Report: Websites and GMB Profiles Both Essential for Local Businesses

Photo by Jeff Sheldon.

While information on Google is increasingly essential to connecting brick-and-mortar businesses with nearby customers, it has definitively not rendered local business websites obsolete. That’s according to a new report from local marketing firm BrightLocal.

A whopping 64% of respondents indicated relying on Google My Business to find contact information for local business, suggesting it’s an indispensable platform. Yet consumers still trust local business websites most of all, and only 8% say they never consult a business’ website when making shopping decisions.

The information consumers most frequently seek out on Google includes, in the following order of frequency, opening hours, directions, reviews, a path to the business’ website, and photos. Out-of-date contact information ranked number one among errors that could turn a customer off completely from visiting a local store.

Finally, while messaging platforms are all the range among emerging vendors, the trusty phone call remains the most common way to contact local businesses. As in the GMB versus website debate, this does not mean newer tactics are not worth business’ time or financial investments. It just means combining the new with the old is the way to go when trying to be as present as possible in today’s customer journey.

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He joined Street Fight as a contributing writer in 2015, has compiled the daily newsletter since 2016, and has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Follow him on Twitter @joe_zappa, and shoot him an email at jzappa@streetfightmag.com.

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