As Google continues to take over the world of Internet search, businesses have no real choice but to play along or get left behind.
Some pundits have even gone so far as to say that Google My Business (GMB) pages are replacing websites altogether. Which may or may not be their intent but I don’t think that will happen anytime soon.
Part of Google’s plan, however, is trying to make search results faster as well as generating more traffic for their pay-per-click ads. As a result, they are increasingly providing basic information about your business right on the search result page, like this:
DOES THIS MEAN YOU DON’T NEED A WEBSITE?
According to a recent BrightLocal study 64% of consumers have used Google My Business to find contact details for local businesses, 56% of consumers expect local businesses’ websites to have the most accurate contact information. Meaning: for quick info like contact info, directions, hours of operation, etc, having an updated Google My Business listing was key. But it really depends on your type of business.
According to this same study, 56% of these searches were for restaurants.56% of searches ending on a Google My Business page were for restaurants. Click To Tweet
What this means, in my opinion, is that more complex services that require additional information and research still need updated, informational websites. Need help putting your father into assisted living? You’re going to go to the website for additional information before setting up an in-person tour of the facility.
TYPES OF SEARCHES ENDING AT A GMB PAGE
OTHER KEY FINDINGS
And another surprising finding, according to the study, was that 23% of respondents had also visited an online business directory to seek an address or phone number, separate from your GMB page OR your website!
Other highlights from the study:
- Consumers trust details from local business websites more than Google My Business or online directories
- 64% of consumers have used Google My Business to find contact details for local businesses
- The GMB features consumers are most likely to have used: 1. Opening hours, 2. Directions, and 3. Reading reviews
- Only 8% of consumers never look at websites when choosing which local business to use
- 50% of consumers would be deterred from using a local business if contact information was out of date on their website
While websites may be taking a back seat to some searches, it would certainly be premature and presumptuous to think that websites are no longer needed. In fact, once your Google My Business listing is triggered in a search, 50% of those searches then visited the website from the GMB listing and the website link on the GMB page. So basically, your GMB is a critical doorway to the rest of your online presence: your website! Not a replacement.
To cover all your bases, it would be best practices to (click each one for more info):
- Claim and completely fill out your Google My Business Page (it’s free)
- Keep your website up to date and expand on all your sales messages and unique selling proposition
- Get listed in as many business directories (that also link to your website) as possible.
You want to make sure you present a consistent message across the Internet in as many places as possible. GMB is low hanging fruit so grab it and take a big bite!