Why is Google Maps important for businesses?
The year 2021 marked Google Maps 16 year anniversary! Google Maps has evolved over the years from a simple virtual map to a place to explore local businesses, plan your detailed commute, and uncover new suggested locations. The platform is more than a map, it is a place of discovery.
One of last year’s 2020 updates included adding an ‘Explore’ tab which allowed users to quickly and easily search nearby businesses and services and view their information such as ratings, reviews, or images. The explore tab allowed users to discover new local places all from one single platform. This year, Google Maps expanded its exploring and personalization features with its new 2021 features.
The existing instantaneous Live View feature is getting an upgrade by showcasing “nearby shops and restaurants, how busy they are, recent reviews, and photos.” Google Maps is also personalizing the user experience even more. For example, highlighting nearby breakfast spots in the morning or dinner locations in the evening. Or if you are traveling to a new city, Google Maps will show popular tourist attractions.
Each year we see Google Maps magnify its role as an all-in-one tool for searching, comparing, and evaluating businesses to make an informed and actionable decision. It’s not only a tool for finding direction from point A to point B, it’s a tool for finding where exactly point B is going to be. With over 1 billion Google Map users in 2020, a number we can only assume is growing, it opens the possibility for businesses to connect with a huge audience. And uniquely, an audience that is ready to make a decision.
How Google Maps Pulls Its Information
Google Maps pulls information about your business from your Google My Business, the official Google business profile. Your business can set up its free Business Profile on Google and fill out a complete listing of your business’s key information. This data is then used to populate the local listings data displayed on Google Maps.
Offering updated and comprehensive information allows Google Maps to showcase your business to users and drive brand awareness and conversions.
5 Ways Google Maps Can Benefit Businesses
Google Maps can help you find anything and everything. From searching for nearby restaurants to locating a car repair shop to finding the best cocktails in town, Google Maps is here to help! It relies on updated and reviewed data to showcase answers to your searches or suggestions based on AI capabilities.
Advantages of Google Maps:
- Helps people find your business
- Allows people to quickly contact your business
- Encourages people to visit your website or location
- Displays your business with images
- Offers customer credibility through review
1. Google Maps Helps People Find Your Business
As mentioned, one of Google Maps’ largest assets is it allows people to quickly find your business. The local search capabilities allow Google Maps to pin and list businesses that relate to the user’s search. The user can easily view their options before deciding to visit or contacting the business. Google Maps acts as both a search engine to find the business users are searching for, and then as a map to direct users to that location.
This is especially important since nearly 1/3 of all mobile searches are related to location, meaning Google Maps is a critical driver of mobile traffic.
2. Google Maps Allows People to Quickly Contact Your Business
When users view your listing on Google Maps, the platform provides a comprehensive index of your business which includes your company’s phone number. And since most Google Map searches are performed by phone, they can call your business with just one tap. Since people use Google Maps to make a decision, e.g. where to find donuts or locate a nearby clothing store, the platform provides users with the ability to efficiently contact the business, ask questions, and then decide to visit or not. This makes it easy for users to take the next step and businesses to directly connect with potential customers.
3. Google Maps Encourages People to Visit Your Location or Website
In addition to providing a business’ phone number, Google Maps also highlights other contact or visiting information. For brick and mortar stores, such as shops or restaurants, users can quickly explore your business’ profile and find directions, all from one central location. No need to toggle between apps or web pages. It’s a simple scroll and tap between a lead and a customer.
For businesses that sell services or products that require more research or are a larger purchase, the Google Maps listing links directly to the website. This allows users to research and learn more about the company in an easy-to-access manner.
For users trying to make a decision or explore options, the directions and website feature that is naturally a part of Google Maps allows them to easily visit your store or site. The Google Maps platform is a huge driver for both in-person and website traffic.
Of course, this means your website needs to be designed for mobile screens to support this traffic. Learn more about what it means to have a mobile optimized website.
4. Google Maps Displays Your Business with Images
Users nowadays are infatuated with images, they appeal to the visual representation of your business. From images your business offers to photos shared by consumers, Google Maps curates a visual showcase of your business as a sneak peek of the products/services to what the storefront/interior looks like. In fact, listings that include photos receive 42% more direction requests and 35% more website clicks.
Learn how photos and imagery can impact and improve your business.
5. Google Maps Offers Customer Credibility Through Reviews
Nothing builds brand trust more than confirmation from others, and the most successful way to do this is through online reviews, which Google Maps displays in the profile listing. Customer credibility includes star ratings, written reviews, and submitted images. Hint – encouraging consumers to leave reviews on Google Maps allows other potential customers to gain trust in your business and prompt conversions.
Google Maps is a powerful tool. As its features and capabilities expand, so does its position as an effective marketing tool for businesses and search engine for consumers. Most importantly, there are ways you can optimize your business profile to cater to the advantages of Google Maps listed above. Get more from your Google Maps with a comprehensive marketing strategy. Contact Evolve Systems to get started!