Recently, Google’s official blog said, “It’s time to put America’s small businesses on the map.” The search giant has a campaign going on right now to help 30,000 cities get their local businesses online. Why? To quote:
Four out of five people use search engines to find local information, like business hours and addresses, and research shows that businesses with complete listings are twice as likely to be considered reputable by customers. Consumers are 38 percent more likely to visit and 29 percent more likely to consider purchasing from businesses with complete listings. Yet only 37 percent of businesses have claimed a local business listing on a search engine. That’s a lot of missed opportunities for small businesses.
I took out the links in that quote, but the numbers are backed by research and you can find it in the original blog post. I want to start a discussion on WHY Google is so willing to spend all this time and effort getting your business on their map.
The Searcher Is The Boss
I don’t think Google is being altruistic here. I think Google wants to stay on top of the search engine dogpile. The way they do that is by being the search engine that is most helpful to the searcher. In other words, the searcher is the one determining what Google will do — the searcher is the boss.
What do people look for when they search for a local business? They want accurate information, complete information, and they usually want it easy to access on a mobile device. So that’s what Google wants to give them. This is also what you should want to give them in your online presence.
All of our marketing efforts are for naught if our business is hidden from a search. You could be hiding from your potential customers without even knowing it. That’s why search engine optimization is so important. This new push by Google to help America’s business presence online is going to be good for Google, but it also will be good for you because it helps the searchers get what they want and find your business.