“Back in my day, we had to ask for directions!”
It’s true: thanks to smartphones, it’s easier than ever to find your destination. You don’t even need to know the address – just type the name of the location into your phone, and the search results will include a map with directions.
Thanks to this convenience, navigation has become one of the most frequently used features of our smartphones. More than one billion people use Google Maps every month. That makes Google Maps about as popular as Instagram in terms of monthly users!
One reason why everyone loves Google Maps is that it’s not only helpful for directions to your destination. It can also help find your destination in the first place. When we search for “italian food near me,” Google Maps provides a list of Italian restaurants in the area, complete with reviews, contact information, and photos.
What Does This Mean For You?
For many business owners, this Google Maps listing is critical. It might even have a higher impact on their business than their own website. Why? When people want something now – such as dining, entertainment, shopping, or a place to stay – they don’t have time to browse through individual websites. Their phone tells them there is an Italian restaurant 6 minutes from their current location that has a 4.9 star rating, and they go. In other words, people searching on Google Maps are often ready to do business now.
“That’s all find,” you might be thinking, “but I already have a listing on Google Maps.”
If so, great! But here’s the thing. People don’t always default to the closest business to their location. When someone is making a snap decision between your business and one of your competitors, it’s crucial that you put your best foot forward.
Why Your Google Maps Listing is Important
Consider an example of a restaurant with no reviews:
How confident would you feel taking your family to a restaurant with no reviews and no photos?
Compare that listing to another result for the same search, within the same search location that has a lot of great reviews, high-quality photos, and a quick summary of what diners can expect. BOOM.
Do you think you’d be willing to drive a few miles to check out that second listing?
Here’s the point. Your Google Maps listing may be your only chance to make a strong impression on a potential customer. Low-quality photos, poor reviews (that management does not address), incomplete information, and inaccurate hours can cause those potential customers to lose trust in your business before they even walk in the door.
On the other hand, when your listings includes high-quality photos, hundreds of 4-to-5 star reviews, and clear, accurate, complete information, you might convince customers to go out of your way to give your business a try.
Another great way to boost the performance of your Google Maps listing is by integrating your Google AdWords PPC campaign. A new feature was recently introduced that allows you to utilize your PPC budget to allow your business to appear #1 in Google Maps results, similar to how your website might appear #1 in search results.
If you’re interested in learning more about advertising your business on Google Maps, contact us today to schedule a free marketing consultation!