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Your GoogleMyBusiness profile is already pretty important. When someone is looking for your business specifically on Google, they don’t even have to go to your website anymore. But as Google begins to shift more and more search results away from websites and towards its own internal pages, that profile is about to become the single most important factor to get you found if you’re a local business serving mostly local people.

It’s becoming more important than your website

The first major reason why Google My Business is so important right now is that it is, in many cases, the first impression that a customer will have of your business online. In fact, they may never need to visit your website ever again. Your Google My Business profile can contain almost everything someone needs to know about your business. The name. The address. The phone number, email address and directions. Even blog posts are in there. And while this might feel like it’s the death of your website, it’s more like a kick in the pants to motivate you to do stuff on your website that’s more interesting than just your contact details and a list of things you do. So if you’re just letting your Google My Business profile sit there doing nothing you’re throwing away an opportunity to provide a very complete experience for customers searching for what you do without having to click around and jump through hoops to find you.

GIO – Google Information Optimisation

A second reason why GoogleMyBusiness is so important from a Search Engine Optimisation view, is that 50% of all searches on Google no longer go to websites outside of Google. Between the Google My Business profiles, featured snippets of info built in to search results and instant answers that the Google Assistant provides, websites have lost half their traffic in the last few years. But that doesn’t mean the world is over, and that you need to dump your website and run to optimise exclusively for the Google Home speaker. Although some are calling this move the death of SEO, it’s actually more like the birth of GIO – or Google Information Optimisation. It’s making sure that your GoogleMyBusiness profile is used to the absolute maximum that it can be. That means answering questions on your profile… and even asking them – more about that another time – and filling out every possible field in that profile to ensure that you have every chance to stand above your competitors because they’re probably not going to bother.

Our own experience

And point number three for getting your Google My Business in gear is that I just tested running a higher volume of updates, photos and information updates through my own Google My Business profile and it’s led directly to a 421% increase in searches for my business in just two weeks. That’s coupled with 502% more times that my Google My Business profile was viewed… and most importantly, 160% more actions taken on that profile like clicking through to my website, clicking to call us or reading the posts on our profile. I won’t pretend that’s all we’ve been doing to increase the attention on us. There’s the ramp up of this podcast and a daily blog, Medium Post and LinkedIn article as well that are all contributing. But I feel pretty safe saying that the significant increase in posts, photos and information on our Google My Business profile is driving the majority of the results I’m seeing this last two weeks.

Make no mistake, Google My Business is already a massively important part of your online profile. And it will become the most important element of SEO for your business in 2020 by a long shot. So my advice is to start steering some of those SEO efforts away from your website and in to your GoogleMyBusiness profile. Start publishing more updates on Google. More photos. More videos. And if your social media posting app doesn’t also post to your GoogleMyBusiness profile, then get another social media posting app that does. It will make a huge difference.