Can a local business compete in ever increasing online world without a website and if so how? In this scenario I look at a local coffee shop in a fair sized town that is not centrally located, but they punching above their weight in search results.
Town: Corby in Northamptonshire.
Population: 61,255 at last census
Train Station: 1 Midlands Main
Schools, Colleges: 5
Split: 2 Business / Industrial Areas, Official Town Center, 7 Residential Areas
Using a Google Business Page to Compete in Google
I am pretty confident from conversations with local businesses that they assume a Google business page is just for appearing in the Map and the rest is Google magic pixie dust.
Far from it, a business can use their business page, even without a website attached to increase their businesses visibility to customers in both Search and Maps. Google uses a searches IP address in desktop search and Geo coordinates in mobile search to return what they feel are the most relevant search results to a user.
By making use of the tool set provided within a Google business account, the business can further increase Googlebot’s understanding of what the business provides, thereby increasing the range of search terms that it appears within, but also broader searches.
By using the social side of the Google business page, to post about the business, whats going on locally, their sandwiches and cakes, Googlebot reads and understands what the business offers.
By adding images of the business listing and posting within the social side, Googlebot uses these within search and image search for local search queries.
In the above image, Google did not display any other businesses in the local pack, but instead displayed the single business in what we call a One Box.
The Numbers over 30 Days
The business appeared 995 times in the search results for related search queries, this would be a combination of local pack results and one box results.
The business appeared in Google Maps results 1,02K for related search queries.
Net result was 2000 people saw this business in their desktop or mobile search results in the Corby area.
People love images and the Good Bean images were viewed either in Search, Maps, Images or Street View almost 3000 times. A great image can sell a lot of coffee and cake.
But I Use Facebook
Thats great, but there is a fundamental difference with Facebook. Google does not crawl, read or use your FB posts, images or business details and does not display them search results, you are confined to the Facebook sphere.
FB does not share your posts with all your followers and unless a users shows an interest in a particular category you won’t appear to these users.
Looking at the location and the interest of “coffee” we have a potential audience of 11 000 people, thats if I spend £16 per day. If you have ever run a FB local ad, the engagement and conversion is quite low.
Makes Business Sense!
Google Business Pages are a free product that puts your business front of customers in search results for minimal effort. If you have a verified business page, go and look at your insights in your business page dashboard, you might be surprised at just how much traffic Google is sending you and with a little bit of monthly maintenance, which can be cross posted from your FB activity, you could also be dominating the local search results.
If you have a Google listing but it is not claimed and verified, because you thought it was Google magic then claim and verify the business page. If you have never created a Google business page then get cracking, you have nothing to lose but customers.