Google My Business is the Google's service offering web visibility to physical stores to appear in its local search results. As part of a web-to-store marketing strategy, it is essential for points of sale to manage information in Google My Business to be present in Google Search and Google Maps. Your visibility will depend on the competition and the quality of your information.
On which locations provided by Google can we access institution details in local results?
As a reminder, the “local” results are the answers given by search engines when a user requests « local ». A search is called local when a consumer indicates «to look for a product, a service or a service delivery at a specific place or around his position » when doing research ("restaurant bio Paris", for example). In Google, Point of sale information are displayed in several places, whether on a computer, mobile or tablet :
1/ On Google Search:
- On the local forms or Knowledge Panel on the right side of the classic search results (or directly as a form in the search results for mobile view).
- In the Local Pack, below paid results if applicable.
2/ On Google Maps:
- Via a locating pin on the map.
- On the results list on the left.
Google My Business enables the spread of several types of information which helps promoting web-to-store activations for the consumer to find:
- Conventional informations, such as the name of the point of sale, its address, its opening hours, its phone number, its website etc.
- Local content (Google Posts), such as promotions, events or free content.
- Additional information, such as payment methods, exceptional opening hours, access conditions (parking, people in wheelchairs…), etc.
- Data from other consumers, such as scores and reviews, pictures, etc.
- Products and services that can be found within the business.
- Tools to interact with the point of sales, like a click-to-call, a real time traffic monitoring, an itinerary which leads to the point of sales, a booking option (users can order, have meals delivered, book a table or make an appointment directly on the My Business cards of the qualified companies).
In addition to that, Google My Business offers a reporting module to evaluate the online presence of the points of sale, which highlights certain areas of improvement of your web-to-store marketing strategy. However, this tool is difficult to use for companies as the results are available on the cards of each point of sale but not on a consolidated basis.
Typical examples where the points of sale informations are not shown on Google local results
Recording an institution on Google My Business will not be enough to make it visible on the local results in the long run because there is a lot of management work to do on a daily basis. We can see it with these specific cases that illustrate this reality during a query such as: activity + location :
- This is a competing form that is more visible than yours concerning the Google Search and you do not appear in the list or map on Google Maps unless you zoom in.
- Only the competitors are visible on the Local Pack and you do not appear in the first results on Google Maps.
The most alarming case is when you do not appear at all on your company's name. This can happen if the name is too ambiguous for Google (which includes the name of a geographic area or for example, a term used in various contexts).
How you can boost your visibility on Google?
1/ Your Google My Business form must be completed and updated (including additional pictures, schedules, secondary categories, etc.).
2/ Harness the Google Posts to publish promotions, events or free content.
3/ Collect customer reviews on a regular basis: Copy the link from the window that appears when you click on "Write a review" and use it in one of the sections of your website to collect feedback from customers. The access could be yourdomain.com/reviews-google for example.
4/ Reach your consumers via your local Facebook page. Google retrieves the reviews posted on Facebook and displays them in the Knowledge Panel.
5/ Spread your information in other web media platforms as local information websites (Yellow Page, yelp,Trip Advisor, etc.).