- When comparing audience size on Social Media vs. Google Business Profile, GBP audiences are 5.8 times bigger than social.
- When comparing views on Google Analytics for a typical business website vs. views on Google Business Profile, GBP views are 3.8 times bigger than the business website.
- Using Google Business Profile to add videos, photos and posts just like you are already doing on Social Media nets you five times more eyeballs. Start adding your content to GBP today!
Google Business Profile (GBP) is more than just an SEO or Social Media strategy. Businesses that post content to only their Social Media accounts or business websites are missing out on a huge opportunity to distribute their content, engage users, and drive revenue on Google Maps.
More than just SEO
We often don’t recommend businesses treat GBP as a social channel, but recently we’ve started to walk that back a bit.
Why? Because most businesses that are investing in content marketing are treating social as a priority and, as a result, they are generating a lot of content to support those channels.
Unfortunately, those same businesses aren’t sharing that content on Google Maps through business profiles. That means all of that great content isn’t being seen by the larger audience because organic reach on Social Media has declined drastically over the last few years.
And then there are those who are just regurgitating their social posts into their GBP listings, choosing conformity over relevancy. That’s a whole other story you can read more about here.
A 5x bigger and more engaged audience than Social Media.
You might think I’m crazy, but the numbers simply don’t lie. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, but the vast majority of businesses can reach an astronomically higher number of people on Google Maps than on Social Media.
The primary reason for this is that when users are on Social Media, they really aren’t that interested in being advertised to. Again, there are always exceptions, but for businesses eligible for Google Business Profiles, the intent of the audience on Google Maps is unmatched.
Users are visiting your business profile at the exact moment that they want to purchase something from a local business.
Sometimes they are in “discovery” mode, searching with keywords relevant to your business’s category or the products and services you sell. Other times they are looking specifically for your business in a “direct” or branded search.
Either way, users on Google Maps are ripe for the taking in a much bigger way than on Social Media.
Take this Instagram account, for example (names are hidden to protect the innocent):
Looks pretty good. Almost 60,000 followers. Most businesses would dream of having that many followers on their Instagram. Keep in mind that it has taken years to get this many followers if it was done organically. We’re not managing their Social Media, so I can’t comment on how they got this many followers.
Regardless of how and when they got these followers, the most recent posts from this business receive less than 1% engagement from those 59.5k followers.
Engagements (likes/comments) on Instagram from recent posts represent less than 1% of all followers
Even worse is that most of those engagements (likes) are likely not from users intending to visit the business anytime soon. More than likely, they have previously visited the business, as most people don’t follow business pages that they have never purchased from before. So most of the time, this content is reaching existing customers more than prospective or first-time customers about to make a purchase decision.
Many users also probably just enjoy the content and inspiration from the brand page. It’s virtually impossible to measure the number of potential store visits that these posts generate, let alone any connection to bottom-line revenue.
In this scenario, Social Media is likely more of a “remarketing” or “retargeting” channel, as most people who would be willing to follow a business account have already visited that business in the past.
Instagram posts from this business receive less than 1% engagement from those 59.5k followers.
Compared to Google Maps, the reach and audience size on Social Media is quite small
For this same business, during the first 6 months of 2023, they have received 2,077,329 views on their Google Business Profile for an average of 346,221 views per month.
Google Business Profile Views By Device (January 2023 – June 2023)
If we’re comparing the total size of the active audience, that means Google Maps reaches 5.8 times as many eyeballs as their Social Media presence on Instagram, which is by far their largest social channel.
Even more importantly, the engagement rate dwarfs Instagram by a long shot. From January 1 to June 30, 2023, the business received 108,657 actions like website visits, phone calls and direction requests from Google Maps users. In addition to those actions, there were an additional 3,113 food orders on their business profile.
In total, 111,770 customer actions represent a 5.4% engagement rate, which means this business’s GBP is more than 5x bigger than Instagram when comparing the rate of customer engagements on the channel.
Google Business Profile Primary Actions (January 2023 – June 2023)
Google Business Profile Secondary Actions (January 2023 – June 2023)
3.6x more views on GBP than your website
After Social Media, business websites are the second most common place we find content buried and hidden away from Google Maps.
Similar to the challenge businesses face on Social Media with a dwindling organic reach, getting people to your website is also an uphill battle. Most users don’t want to have to do “extra work” to figure out important information about your business.
In fact, Google used to call GBP “Google My Business” because that’s what they wanted companies to tell customers to do when looking for information about their business: Google “My Business.”
Getting people to your website is also an uphill battle. Most users don’t want to have to do “extra work” to find important information about your business.
Following the previous example of comparing this business’s Google Maps channel performance vs. Social Media, let’s look at this business’s website traffic vs. Google Maps.
For the month of June 2023, this business website received 123,786 website visits. That’s pretty good, right?
Yes, but again, Google Maps is still a bigger channel for reaching new and existing customers.
In the month of June 2023, the business profiles for this business captured 351,608 views which is 2.8 times higher than the number of visits to the business website.
The kicker is that 20.3% or 25,138 of all the unique visits to the website are actually coming from Google Maps and GBP when looking at the first user source/medium reports in GA4.
So if we removed the website visits acquired through Google Maps, then the website had only 96,648 views independent of Google Maps, meaning that Google Maps and GBP actually reach 3.6 times as many people as the business’s website.
GA4 first user source/medium
Post content on your Google Business Profile FIRST, then Social Media and website
To be clear, I’m not saying to stop doing Social Media or managing your website. I’m just saying to prioritize the content distribution based on where you are reaching the most people.
Most businesses don’t even think about Google Business Profile and Google Maps as a content marketing channel, but they definitely should.
If you’re posting content on your website and Social Media but not your business profiles on Google Maps, you’re missing out BIG TIME.
Start prioritizing Google Business Profiles as a content distribution channel ahead of Social Media and your website. You’ll generate way more traffic and engagement.
I hope this was helpful and that you’ll take these ideas and apply them to your business. I’m confident they will help you reach more potential customers.
Reach out if you have any questions. I love a good conversation and am eager to hear if more businesses are experiencing the same results as our clients.