The average Google My Business profile has 73 reviews, 45 photos, 5 Posts and a star rating of 4.08

The findings come from an analysis of 2.4 million local Google My Business listings in over 30 business categories.

Google My Business (GMB) optimization has become critical for brands and small businesses alike as the gateway to offline and, increasingly, online conversions. Google Search and Maps (especially) are often the first points of contact for millions of consumers with businesses that have physical locations, as well as service-area businesses.

 

Percentage of owner-verified listings

One of the questions I’ve asked repeatedly over the past few years is “how many businesses have verified their listings on GMB?” Places Scout in 2019 analyzed 2.4 million business listings in over 30 categories and came up with an answer: 62.2%. A 2020 analysis of 800,000 listings by Whitespark found a lower number: 49%.

The Places Scout study contains a wealth of valuable GMB benchmarking information. Here are some of the numbers.

 

Basic profile information

According to the study, the average GMB profile is 72% complete. Sixty-one percent have business hours posted and 93% feature a business phone number. Seventy-three percent have a URL, but only 29% on average have a business description. The average description length is roughly 231 words.

The average profile also features just over 45 images. Across the board, the most recent business-owner-added photo is more than 100 days old. This is noteworthy because more photos translate into more visibility and consumer engagement.

Only 4.4% of profiles feature a menu link and a roughly equivalent number have a reservation/booking link (4.3%). This study was done before COVID-19 and I would expect these numbers to be higher today.

Roughly 24% of profiles featured social media links.

How we do it on Top4

One thing you never want to do is misleading your potential customers. Just imagine this: they’ve found your business among so many others, and yet when they call the number listed, it goes nowhere. Even worse, your supposed location on the map leads them to an empty building. Nevertheless, getting the most basic information about your business correct and up to date is vital. We recently made an emphasize on this as one of the most critical elements of local marketing.

Here on Top4, we help clients manage their Google My Business profile; in that case, one of the first things we ensure is that all the basic information are there and always updated. Here’s one example from one of our clients, Acoustica Projects Sydney:

Google My Business - Acoustica Projects - Top4 Marketing

Not only that but we also regularly add photos to their Google My Business profile. Needless to say, the photos are high in quality and relevant to the business.

Google My Business Photos - Acoustica Projects - Top4 Marketing

 

Reviews and response rates

The average Google My Business profile had 73 reviews. The lowest category (wholesale) showed an average of 23 reviews. The category with the most review activity was travel and hospitality with 237.

The average business star rating was 4.08. Only 19% of business owners responded to reviews. Of those responding, it took an average of more than 25 days. And, when they did respond, business owners only addressed 35% of those reviews, with slightly greater attention to negative reviews.

Business owners received an average of 1.5 new reviews per month, according to the study.

How we do it on Top4

The importance of reviews cannot be emphasized enough, especially nowadays, when anyone could just look up a business online. Any searcher can type in a search query and stumble upon businesses with reviews from actual customers and make an informed decision on whether or not they should engage with that business—with positive reviews pushing them towards conversion. Other than that, reviews do improve a business’ Google ranking. If Google thinks that the local shop selling running shoes provides a better experience than your average retail giant, that local shop can end up higher in the local search rankings.

Hence, we always encourage our clients to respond to the reviews they received on Google My Business. Here’s another example from JCL Legal responding to customer’s reviews:

 

Google Posts and Q&A

Places Scout also found that only 13.4% of profiles used Google Posts. These profiles had slightly more than 5 Posts for the time period examined, with 3.2 Posts in the past month.

Roughly a third of profiles (32.2%) had questions associated with them. The average number of questions was 3.1 per profile, 2.5 of which were answered. Local Guides answered roughly 1 out the 3 questions. In a small fraction of cases (0.17%) the owner both asked and answered their own questions — an often-recommended practice.

It took most business owners an average of less than a day to respond to questions, which is more impressive than their review performance.

How we do it on Top4

Did you know that Google Posts can increase click-through-rates? Research from Moz found that a Google My Busines post gets clicked almost 100% of the time. Therefore, Google Posts are a great way to increase the organic search engine traffic to your website. Additionally, it’s recommended that at a minimum, you should be posting on Google My Business once every 7 days. Many businesses post once per day and have seen good results and improved rankings.

Here’s one example from Emergency Service Jobs:

Google My Business - ES Jobs - Top4 Marketing

 

Quick wins available

Roughly 90% of Google My Business profiles are single-location businesses. This means small businesses. But, many of the deficiencies identified in the study likely equally apply to multi-location enterprises.

The data above show there are some basic optimizations readily available:

  • Add a business description.
  • Add more photos on a regular basis.
  • Add all relevant menu, booking and social media links to the profile.
  • Ethically solicit reviews, but more importantly, respond to reviews within 24 hours.
  • Utilize Google Posts regularly.
  • Ask and answer Google Q&A (e.g., put up FAQs).

These are just a few optimizations revealed by Places Scout’s benchmarking study. There are many more, but these items are relatively simple and if businesses did them, they would see a near-term lift in visibility and conversions.

 

Your Top4 Business Profile goes hand in hand with Google My Business

If you’d like to start a Google My Business profile but not really sure how to do it, get in touch with one of our Xperts now!

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Looking to build customer loyalty through social media? Don’t forget to add your business to Top4.com.au

List your business, create your own digital store to sell goods and services, and share posts on social media. Promote your business on Google instantly! Should you need help with local digital marketing then view our new Google Marketing Platform and services Top4 Marketing

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Source: searchengineland

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