Freelance SEO Consultant and Content Marketing Specialist

Google Maps voted the most popular digital service by the British public and what that means for SEO

Tom Crewe imageTom Crewe
September 13, 2022

There are endless benefits to digital marketing, but one of the greatest advantages digital marketing offers high-street retailers is the ability to turn online browsers into in-store purchasers. In a Q2 2022 YouGov poll, Google Maps was voted the most popular digital service by the British public, beating the likes of WhatsApp, Amazon and YouTube. For retailers, this means having a presence on Google Maps, Google’s Local Pack and the Knowledge Graph is essential. 

The pandemic was hard on high-street retailers, and for those who survived, competition is fierce. Optimising your Google Business Profile with appropriate categories, a detailed description and, of course, gaining as many positive reviews as possible is essential. 

The way business owners edit their profile information is changing, as Google retires the old Google My Business manager and now encourages business owners to edit their information directly in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). But with that comes a host of new features.  

For many small businesses, the idea of implementing chat functionality for customers to reach them online is either too complicated, expensive or time consuming, but with Google Business Profile’s new messaging functionality, it couldn’t be easier. This free service allows customers to contact the listed business via online chat, and the business owner can set up automated responses for frequently asked questions, meaning it doesn’t matter if they don’t manage to respond to each message personally as the enquirer can still get the information they need.  

To set this up for your business, search for your business name (or search ‘my business’) on Google when logged into the Google profile that you manage your Google Business listing with, click on ‘Messages > Turn on > Chat Settings > Manage Frequently Asked Questions > Add a Question’. You can then add up to ten questions. See an example of my Google Business Profile below: 

But how does this really benefit retailers? Firstly, the evolution of Google Business Profiles means that smaller businesses really don’t even need to have a website to gain visibility and communicate with customers online. Secondly, by using SEO techniques to optimise their Google Business Profile, their store can come above the competition when potential customers search for the products or services they provide, and with the click of a button their customers gain access to directions right to their front door. The higher up the rankings they are and the easier they make it for customers to find and visit them, the better. The chat functionality also gives small businesses an additional way to communicate with their customers, using a popular platform their customers know and trust.

With Google Maps being such a popular digital service, having a strong presence on Maps and localised searches is how retailers with brick-and-mortar stores survive the digital age, so make sure your business has a strong local SEO strategy.

Tom Crewe image

This article was written by

Tom Crewe

Tom Crewe is a Freelance SEO Consultant with 10 years’ worth of experience in Search Engine Optimisation and Content Marketing. His genuine passion for SEO is clearly demonstrated in his client work, the articles he writes for industry leading publications such as Search Engine Land, the talks he delivers at events such as Brighton SEO and his eagerness to learn more each and every day.