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Why Google Maps Is So Powerful & Profitable For Your Local Business
Every day you probably hear people say “What’s the name of that guy who was in that movie with that woman about that thing that happened in, like, the 1920s? Hold on... I’ll DuckDuckGo it.”
Okay. Maybe not.
Most people don't even say, "I'll Bing it," or, "I'll Yahoo it."
But you hear, "I'll Google it," all the time in real life and even in movies and shows now.
In fact, according to Smart Insights, Google is still running really, really strong in 2020.
World's Strongest Man strong:
But, this is probably nothing new to you.
Everyone knows that Google is a beast.
The truth is (and I’ll give you the data to prove it) that Google’s changing things up. They always have.
As with all changes, anywhere, it's bad for some and good for others.
In this report, I'll show Local Business Owners how to use these changes to your advantage to increase your customers and profits.
Back to Google's changes:
First, they started giving ads more and more screen share—especially on mobile devices.
But that’s not all.
They’re also employing tactics that keep users from clicking through to websites by providing answers to search queries right there in the search results.
If you use Google, you’ve seen this in action. They’re called “No Click Searches”.
But not just for searches where money isn’t necessarily changing hands. They also started taking over big-money searches, like this:
Because Google makes money through ad clicks. They’re all about keeping people on their page until they click an ad (cue cash register noise).
After all, organic search results don’t provide Google with any immediate benefit. Which is why they’re getting pushed further down the page.
As a result, click-through rates (CTRs) for most organic search results are getting hit hard.
Which means that some local businesses are starting to get hit, too.
Fortunately, not all local business industries are affected by this yet.
But it may be coming.
Regardless, there is a massive, profitable opportunity for local businesses in every industry because of these changes.
Which is exactly what this paper is about.
According to Rand Fishkin, a big and trusted name in SEO, almost 50% of queries are No Click Searches. Here’s one of his slides from a recent conference:
So, 47% of all searches are now No Click.
Some business owners that rely on organic search results to bring them customers now have to contend with ads and No Click Searches.
The problem is particularly troubling on mobile devices, which account for a metric ton of Google searches.
All this simply decreases the chances of a search resulting in a click to your website.
When viewed on a phone, these types of searches show the lengths Google is going to to keep people on their site instead of yours—increasing the chance of an ad click and money in Google’s massive bank account.
All that time and money you spent on your awesome website and SEO to get to number 1 in the search results? Well, now your top rank is only visible on mobile devices after 3 screens!
That means a potential customer has to scroll down, past all of Google’s ads and No Click Search results just to see the link to your website.
Some business owners are seeing the damage in their website’s traffic, even if their rankings don’t change.
Even if you’re in the top three of search results, No Click Searches are going to be taking the lion’s share of traffic.
Let's look at some example numbers:
The cost of ranking high in Google hasn’t changed at all. You’re still competing with other websites for the top spots.
But the Return On Investment has changed.
Let’s say that your website converts customers at a solid 6%.
And every customer is worth $200.
Now, let’s say you’re paying $2000 a month for SEO.
The numbers before the rise of No Click Searches:
Total Monthly Searches: 4,000
Percentage Of Clicks on Your #1 Spot: 35%
Total Number of Website Visitors: 1,400
Conversions (6% X 1400): 84
Monthly Revenue (84 X $200): $16,800
Monthly Revenue Minus Expenses $16,800 - $2000 = $14,800
Now, today, your SEO costs haven’t changed, but No Click Searches are taking almost half of all queries.
Total Monthly Searches: 4,000
No Click Searches (47% of 4,000): 1,880
Total Monthly Searches, Factoring No Click Searches (4,000 - 1,880): 2,120
Percentage of Clicks on Your #1 Spot: 35%
Total Number of Website Visitors: 742
Conversions (6% x 742): 45
Monthly Revenue (45 x 200): $9,000
Monthly Revenue Minus Expenses $9,000 - $2,000 = $7,000
And remember that this equation doesn’t account for other expenses you may incur.
So what’s the point?
If you're in an industry affected by No Click Searches, you're slowly losing your profits while your costs remain the same.
Fortunately, this hasn't happened to most local business industries.
And what average SEO agency is going to tell you that Google is changing things up and your business is suffering for it?
None, because they’re likely to lose your business.
(If you're lucky enough to have an above-average SEO agency working for you, then you should already know about these changes.)
The evolution of Google My Business
The fact is, Google My Business has been around in one form or another for a long time. It has gone by many names, like Google Places, Google+, Google Local, Google Business, and Google Maps (this one is integrated with GMB).
Remember, greedy Google doesn’t want to send people away from their page — to yours — unless they have to, or unless you're paying them to (via Ads).
