So if you’ve been using the internet for any period of time, you know that if you’re a local business, it’s really important for you to be able to show up on the Google Map results.
Hi, I’m Ken Tucker. I’m the marketing solution architect at Changescape Web and a bestselling author on Amazon for the book Content Marketing for Local Search.
And we’re also a Google partner. When you’re thinking about being found online for most businesses, it’s absolutely critical that you show up on the Google Map results. If you’re not, you’re missing a massive opportunity. Now, when you look at the approximate calls or clicks by area, and this is across industries, the paid search results, these are gonna be, the Google ads, are gonna be the local services ads, as well as the regular Google Ads that only accounts for 10 to 20% of the clicks.
People recognize those ads. what they are, they are ads. And so they would rather go to sources where they feel like it’s more trusted and vetted information. So they’re gonna go to the Google Map results, and they’re gonna go to the local organic results. So it’s really important to keep that in mind.
Now the key thing is if you can get in all three of these, that’s even the be the strongest position that you can. So when it comes to making sure that you’re found, look, Google is absolutely king when you take the search results and findings that show where what people are using.
And based on the search results that are happening, you’ll see that YouTube, Google images, and Google, all of which are owned by Google, account for about 93% of all search traffic. Now, before we get too far into this, I want to talk about some key terms because there’s a lot of confusion out there in the industry when it comes to search engine optimization and what it means, and what you really get with that.
SEO is search engine optimization. That’s what I think every business needs to be listening for. Are they talking about search engine optimization or are they talking about search engine marketing? If they’re talking about search engine marketing, then it usually means that there’s paid search. In place of, or in addition to, the organic SEO.
Now organic SEO is all of those things that you can do to make your website show up better in the search results. It’s a combination of these on-page SEO things and getting inbound links and strong signals from other places on the web back to your website. So that’s when I talk about SEO is not the paid ad strategy.
Most people, when they talk about search engine marketing, they’re just going straight to paid search. Keep in mind that’s only maybe 10 to 20% of all of the clicks that happen. The other thing to keep in mind is the Google Business profile. This is what shows up on your Google Map results.
It used to be called Google My Business or GMB. You need to ensure that you’re paying attention to that, and that’s really what this little presentation is all about. What happens when you put in a search phrase plus a location or a search phrase plus near me, you’re gonna get what’s called a local search result.
Now, this uses a different Google algorithm than just the regular search results. And if you’re a brick-and-mortar place of business where people go it’s important to realize that 72% of consumers who do local searches like that they’re going to that store within a matter of minutes.
And so you can see here as an example Italian restaurant, St. Charles. And so it’s gonna show the ones that are near me or if I put in the phrase St. Charles when I’m looking for an Italian restaurant. Now, if I’m looking for a business that does a service area where, or I don’t go to their place of business, they come to me.
Then you still search phrase plus location or plus near me, so Painter, Sacramento, California. Now in some cases, in many industries, these days, you’re gonna get this go Google local services ad that’s the rectangular style ad that’s showing up here. These are pay-per-lead instead of pay-per-click.
The regular Google search ads that are gonna show up underneath those are pay-per-click ads. And then you’ve got the Google Map results, which show up underneath both of these ad results sets, as we saw on that early slide. And, so you wanna make sure that your business is showing up on the Google Map results in what we call the three pack.
And when you do, you are gonna get the lion’s share of the clicks that fall into that category. As we said, it’s a substantial number. All of this is before you even scroll down to start to see the organic search results. So being on Google Maps is absolutely critical. Now, it’s not the only thing you need to do.
People trust information from business websites more than they trust information from your Google My Business page or Google Business Profile. But that’s not to say that people aren’t using it because you can see here that a lot of people will use the Google map and find your Google My Business page that way to contact you.
They’re gonna look for things like hours at your open directions and reading online reviews. So online reviews are absolutely critical for your Google business profile. It’s rare that people only use that and never look at your website. So 92% of people are going to be looking at your website and making a decision on who they choose when they’re working with a local business.
And if that business has bad information out there, it’s gonna cost you customer opportunities. So when you factor in, you know what drives results to help you show up in the Google Map results. There are several different things. Some of these are things that you can control through your Google business profile listing.
Other things are this concept of local SEO and what you do on your website, and how you build quality, authoritative links to your website and also to your Google Business Profile. So having the right category selected is absolutely critical. The information about your business being accurate and up to date and fully filled out on your Google Business profiles is key and getting strong Google reviews and responding to those reviews on a regular basis.
Critical is proximity. How close is somebody when they’re doing a search? So if they’re doing a search on their phone, they may use the GPS on their phone. If they don’t put in a phrase like a location at the end of a search phrase or a near me, it’s gonna inherently assume the GPS from the phone.
Now, if they type in a location and they’re 25 miles away, then you know, then you’re still gonna have a diminishing return the farther away that you are from the physical address of what you’re searching. You wanna make sure your data is consistent everywhere across the web, information about your business, your name, address, and phone number, because, again, it just sends trust and authority signals to the search engines, in this case, Google, that the information about your business is accurate and up to date, and that you care enough to make sure that it is, and it just doesn’t happen by chance.
On-page, is what you do on your website. These are things that you can do to continue to build out your Google business profile. What’s happening on your website, the behavior of users when they go to your website, and does anybody care to link to your website?
So all of those are big factors. So you can see that doing Google Business alone is not enough. Now the other thing to keep in mind is you don’t own your Google My Business page.
Ultimately, if Google decides that they wanna suspend it, they can suspend it, then it’s the burden is on you to prove that it shouldn’t have been suspended. There are bad actors out there that will submit bogus information about your business and maybe cause caused it to happen that way. So you can’t just only rely on your Google business page.
But it is absolutely critical for most businesses to have a well-put-together Google business page and a great strategy to keep it optimized and up to. You definitely focus on the primary business category. It’s absolutely critical. I know sometimes it’s hard when you have four or five core services.
For example, water damage, restoration, fire, and mold. If you do those three things, you need to pick one of those three to be your primary business category. You can have a secondary category or two, but your primary is gonna get you the best results for your Google Maps results. As I said, you wanna make sure you’ve got the name, address, phone number, and information consistent across the web.
We call that citation building, getting strong online reviews and getting those coming in on a regular basis, responding to reviews, critically important, optimizing your website, making sure that you’re doing everything you can to get your website to rank and also to get it tied back between your Google Business Profile and your website, having those and, optimizing those in conjunction with one another is critically important.
Getting links and authority signals from external websites back to your website is critical. I think it’s really important to make sure that you enable Google messages and that you track Google phone calls using a call tracking number. And last but not least, you want to have a system in place where you automatically respond as quickly as possible.
Speed of response is critical. In some industries, it’s absolutely critical, like water damage restoration. In other cases, it doesn’t have to be that second that somebody contacts you. But the statistics show those people who, those businesses who respond first. Dramatically improve the opportunity that they have to capture that business, even if they charge more.
So I think it’s important, and this is one of the things we do for our clients, is to take a look and see where you are showing up plotted on a map. Because again, we’re talking about how you’re gonna improve your rankings on the Google Map results. We use analytical tools to be able to help us understand where you’re ranking on grid points and also maybe where a competitor is ranking.
So, in this case, red is bad. Orange is okay because you’re on the first page. Green is great because you’re in Google Maps; you’re in the top three. Here. You know you want to be this, not this. So if you’re interested in seeing how your business is doing, you can request a local SEO report and a lead flow meeting.
And we’ll talk about what your current situation is and give you some ideas on how you can improve that, or you can schedule and request your SEO report, or you can call or text this number to get started. Thanks.
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