In the digital era, visibility is paramount for local businesses. Google My Business (GMB) and Google Ads (formerly Google Adwords) are potent tools in the visibility arsenal, but which holds more value for a local business?
But first …
Understanding Google My Business and Google Ads
Google My Business (GMB) and Google Ads are two powerful advertising tools by Google, each designed to help businesses increase their visibility on search engines. However, their functions, especially for local businesses, are distinct.
GMB is a free platform that allows local businesses to manage their online presence across various Google services.
Creating and optimizing a GMB listing allows businesses to appear in local search results and Google Maps. But be careful, if your settings and information aren’t correct you could see your Google Business Profile rankings drop.
A Google business profile can include essential details such as a business’s name, physical address, operating hours, and reviews. It’s a direct line of communication between businesses and their local customers, allowing them to interact through questions and answers, post updates, and even respond to reviews.
On the other hand, Google Ads is a paid advertising platform where businesses can create online ads to reach audiences interested in their products or services. With Google Ads, you bid on search terms relevant to your business and create ads around these keywords.
When users search for these keywords, your ads may appear in the Google search results. While Google Ads can potentially reach a broader, even global audience, the cost and competitiveness of this platform may be a barrier for some local businesses.
GMB vs. Google Ads
Here’s a breakdown of why we believe GMB might be better for local business owners than Google Ads.
One of the key reasons why Google My Business is more important than paid Google Ads is cost-effectiveness. While Google Ads campaigns require businesses to allocate a budget for advertising and keyword bidding, Google My Business is free. As such, the return on investment (ROI) for GMB is 100%
By claiming and optimizing your GMB listing, you can showcase your business in local search results without spending a dime. This can be especially beneficial for small businesses or those with limited marketing budgets, as it allows them to compete on a level playing field with larger competitors.
Enhanced local visibility
Google My Business is designed to enhance local visibility, making it an invaluable tool for businesses targeting a specific geographic area. When users search for local products or services, Google displays a local pack at the top of the organic search results, featuring businesses with optimized GMB profiles.
By leveraging GMB, businesses have a higher chance of appearing in the local pack, significantly boosting their visibility to potential customers in their target market. This local focus sets GMB apart from paid Google Ads, which may have a broader reach but can be less targeted in terms of geographic location.
Trust and credibility
A well-optimized Google My Business listing can enhance your business’s trust and credibility among potential customers. GMB allows businesses to showcase important information such as their business location, phone number, customer reviews, and ratings.
Positive reviews and high ratings leave a positive impression of your business and build trust among users seeking local products or services. On the other hand, paid Google Ads may not provide the same level of transparency and credibility, as they primarily focus on driving traffic through targeted keywords and ad placements.
User engagement and interaction
Google My Business provides a platform for businesses to engage and interact with their customers directly. Through GMB, businesses can respond to customer reviews, answer queries, provide updates, and share posts and offers.
This level of engagement helps foster a sense of community and loyalty among customers, strengthening the relationship between businesses and their target audience. While effective for driving traffic, Paid Google Ads campaigns may not offer the same level of direct customer interaction and engagement.
While paid Google Ads campaigns have their place in online advertising, Google My Business has emerged as a more important tool, especially for local businesses. By claiming and optimizing your GMB listing, you can significantly boost your online presence in local search results, connect with your target audience, and establish a strong foundation for long-term success in your local market.
If you want to make the most of Google My Business For your business but need help getting started – contact Hit Me SEO for assistance in setting up your account correctly and optimizing for the best performance outcomes!