Annual sales linked to digital maps in the UAE are estimated to be around AED 114 Billion. No wonder the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Google kicked off 2018 with the launch of their “Get Dubai Businesses Online” campaign.
For businesses in the UAE, the fastest way of getting found online is through Google My Business listing. Google My Business is Google’s revolutionary version of Yellow Pages, and is connected to Google’s Search and Maps features – for maximum effectiveness.
Is there a direct-action impact of keeping a close eye on digital presence?
According to Tarek Abdalla, Head of Marketing at Google Mena, “These three steps — be found online, be verified and be mobile first — will help businesses benefit from being on the internet.” Google confirms that Businesses with claimed Google My Business listings are 5% more likely to generate leads than those with incomplete or inaccurate listings.
With Google My Business, business owners are able to give potential customers all of the important information that they need, right from the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). This information includes the business’s phone number, business category, website, location, opening hours and reviews as well as internal and external location images.
And with all of this information pegged to locations on the map, the Google My Business platform also works great for growing businesses with multiple branches. No wonder SEO specialists agree that it has become one of the most important requirements of tying together a company’s SEO strategy.
How and when does a business listing work?
To put it simply, when somebody searches for something on Google, the Google My Business platform allows businesses to show up as a result, if any of these three conditions are met:
- People searching for your business by name
- People searching for the types of products and services you offer
- People searching for the types of products and services you offer – in your area
The UAE’s digital penetration is at an all-time high and increasing exponentially. 89% of the UAE uses the internet on a daily basis and 91% prefer to do it through their smartphones. In these times, a well-maintained Google My Business listing gives small and medium businesses (and those with limited resources) almost the same opportunity to be found that large multi-national businesses enjoy.
Even though most businesses in the region are already listed on Google My Business (thanks to Google’s advanced data collection system), a staggering majority of these listings is actually waiting to be claimed.
Wait, do businesses need to ‘Claim’ their business listings?
Google requires businesses to ‘Claim’ their business listings by verifying their details. Doing so grants administrative control to business owners. But it is important to know that anybody can contribute to the information on a Google My Business listing – at all times – and it is the business owner’s responsibility to monitor, verify and correct the listed information. This transparency helps Google ensure that consumer-facing information is always and actively updated.
Google My Business helps businesses capitalize on the region’s rapidly growing digital marketing opportunities by making life easier for businesses and giving them the ability to view and respond to customer reviews, put up images and updated business hours, and letting customers call up the business directly, all through one zero-hassle platform. But, the platform’s full benefits can only be obtained by claiming, verifying and maintaining a Google My Business listing as a continuing process. Reviews need to be monitored, business hours need to be updated for special occasions, images need to be added, and inaccuracies in publicly-submitted information need to be vetted.