First lets discuss a little bit of history surrounding Google My Business. The current platform that you may know by this name has actually been through 3 different iterations. Google has been working on a way to corner the market on the old style business directory listing for many years now. This tool for businesses of all sizes to display their company and brand through a Google controlled online property was first called Google Places. Then came Google Maps, which has not gone away, but was another way for you to feed Google information about your company in hopes of getting found. Then came along Google+ which of course was dissolved earlier this year. The point is that Google knew this was a goldmine for businesses and they just had to find a way to print their own money in the process.
Google My Business is a free platform that allows companies to list all the important facts about their company and then be found in “mostly” locally relevant searches. Commonly referred to as GMB listings, these free to setup listing can bring in a huge amount of business to companies who understand, implement and feed Google what it wants to find favorable listings. This is where things get tricky for many small business owners. If there are 3 painters in your town, the odds are you will get found rather easily in the GMB or Maps 3 pack as it is called in the industry. This is the section right below the first set of paid ads, where companies are listed with a link to a map and their website, with their Google reviews showing right there.
Now, on the other hand, lets assume there are 50 painters in your area. How likely do you think you are to be found now?
This is where SEO crosses over and comes into play when you are trying to get your phone to ring from your GMB listings. There are a huge amounts of factors that come into play for Google to choose who to show first when there are many valid listings for one service type in a local market. Of course, one of most obvious is the Google reviews for this company. Who has more? who has better ratings? Unfortunately, there is so much more to it than that.
Even With GMB Listings Google Search Continues To Get More Complicated
At first glance, from a user standpoint, this really is a nice addition to a search. Just imaging if you go to a different town or even a different country. You want to get a yummy taco and you don’t know where to go. Now you can simply type or speak a search like “where are the best tacos near me” into Google and you will get the information you need. You can see images of the food from local restaurants, the average price, how late they are open, if they deliver and even driving directions. This is almost like magic, I will admit. However, from the business owners standpoint, a few bad reviews and their business could be toast!
The nature of Google and the most prevalent information that this search engine chooses to display is constantly changing. The search algorithm changes. The way search results are displayed changes. Even the type of search results content that is displayed to a web surfer is always in motion. Google has kept its search engine results pages or (SERPS) very clean for many years. However, today there are more images, more cards and a variety of content besides simple text based search results showing up. Of course, on the SERPS you must also account for a growing number of paid ads that are now taking up every inch above the fold on mobile searches.
Why All The SERPS Changes Google?
Google will never change their answer to this question. They will always, until the end of time, state that they are trying to make a better user experience. The real question is for who? For the user searching or the user that is paying for the ads that are clogging up search results today? They are a huge corporation and they must answer to investors. This in mind, we get it. They have to continue to produce new and growing revenue streams. Their paid search has long been their largest stream of income.
Why Are Google My Business Listings So Important?
With the changes to the search engine results pages, Google My Business listing have a very prominent display on these pages. With more ads showing before organic search results, rich snippets showing answers in the search results and now with the new Google ad format for “Google Guaranteed” service providers showing at the top of the first page search results it is harder and harder to get noticed. However, that all mighty google 3 Pack really stands out. Not only does it stand out, but buyers know that these are not paid listings. This translates to trust. Think about it, if a company can buy their way into a position, how valid to you believe them to be? If they same company shows in the 3 pack and has great reviews, you are not sitting in the most revered position on the Google search platform.
Most people do not consider what you may have done to get your website showing in organic results, they just know that the other guys are paying to get displayed. With this simple insight, the 3 pack becomes so much more valuable than organic search results in the text only results listings. This is very important for any service based business. If you sell products, this may not carry as much weight, but is still rather important.
The simple fact that people are no longer picking up the phone book to find the providers of services that they need is nothing new. The fact that searching online has now become the absolute first solution for most American’s should let you know that your listing with a phone number on Google is like having a half page ad in the yellow pages 15 years ago. Most websites still struggle to get visitors to call. When it comes to calls, people are more likely to call directly from a listing on Google. It may be the assumed level of trust or it may be that people that need a certain service fast simple don’t have time to read through different websites before calling. The only thing that we know, is being listed on Google’s home page makes the phone ring all the time for businesses that are listed there.
How Can I Get My Company Listed In Google My Business?
It is actually very simple. All you need to do is go to https://business.google.com
You will need a Google account to setup your business here. This is where you can start to build out your company profile. You will be asked for a variety of information. As you fill out the profile you should be very careful to assure all your business info is accurate. This information is what will be displayed on Google. There are quite a few options and you should take you time and fill out as much as you can about your business.
Do You Need Help Getting Your Business To Show In The Google 3 Pack?
NS Technologies offers a variety of services to help local businesses get more exposure, traffic and business. Google My Business listings are one of the most valuable ways to grow your business and acquire new customers. We have a full arsenal of methods to get new businesses ranked fast in the Google My Business 3-pack and boost businesses who are already trying to find their way to the top. If your service company is struggling to get results from Google organic results, stop! Fill out the form below and lets start growing your business together today.