Dominating Google and Bing as a local business will give you a significant competitive advantage and win you a lot of business. These golden traffic sources provide long-term value through new customer acquisition.
Google and Bing are the two biggest web search engines in the world across all devices by global market share and they offer the amazing opportunity for you to show up where your customers are with local business listings.
However, you must complete your listings to show up in the right places. Listings that are out of date, inaccurate or incomplete do not rank as high as they could, and they sometimes don’t rank at all. This is a wasted opportunity.
What are business listings?
A business listing is a user-submitted search engine listing made in Google or Bing to put your business on Google Maps or Bing Maps.
The idea is that when someone searches for a local service, the search engine will return results that are near to the searcher’s location. Your business can show up in this scenario if it has submitted a business listing.
Here’s an example of Bing listings in action:
And here’s an example of Google listings in action:
Bing calls business listings ‘Bing Places for Business’ while Google calls their business listings ‘Google My Business’. They work in the same way, and you can see them in action right now by searching for ‘plumber’ on your smartphone.
Search engines determine user locality by using device location data, or if this isn’t turned on, by using the device’s most frequently used location data. This makes it unnecessary for the searcher to put a location in their search query.
You can find out more about how Google determines local rankings here.
Why is it important to claim my listing?
63,000 searches are made using Google every second. Bing processes around 8,000 searches per second. These astonishing numbers are growing every year and the quality of search results is increasing all the time.
Business listings are now the default way for Google and Bing to deliver relevant localised results to searchers. If your business doesn’t have a listing, then there is NO CHANCE of it showing up in localised search results in Google or Bing.
Still not convinced? Here are some compelling statistics:
- 92% of searchers pick businesses on the first page of local search results (Google)
- Local searches result in purchases 28% of the time
- 53% of local searchers visit a business within 48 hours of search
- 14% of local searchers say they’re immediately looking to visit a business
These are interesting statistics. So what can we determine from them?
The first thing is local searchers are highly qualified sources of traffic. These are people looking for a solution to a problem. Business listings provide pinpoint accuracy to queries with relevant results that incite action.
The second thing is that the majority of people pick businesses that show up on the first page of search results. Business listings enable this. With a good business listing, you’ll show up near the top of Google on the first page.
Whichever way you cut the mustard, Google and Bing business listings are an important cog in the wheel for local businesses to succeed online.
I have been walking the talk with SEO for 18 years and have money-generating web businesses of my own. My background is real-world business and marketing. Search engine optimisation is not black art. If you want your website to do better, contact me.