Google’s “My Business Listings”
Picture this: You’re searching online for an apartment complex in Quincy, Massachusetts.
The first complex you see in Google’s local search results is a Google My Business listing of a property showing pictures not of the building itself, but photos of a vandalized window and snippets from reviewers that proclaim negative experiences from this property and its managers, like “I waited weeks for maintenance to follow through on my request” and “not a great experience at all.”
While this maybe isn’t the worst that you could come across, it would nonetheless leave a bad impression, right? If you came across a listing like this in your search for Quincy apartment complexes, you would likely decide to move on to a different search result listing.
But maybe you’d notice other sources with review scores for this company and will look further into whether they are a worthwhile choice. For that particular Quincy apartment complex, this would be the best case scenario. But really, more often searchers will just move on to the next choice. They don’t want to take the risk that those reviewers are indeed showing what the company is really like. And they probably don’t want to take the time to investigate further to see if someone else has some more positive things to say.
As you perform what Google considers to be a “local search,” the most relevant Google My Business listings will be displayed in the local organic results. Google also often displays the best choice search result in the knowledge graph, which is what you might see at the top of the search results page. It is used in some cases to provide direct answers, and in this case to display Google My Business listings if Google believes it to be relevant to the search. Most of the time, this information provided in the knowledge graph is the first impression, and maybe even only impression, that a would-be client or customer gets of a business. A good impression could result in a lot of new inquiries, or on the other hand, if what the searcher sees in the knowledge graph is like what was shown in our Quincy example, then they probably wouldn’t want to choose that business. This is why it’s so important that business owners pay attention to their Google My Business listing.
If this Quincy company example were paying attention to their Google My Business listing, then they would make sure to eliminate the broken window shot and replace it with a more appealing photo, and kindly respond to reviews.
Google My Business listing provides basic data about the business, but it also allows owners to expand with additional information and photos. Verified owners are also allowed to respond to reviews, which is very important for maintaining a good profile. Data also shows that Google favors Google My Business profiles that are up-to-date with a lot of reviews and recent photographs.
Simply put, don’t neglect your Google My Business listings. Doing so may turn prospective customers or clients away, and you and I both know that’s not what you want.