You still need your website
According to the Bright Local study, website clicks were the number one of all customer interactions measured by Google My Business insights. Even though Google My Business is increasing in popularity and usefulness among consumers, there is still a strong demand for business websites. Just 8% of consumers say they never visit a website before choosing a local business, and 76% look at a business website at least half the time. While useful and insightful, GMB listings don’t have in-depth details about your business that your site provides. Local Listings are great for players who already know your course or are comparing places to play, but people who want to learn more about your course and the services you offer will usually need to visit the site for a complete picture. Your GMB listing and website should work together, with the site providing in-depth information like company details, course videos, venue services and other features that can’t fit on your listing. Websites are also the basis for our SEO strategies and allow us to rank for keywords and demonstrate competitive advantages over other businesses in the area.
Images are great for engagement
On average, a Local Listing profile has 11 photos. While these make the page look great and help show off your course, they serve a much more important purpose. More images translate to more customer interactions! In fact, listings that boast 100 images or more can get up to 20 times more website clicks than an average listing. Conversely, those listings with only 1 image generated 65% fewer clicks. This may only be a strong correlation and not necessarily a direct cause, however, we feel it’s worth taking note of. Listings with more photos may have better marketing strategies or other factors in play but it certainly won't hurt you to optimize your listing with additional high-quality images.
Your listing is not just for brand searches
Some business owners are under the impression that a Google My Business profile is only important to searchers who already know about your course. However, the data says otherwise. While it may change from industry to industry, overall 84% of GMB listing views come from “discovery searches”. Discovery searches are when your listing shows up for a non-branded search, like “golf courses” or “driving range near me”. This is your incentive to make sure your listing is optimized and taking advantage of the proper GMB categories, which will help you rank higher for the best keywords. You should always be on the lookout for ways to attract new customers to your course, and this is definitely a cost-efficient way to do that.
Interaction rates are up
Interactions with Google My Business are growing every year. According to Bright Local, the percentage of listing views that resulted in a customer conversion jumped from 3.9% in 2017 to 4.8% in 2018. This could be a result of GMB adding many new features and ways to interact with the listing, giving customers more chances to engage. Checking opening hours, requesting directions and visiting the business website are some of the most popular features on a listing, and these are also growing in usage. 64% of consumers have used Google My Business to find contact details for local businesses. With GMB becoming more popular with consumers and more widely used, having an optimized listing is more important than ever.