Google My Business (GMB) has become a critical local search marketing tool for businesses of all sizes. It’s a first point of contact for consumers, as well as a key driver of both online and offline traffic. At GrowthEngine, we believe that too few businesses take full advantage of the many tools and features GMB has to offer. Recent studies suggest we’re not alone in that opinion.
Last week, Search Engine Land reported on the results of a 2019 local search study conducted by Places Scout. The analysis, which looked at 2.4 million accounts across more than 30 categories, found that just 62.2 per cent of profiles were verified. A smaller study, conducted this year by Whitespark, landed on an even lower number, 49 per cent.
That’s not all the Places Scout report uncovered, per Search Engine Land. It also found that the average GMB listing is only 72 per cent optimized. Some fields are near-universally complete (93 per cent of listings include a phone number) while others are woefully under-utilized (only 29 per cent include a business description).
Images, perhaps surprisingly, are quite common; the average profile had more than 45. However, most photos were at least 100 days old. Social links are also relatively scarce (they’re included on just 24 per cent of listings) as are Google Posts (13.4 per cent). Most businesses have reviews and star ratings, but few regularly respond to reviews.
There is much to be gleaned from Places Scout’s analysis, but what stands out most is that companies are failing to update and maintain their listings. Your GMB profile is a living and breathing tool – it should be fully optimized and updated regularly with Posts, images, Q&As, and responses to ratings and reviews.
As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing agency, GrowthEngine Media is uniquely positioned to help your business succeed in every area of online advertising. GMB optimization is key strategy for better local search performance. Reach out today to learn how we can help.