Previously, marketing teams dedicated vast resources to achieve organic rankings on the first page of Google. But widespread recent data has provided firm proof that organic rankings are no longer the only major player on Google. In fact, 63 percent of Google clicks are happening away from organic (blue link) listings.
That’s because Google My Business – which includes Google Maps, Knowledge Panel, Google Apps and Mobile Search – is now driving a significant amount of website traffic and producing high-quality conversions. Recently, Google has changed its algorithm to give its users unique results based on their search history, enhancing the clout of these free listings.
That means marketing teams that are solely focused on generating website traffic through organic listings are missing out on a substantial slice of online activity. With Google’s shift to more localized results, it’s plausible that Internet Listing Services will eventually become obsolete because Google My Business experiences will provide a prospect with a more robust experience.
With that in mind, here are a few ways marketing teams can bolster the presence of their communities on Google My Business:
Create or verify your listing: Request ownership of your Google My Business listing and don’t create a duplicate page. Make sure to notify Google support of any duplicate pages that arrive. As part of the ownership process, make certain that your listing is updated with accurate information.
Update your page categories and add photos: Select as many categories that apply, but make sure the word “apartment” is filtered in throughout. Refresh photos on a quarterly basis and use keywords that describe your community, such as Downtown San Francisco high-rise.
Encourage reviews and respond to them: Several Google tools provide the ability to design optimized links to your review pages. Once you generate them, respond to them all – whether positive or negative. Be thankful for the positive feedback and proactive and non-defensive with any negative reviews.
Interact with your page as a Google user: The best way to gain visibility into how prospects see your Google My Business page is to use it yourself. Use keywords in all instances, and confirm your place marker by looking at your personal timeline and ensuring it is recognizing your visits.
Various other tactics can help build the presence of your Google My Business listings, including branded posts, connecting your page with AdWords and measuring your Google My Business actions on a bi-weekly or monthly basis.
Most important is that marketing teams recognize this dynamic shift and react properly. Google My Business listings are driving website conversions at nearly the same rate as organic listings (6.63 percent compared to 6.53 for GMB) and generating a higher quantity of visits.