If I Use Google My Business, Do I Really Need a Website for My Local Business?

Google My Business listings offer a handy way to get information on your local business in front of the eyes of searchers who happen to be in your area looking for what you offer.

So, if your listing shows up in the top three for desktop searches and in the same region for mobile searches, isn’t that enough to get the attention of people and bring them in? Do you even need a website? Read on and let’s figure this out.

Google My Business Does What?

Google My Business provides the business information that pops up when you search for a local business such as a restaurant, an auto repair service, or a retail store. Listings may display at the top of the first search engine results page in a list if you search for a category of business or alone next to organic listings if you search for a specific business.

Google allows you to customize your listing to give searchers a pretty good idea of what you do and entice them to pay your business a visit or learn more about it.

Your listing includes:

  • Photos (those you post and those your customers post)
  • Map of your location with the ability for the searcher to get directions (automatic)
  • Google reviews (automatic)
  • Address (you provide)
  • Hours (you provide – you can even customize them for holidays and other special closures)
  • Phone number (you provide)
  • Graph showing popular times at your business (automatic)
  • Direct link to your website, if you have one (you provide the address)

 

For those researching on their desktop computer, there’s even an option to send the information to your phone so you are sure to have it when you’re on the road.

Plus, for many websites, especially those that aren’t optimized for search engines, Google My Business listings show up on the search results pages higher than the organic listings. (See my post on Improving Local SEO with Google My Business for more details on how Google My Business works.) This makes your business extra visible to potential customers.

What more could you need?

So, Do I Even Need a Website?

Even if you have a prominent Google My Business listing that’s 100% complete and most often shows up at the top of the other listings for searches in your area, you still need to have a website. Here are three reasons why:

1. Google controls your Google My Business listing

You get to fill in the blanks with your information, but it’s ultimately up to Google to decide if your listing shows and where. Plus, Google My Business is a fluid product that changes based on how the wizards at Google determine it should. You never know when the kind of information that displays in your listing might change – or disappear completely.

2. A website paints a more complete picture of a business

True, you can upload photos to your Google My Business listing and provide some details about your business for potential customers. But your website gives you the opportunity to provide so much more information about your business and about your brand. It also allows potential customers to contact you via email outside your business hours, which Google My Business doesn’t. (At least, not at the time of this writing.)

3. Your competitors have websites

Your customers and potential customers use the Internet to find what they need – everyone does. Google My Business listings offer a great preliminary source of information – they help bring people into the sales funnel, if you will. But it’s the more complete information offered by a website that brings them further down the funnel, leading to a contact, a visit, or a sale.

Searchers are going to move on from Google My Business listings to websites, and if you don’t have one for them to move on to, you’ll be missing out.

This graph is from the insights of a Google My Business listing of a Sage Marketing Group client. Of the searchers that took action on the business’s listing, the majority of clicked through to the website.

 

Yes, You Need a Website

In other words, Google My Business listings make a great complement to your website – not a replacement.

If you have more questions about Google My Business, need help monitoring reviews, or want to know more about creating or updating that website that you’ve been putting off, we’re here to help.

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