The longer a person stays on their page, the greater the chance that person clicks on one or more of their ads.
But Google knows that ads don’t cut it for every search.
They know that people need to communicate with local businesses.
So what did they do?
They built a platform — that they own — through which they can connect customers with businesses like yours: Google My Business.
Here’s the huge, profitable opportunity:
Getting significant traffic to your site without Google is like trying to find the end of a rainbow... It seems like a good idea from a distance, but up close you realize you’re going to have to fight a leprechaun for the gold there. Not great.
So, for those of us who want to shove our heads in the sand and wish Google out of existence—that’s an option.
Not a very good one. Not one that will make us money. But it’s an option. Provided you have sand around...
The opportunity I was telling you about is clear when you look at the data.
After all, that’s probably why you hired an agency to do your SEO in the first place: Because it was working for other people.
But Google has moved the goal post (which means your SEO service provider had better step up their game).
This new goal post position means that there are people who are using Google My Business to get customers while stragglers are staring at their ROI figures wondering what happened.
Luckily, I’m one of those data-driven people, and I stalk Google like a crazy ex to figure out what the heck is going on and where the opportunities are.
I can tell you: there’s a big one here.
This opportunity is not going anywhere. In fact, it's growing.
Google has been building toward this for years.
Again, don’t take my word for it. Let’s look at the numbers.
Why Google My Business is so powerful for your business
Demonstrated using data from third party, public sources and my own confidential clients' campaigns
According to Search Engine Land, 78% of local searches resulted in a sale, typically within three or so hours of the search.
Now you may be thinking, ‘Yeah, people are searching for directions to a store that they’ve already decided on.’
You’re right, directions are one of the last steps people usually take.
But, SEL also found that 57% of local smartphone searches were looking for a product or service. The number was 66% for tablets and computers.
This means that there’s a ton of traffic out there that can be scooped up if your business is easy to find.
With Google My Business, it will be.
According to Search Engine Journal, the average Google My Business listing gets 1,009 visits a month. That’s average. And that’s only from Google My Business.
What could you do with 33 more visits a day?
Now, those numbers are all fine and good, but what are customers looking at when they visit your GMB listing? What makes them choose you over your competitors?
I’m sure you’ve heard all the stats about the power of reviews. Well, guess what. I’m going to throw some more at you now. Like I said, I’m a data-geek.
Bright Local says that a whopping 82% of consumers read reviews before deciding to spend money with a business.
They also say that a product with five reviews is 270% more likely to receive a purchase than a product with zero reviews.
It truly is...
the Review Economy.
The fact is that people trust reviews almost as much as they trust recommendations from friends and family.
Social proof is insanely powerful in today’s economy.
Google knows this, and they’re changing their game to leverage reviews and make them — and those businesses savvy enough to take advantage — lots of money.
Google’s Social Network
You see, the folks at Google have seen how successful social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have been. They’re trying to emulate it. So far, they’ve failed.
But Google doesn’t fail for long.
They launched Google+, Google Wave, and Google Buzz. All were different efforts to compete with social networking sites.
Instead of trying to beat these sites at their own game, Google is adapting. They’re building a platform that makes it easier for people to do what they already do on Google: find stuff.
Just look at the recent additions to Google My Business to see what I’m talking about.
- They have a messenger function, much like Facebook’s.
- People can book appointments without leaving Google’s platform.
- People can ask questions and anyone can respond.
- You can essentially write blog posts on the platform.
All the stuff people previously had to visit your website for is all on Google My Business.
People can now…
- Call you
- Post reviews
- See your pricing
- Message you
- Ask questions
...All from your Google My Business listing.
But you can’t just claim your listing and be done with it.
Just like you can’t simply put up a website and expect traffic to magically appear. You’ve got to help it along.
Most companies claim their GMB listing, pay someone to optimize it, and then forget about it.
Maybe they’ll check on it once in a while.
To most, it’s just another Yellow Pages or Yelp page.
But that’s the number one fatal mistake people make when it comes to Google My Business.
After all, Google has more traffic than Yellow Pages and Yelp combined.
What’s that old saying about the definition of insanity?
Well it's appropriate here:
If you do the same thing with your GMB listing that you’ve always done with other listings and expect a different result… you might be a redneck.
Um, wait, no…
You might be crazy. Yeah, that’s the one.
Let's skip the insanity.
How To Harness The Awesome Power of Google My Business
Again, I’m not talking a ton of work or a ton of money.
Nor does it take a ton of time to work.
If you follow my tried-and-true plan, you’ll see…
- More customers
- More repeat customers
- More profit
- More reviews
- Less headache
On the next page, I’ll tell you all about how to use your Google My Business listing to get all of the above.