Before today’s digital ecosystem, local small businesses had a hard time growing their brand. Word of mouth and traditional advertising was the only way to go. And the high cost of advertising meant they did very little of it.
However, a small business can now let everyone (including a global audience) know who and where they are with digital technology. And one of the tools which makes this possible is Google My Business (GMB).
Google My Business Insights Study
So how effective is GMB in allowing small local businesses to increase their presence? According to a new report from BrightLocal, a typical business receives 59 actions from their GMB listing each month. Google identifies an action as a website click, call or direction request from users.
The goal of the research is to help businesses who use GMB understand how their results stack up through Google My Business Insights. And use the outcome of the study to find areas of improvement to get better results from their marketing efforts. This is necessary because as BrightLocal puts it, there is “…little out there to guide local marketers on what Google My Business success looks like.”
Additionally, making sense of the data from Google My Business Insights is also a challenge. Ben Fisher, Google My Business Gold Product Expert and co-founder of Steady Demand, says in the report it is far from perfect.
Fisher adds, “As with any tool, these are merely a benchmark that points you in a direction. GMB Insights, in particular, are not very accurate, and can sometimes suffer from data outages. However, they can give you an indication as to how you are doing.”
In order to find out how effective GMB is, BRightLocal explored the listing of 45,264 local businesses in 36 industries. It reviewed data from randomly chosen samples of GMB insights between September 2017 and December 2018.
The businesses are located in cities across the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the UK with the following breakdown: 32,843 businesses in the U.S.; 2,913 in Canada; 3,857 in Australia; and 5,651 in the U.K.
Key Takeaways from Google My Business Insights Study
The average business is found in 1,009 searches per month, with 84% of these coming from discovery searches. This comes out to 157 direct searches each month, and 852 discovery searches.
Direct and discovery search is how customers search for your business. A direct search is a query by a customer who looks up the name and address of your business. A discovery search, on the other hand, is from a category, product, or service you offer, and your listing appears.
When it comes to views 49% of businesses receive more than 1,000 views on search per month. Overall direct searches grew by 38% and website clicks from GMB listing grew 29% between Q4 2017 and Q4 2018.
The overall goal of using GMB is for users to take action. The action will hopefully lead to the user being a customer at your place of business and grow your company.
As mentioned earlier a typical business gets 59 actions from their GMB listing every month. And this translates to 5% of GMB listing views resulting in some sort of action. This comes out to 56% visiting websites, 24% making calls and 20% requesting directions.
The BrighLocal report provides some great insight into how Google My Business helps local businesses. As Fisher says it has its challenges, but it is essential to optimize the digital presence of your local business.
Fisher also adds, “Google My Business continues to grow as a transactional layer of the internet for local businesses.” So, you have to include it in your digital toolbox.
You will be doing yourself a service by reading the full report from BrightLocal. You can find it here.
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More in: Small Business Statistics
Is the 59 an average (and thus probably skewed by large businesses) or a median?
This came just in time when I am exploring Google my Business. I am still thinking if it is worth investing my time in.