So, Does My Local Business Still Need a Website?
Yes, it does. While Google My Business is now the most important touchpoint in a local search, and many local business transactions can happen without the searcher ever visiting the business’ website, a website is still crucial to getting across your brand’s personality and provide examples of excellent customer experiences, amongst other things.
A local business website’s requirements will shift drastically based on the industry type, with hotels needing high-quality design and photography, and plumbers needing prominent contact info, lists of services and customer testimonials. So we’ll admit that some businesses definitely need a website for this reason more than others.
However, no matter what industry you’re in, Google is likely to find a way to use information on your site to feed new features in SERPs, the Local Pack, your GMB listing and more. Just look at on-site review star ratings now appearing in SERPs. This is a taster of what Google can do with information from your site, provided you create it and keep it up to date and consistent with all your other business listings.
Finally, although we haven’t touched on it here, we have to keep the power of organic traffic in mind. We know that on-page signals and organic traffic can still impact your local ranking, so try to optimize and update your website with great local content.
Our advice to any local business is to create a good website that represents their business well, then shift focus to Google My Business, ensuring that’s the first to be updated with new business info and the first to be checked for customer interactions via Google Reviews and Google Q&A. After all, consumers can still find your business if you have a GMB listing but no website, but they sure won’t be able to if it’s the other way around.
Boost your local marketing with BrightLocal
Setting up your Google My Business profile is just the start of your local marketing journey. Competition is rife, no matter how niche your business is, so it’s crucial that you have the local SEO tools on hand to help you understand your local search presence.
That’s true of your website as well as your Google My Business listing (remember that the Local Pack appears above organic search results for local searches and is only made up of GMB listings), so you’ll want a toolset that gives you an overview of how both are performing.
BrightLocal’s Rank Checker, Local Search Audit, and GMB Audit are great ways to get this up-to-date and accurate performance data for you or your clients. Get started with a free 14-day trial today!