We were surprised to read recently that 56% of all local retailers haven’t claimed their Google My Business (GMB) page. This is the first thing a small business should do when setting up their online profile, and there are no shortage of Local SEO articles suggesting the same. So, with everybody beating the same drum, why are a majority of small businesses not listening?
There are several suggestions and more statistics in the article. But then it dawned on me: Why should a small business care about GMB? They care primarily about customers in their community. There’s no direct correlation between a GMB listing and a new customer walking into their establishment. Of course it’s a good idea, but it’s a bit like telling somebody to take vitamins every day. The benefit is not immediately obvious, and there’s no visible downside to not doing it that they know of. Bottom line: local businesses want local solutions.
If the goal is to get local businesses to understand the importance of Local SEO, we’re doing it backwards. If a local retailer has a local solution that just happens to allow that business to add or update a GMB, Yelp, YP.com or other national listing, that’s easier and more logical than convincing them that a global directory will give them local relevance.
This is another avenue where local digital publishers can establish their strength and benefits in the local ecosystem. Many publishers now feature a local business guide with listings of all the businesses in their community. Why not give your local businesses the ability to not just claim their local page, but to also have all the updates on their local page syndicate to the important national directories (such as Google, YP.com). That gives the local business what they really want – a local solution that takes care of the global requirements that the small business doesn’t care as much about.
We at Bizyhood can’t stress this enough – local retailers want local solutions. If you can show that you offer something that helps them locally and gives them other benefits, a local business will go for it. If the other benefits come first (with no guarantee of local help) it will be hard to get their attention.