The Benefits Of “Google My Business” To The Financial Advisor

The Benefits Of “Google My Business” To The Financial Advisor

Google My Business is a great way to connect your business to web users looking for your service. In a previous post, I explained just exactly what Google My Business is all about. Here are 3 key reasons why you shouldn’t wait any longer to get your practice on Google My Business.

Reason #1: Produce Better Search Result Information

When you list your business on Google My Business, it gives Google more awareness of who you are, what you do, and most importantly, where you are located. Here’s an example of what you can expect your search result to look like when not using this Google service. In this example, I did a search for “beaufort planning”.

Search results with no Google My Places listing

Ok, so what, right? It produced search results and if you’re “The Beaufort Group” you’re doing a happy dance since you’re listed at the top. But what about the information it provides to the user? There’s a link, some preview text describing the firm and the website address to their website. Is this useful?

Now, here’s another example search I did on “veriday”.

Enhanced search results using Veriday

With this example, there are 3 distinct visual enhancements between the first and second example provided by simply getting listed on Google My Business.

  1. The Address information (i.e. where it reads 5450 Explorer Dr., etc.) This is inserted below the description of the website on the left hand side. Google is pulling this information directly out of Veriday’s “My Business” listing.
  2. Interactive map. Google will automatically create this map on your behalf using the address information you’ve provided. This provides your potential audience with relevant location information about your business. Additionally, Google will also grab images from your profile and drop it into this search result which is a great way to present your brand to the user without requiring them to visit your website.
  3. Listing information about Veriday. This will vary from company to company depending on the amount of information provided. Everything from the address, to hours of operation, phone number and in some cases, the latest post in Google+ will display.  You can also have customer reviews show up. All of this is customizable.

Note: There is a 4th visual difference but that one isn’t directly influenced by having a Google My Business listing.  I’ll be sure to cover this in another post.

So, what makes the result in example 2 more useful than example 1? Simple, location information and contact information are the most common pieces of content that users are looking for when searching a business both on their desktop and mobile devices. By presenting this information instantly to the user, it saves them the time they would otherwise spend looking for that information on the website. In the “beaufort planning” example, I would need to hit Beaufort’s website to find more information.

Reason #2: Enhanced Mobile Search Experience

There’s plenty of data that points to the reasons why delivering a mobile experience is important for users. Luckily, Google has already taken this into account. Creating a Google My Business listing helps you deliver an integrated experience across smartphone, tablet and desktop. The best part is that you don’t need to know a single line of code to do that. Notice how the exact same example produces a very similar experience when I perform the search on my smartphone. The location and contact information is present first in the case of “veriday”, where a Google My Business listing exists.

Beaufort Planning mobile search Veriday Mobile search results

Note the 3 links that Google provides:

  1. A “Call” link. When users click on this link, it provides a single click to call function.
  2. A “Directions” link. Clicking on this link will bring up the mobile version of Google Maps and provide the driving directions to (in this example) Veriday from my current location.
  3. A direct link to Veriday’s website in case I’m not looking for telephone or address information. This is even more of a justification to have a mobile website since you want to maintain a consistent mobile experience for your visitors.

Reason #3: It’s Free

Yep. How about that. Google provides this service to advisor practices and businesses for free. What’s the catch? Well, it really is all about data, and the accuracy of data. In particular, location based data. The data that drives 1 in 3 searches performed online on Google (not including Google Maps). Google has always been about delivering simple and useful user experiences, hence why their search results don’t have a lot of bells and whistles. Here’s one last thought. If Google believes that the accuracy of location based data is an important part of search, is it safe to assume that if you have a business name similar to another business (who may or may not be a competitors) in the same geographic area and only one of you have a Google My Business listing, that Google will list you higher in search results? Looking back at Example 1 of my desktop search, where “Beaufort Group” appeared higher than “Beaufort Planning”, imagine the result if “Beaufort Planning” had a Google My Business listing. How do you think that would change?

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