You can create a Google My Business profile even if you don’t have an eCommerce website. It definitely boosts your online presence and increases brand awareness. People can find out about your location, contact information, products, facilities, and reach out to you.
Now, this often makes many business owners think that Google My Business profile is enough to grow their business and they don’t need an online store. Do you have the same confusion? Setting up a GMB profile costs relatively less and takes significantly less time than investing in eCommerce website development. However, is it effective? Can you get the same benefit from Google My Business as you would get from an e-store?
We will address all these questions in the blog. Keep reading.
Google My Business: Is It Enough?
First, let us quickly check out the benefits of Google My Business:
- GMB allows business owners to manage their online appearance and make their business stand out.
- With it, you can appear in Maps and Local Pack listings.
- You can feature ratings & reviews, store address, descriptions, products, facilities, images, and more on a GMB profile.
The experts of digital marketing services consider that Google My Business profile is a must-have for every business. But, it is not a substitute for an eCommerce website. Wondering why? Below we will outline why an eCommerce website is essential.
Why an Ecommerce Website is Critical?
1. A Website Facilitates Direct Sale
The first and foremost benefit of an eCommerce website is that it facilitates online sales. Therefore, it is a direct source of revenue. Google My Business profile, on the other hand, offers people insights into your store location, review, and so on.
Today, with the rise of online shopping, people may not wait for visiting your physical shop if they get similar things online. Online shopping gives a break from the hassles of stepping out and visiting the store. Therefore, if you don’t sell something exclusive (that is not easily available online) building an eCommerce website is a must.
2. Winning a Competitive Edge
If your competitors are online, can you imagine how much sales you may lose for not having an eCommerce website! These days, people expect eCommerce business owners to have a website. Catering to their expectations is crucial if you don’t intend to lose valuable customers.
While a GMB profile will enhance your online presence, it cannot offer you a competitive advantage if you don’t have an eCommerce website. Therefore, bringing your business online is a smart idea.
3. It’s Easy to Build and Cost-Effective
Many business owners often delay website development considering it’s difficult to build/manage or extremely costly. Let’s debunk both the myths!
With advanced technologies available, you can easily set up an e-store. There are various platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce etc. to power your store without any hassle. If you don’t want to get involved in nominal hassles or build a custom online store, you can hire professional web developers and launch your e-store. From domain to hosting service, site security to deployment – the professionals will take care of everything. Also, these stores are highly admin-friendly. Therefore, you need not worry about managing the store.
Further, it is not expensive at all to build an e-store. You can contact a website design company to get a free quote for crafting an online store. Custom website development enables you to pay for just what you want. The best part is, you can build a scalable website and extend its product pages, features, and functionalities as your business grows.
4. Google Controls Your GMB Profile
Truth to be told, you don’t control your Google My Business listing – Google does.
A GMB account, indeed, is a must-have for your marketing activity but you should know that Google can make some changes as per their terms and conditions. You expect to win a high rank with a GMB profile when people search for something that you sell. But you must take Google algorithms into account. Without consistent SEO efforts, your GMB profile may not properly appear. It will ruin your sole chance of boosting brand awareness or driving customers.
Further, Google has the right to remove a GMB listing if they find something inappropriate. These rules are not static, so you never know what’s going to affect your listing. Further, anyone can add negative reviews, suggest an inappropriate edit, or share information that may impact your business reputation. While these must be properly monitored, you can get rid of all the hassles simply by owning a website. Your website belongs to you and no one else!
5. A Website is the Hub of Information
For many businesses, it may so happen that they sell most of the products offline – from their physical stores. And people can browse their collection on the website, send enquiry for bulk products, and so on. Even if you follow this model, owning a website is a must.
The website will become the hub of information for your business. From contact details to the product range – everything can be featured on the website. You can also add client testimonials to the site to inspire credibility among your target audience.
As you can understand, a website opens a wide array of opportunities that becomes limited in the case of a GMB profile. As we have already mentioned, a GMB profile is never a substitute for a website but an add-on.
The optimum way is to build an eCommerce website and then optimize your brand presence with a Google My Business listing. That way, you can enhance your online presence and also facilitate direct sales from the site.
What are your thoughts? Feel free to share with us.