a result because they fully optimized their listings. You will agree that looking for a car dealer on the internet requires many types of research, and because of this consumers tend to check many car dealership listings, websites, clicks, calls and also check numerous car images before making the final decision. And the car dealers realizing this discharge all their efforts in optimizing their Google My Business listings.