Moral of the story?
Your costs aren't yielding close to the returns they used to.
But many agencies and consultants would never tell you that.
Because your campaign is how they make their living - even if it's slowly causing you to lose your shirt in the process.
Checkpoint: Skip to The Execution Plan for a complete framework on getting more customers. Or keep reading for more on why Google My Business is important.
The rise of Google My Business
Google My Business has been around for quite a while - before No Click Searches were even a thing.
Here's some of the other names it's gone by:
- Google Places
- Google Maps
- Google Local
- Google Business
Update: Google My Business went through another name change at the end of 2021. It's now called "Google Business Profile".
Google My Business has grown in prominence in terms of how and when these listings appear in search results.
Everything we've covered to this point is about how Google is getting greedy with its traffic.
They don't want to send people to you unless they have to (or unless you pay for it with ads).
But the fact is - people will always want and need to speak to local businesses at some point.
Google knows this (they know a lot, after all).
So rather than having people go to your site when they reach that point - they built an entire platform for people to connect with businesses - one that they own.
Before you start yelling at the sky and condemning Google, it's important to realize two things...
1. We need to play nice with Google (you'll see why shortly).
2. Google My Business actually generates more customers than your website does on its own.
Resist Google at your own risk
We have two choices.
We can take our ball and go home - crying about how Google is evil, agencies are evil, and we're not going to play with either any more.
We'll debate the ethics of Google's desire to keep their traffic. We'll argue over the usefulness of agencies and consultants.
Or, we can choose to be rational problem solvers, survey the digital landscape, and let the results drive us towards better decisions.
And honestly, that's what I love about digital marketing:
At the end of the day, the data is all that matters. Data tells us what's working, what's failing, and where we should invest our time and money.
Why Google My Business is so important for your business.
(Using data from third party sources and my own confidential campaigns.)
I don't want you to just take my word for it.
The internet is filled with unqualified opinions - so let's not add to that dumpster fire.
Here's what the data says:
1. 46% of all Google searches have a local intent. [Source: HubSpot]
That's about 1.6 billion searches per day where people are looking for products, services, and information in their location.
2. 93% of local searches now feature Google My Business listings. [Source: STAT Analytics]
There's a lot of people using Google every day for local purposes.
And now we know that virtually all of those searches feature Google My Business listings.
3. 68% of people contact a business directly from search results. [Source: Search Engine Land]
If they're on a mobile device - which we've established is already 50% of all web traffic (and growing) - all someone needs to do is tap a link...
And they're calling you - or your competitor - directly from search results.
These three data points show the importance of Google My Business - especially when we already know that Google wants to send people to a platform they own.
But we haven't even covered the most important one...
"88% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations." [Source: Forbes]
Welcome to the Review Economy
Reviews from trusted third parties - like Google - are at the core of buying behavior in 2022.
There's no way to escape it.
People don't want to hear you toot your own horn.
They want others talking about how great you are - on websites they trust.
This is the single most important piece of data which speaks to the usefulness of Google My Business.
When used correctly, your Google My Business listing can become a high octane customer acquisition engine.
That's because the people viewing your listing are being pre-sold on doing business with you, because of one of the most persuasive assets a business has...
Let's look at another example of how traffic from Google My Business differs from normal search engine traffic - previously known to be the best quality traffic in terms of converting visitors into customers.