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If you haven't optimized your business for local search, you're losing money.Zach Wise

If your business provides goods or services to a local region or community, then you’re going to care about this topic a lot.

What if I told you that you’re probably losing thousands of dollars every single week? You’d want to get that fixed, right?! If you don’t have an optimized Google Business Profile, this is exactly what is happening to you.

Local search listings need to be a vital part of your revenue growth and marketing strategies.

What are local search listings?

Local search listings are what Google and other search engines show you first when you search for something like “mechanics near me”.

Search engines like Google display local search results with business listings

They’re simplified search results that are designed to help consumers find local businesses that can serve them. The key for these listings is that they’re restricted to businesses that physically serve particular geographic areas. Retail stores, services, trades and the like are eligible while online-only businesses are not.

In the past few years, the importance of local search listings has continued to grow.

Why local search matters so much

Ultimately you’re missing out on a lot of potential business if you haven’t worked on your Google Business listing.

An overwhelming majority of consumers look online first when they’re trying to find a business to solve their needs, and since they don’t know what they don’t know, they ask Google for help. If they don’t find you on Google, or if your listing doesn’t look good, you probably will not get their business.

brightlocal found that Google is by far the dominant local search results provider

Let me share some data with you to illustrate this. In 2022, 98% of consumers used the Internet to find information about local businesses. 32% of consumers looked for local businesses multiple times each week. 87% of consumers use Google for their searches, followed distantly by Yelp and Facebook at 48% and 46%. On top of that, consumers rely heavily upon other customer reviews when making a decision about whether or not to contact a particular business.

In the past, I’ve argued that you must have a website for your business. And that’s still absolutely true. But if you don’t have a Google listing, then your customers’ chances of even finding your website in the first place drop off precipitously.

You must have a local search listing and you must have a website.

How this will make (or cost) you money

If you don’t have an optimized listing, then you’re just hoping that new customers will find you some other way.

They might come to you through word of mouth or a Facebook post. They might call you because they saw the sign on your truck.

Those channels are great, and you should be leveraging them, but they’re not as predictable as local search listings. Because your customers will search Google, even if they hear about you from one of the other channels. If they don’t find a Google Business listing, or if your listing stinks, they will go with someone else.

brightlocal found that consumers really do care about your listing

Every day you delay this task you’re literally losing potential customers and money.

Your action steps

This is one of those on the business sorts of tasks that you cannot afford to wait on.

So here are your action items for this week:

  1. Block 3 hours on your calendar to work on your Google Business Profile within the next 10 days
  2. Watch the short video above on how to search for your business or create a listing
  3. Take time to optimize your listing - Google provides some decent resources on how to do this yourself
  4. Start asking your satisfied customers to leave a 5-star review on your listing
  5. Regularly monitor and respond to reviews on your listing

If you own a business that provides local services, you can’t afford to not take action on this!

To thriving,

Zach

PS: While Google does provide decent instructions on how to optimize your business listing, some of my readers have indicated they’d like some help. I’ll be putting on a 1/2 day workshop to teach business owners how to create, optimize, and manage their Google Business listing in the new year. Attendees will leave the workshop with a listing they’ve submitted to Google for approval and a list of next steps to take.

If that sounds interesting to you, you can sign up to learn more here.