Local Businesses NEED This… and how YOU Can Get More Leads and Phone Calls Right Now.
#1 Be Where Your Customers are Looking: Local Search
For local businesses, local search is the area proven to get more phone calls generated. In fact, a local attorney that I worked with just told me that their phone is ringing non-stop with new clients inquiring about their law services. We actually created a case study for this client, if you would like to read it, go below and request it.
If you’re not sure what “local search” is, it is the area in Google, Yahoo or Bing that shows your business name, address, phone and reviews.
Here is an example of Google’s local search or also called the 3 pack or “map pack”.
According to recent survey and research by BrightLocal, local search is the #1 way to generate new leads and phone calls. Google local is called “Google My Business”.
Being in Google My Business, You Can:
- Manage your business listings for Google+, Maps, and Search
- Upload pictures and videos of your business
- Interact and share content with followers on Google+
- Monitor and respond to reviews from across the web
- Start and maintain AdWords Express campaigns
- Access Insights reports and analytics for Google+ and YouTube
Google My Business can provide insight into how consumers are discovering your company, what they click on, and other interesting features that will provide you with powerful data that can be used to grow your business.
Businesses can access the Google My Business platform on their desktop computer or through an iOS or Android app from a mobile device. Google+ Local and Google Places were not compatible with mobile devices, so this is a major enhancement – making managing your local listing even more convenient.
If you don’t have the time to sign-up or maintain your profile on Google My Business, seek the help of a skilled professional that can ensure your listing is fully completed, claimed, and optimized.
As you know, most consumers today are going online to search for local products and services; so this is one of the most effective ways to put your brand right in front of these active leads.
10 Tips for an Effective Google My Business Listing
- Complete Your Profile 100%
- Choose Proper Categories
- Add All of Your Locations
- Correct Any Duplicate or Inaccurate Information
- Get Local Citations
- Post Content, Photos, and Images
- Optimize & Verify Your Page
- Utilize the Insights Feature
- Monitor & Respond to Customer Reviews
- Encourage Reviews from Customers
Getting visibility and brand awareness is vital for any business. How can you gain customers if people don’t know who you are or what your product is? As a local businesses, you will know how hard it can be to get high rankings on Google, especially if you are in competition with bigger and more well-known brands.
So in order to create better brand awareness your first step would be to create an effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to make your site more searchable on Google. Research has proven (and you probably know from your own personal experience) that 75% of Google users never scroll past the first page. This highlights how having a poor Google ranking can have a detrimental effect on your business and branding because potential customers won’t be able to find you.
This is where Google My Business steps in. When you create a My Business account, fill out your information as thoroughly and accurately as you can, it will help your business to show up on Search, Maps and Google+.
Remember to include information such as the location of your business, your opening times, contact information, website address and pictures of your business.
Ensure that the information you put on Google is the exact same information that you have on your website and any other places where your website is listed. Consistency is very important in SEO and it can affect your ratings if there are any contradictions.
The more information you add, the more Googles search algorithms will work to help with your ranking.
Together, all of these features will give your customers an inside glimpse of your business and make it easier for them to make the decision to engage with you. As a result of doing this, when potential customers are searching specifically for your business or simply doing a broad search on business within your industry, they will be more likely to find your information and visit your website.
Engage with existing and potential customers
As well as making your business easier to find in Google searches, you can also manage your Google+ page from your My Business dashboard. It has taken a while for people to get used to the Google+ social media, and most people still prefer and use Facebook and other social media sites but bear in mind that your Google+ business page gives a significant boost to your SEO and increases trust in your brand.
Google measures who comments, shares or +1’s your post, the captures the information and identifies your audience’s identity, activity and interests and then delivers your content in front of this demographic in organic search results.
The other advantage of using Google+ is this; while other social media sites place a “no follow” tag on any link you post, Google+ doesn’t. So if you posted a link on Facebook for example, any links that you put in your posts (to your website or special offers etc.) they would not influence your business page ranking. Google on the other hand, treats them as web pages which then helps increase your sites visibility and page rank.
But even without the SEO benefits, Google+ is also a brilliant way to engage with your audience and build a long term relationship with them which will make people trust your company more. We all know that people trust word of mouth recommendations, especially if it is from people that they know. So when followers and customers are engaging with your content and reposting it on their own pages it won’t take long for others to notice that you have a brand and reputation that can be trusted.
Just as on any other social media platform, if you expect any kind of results on Google+ you need to be consistent and post regularly. If you have a company blog, post the links on your page and ask your audience to read and share them. Post fun pictures of your and your employees so that your followers can get to know you better and have a clearer picture of who you are. It will encourage brand loyalty.
It is worth reminding you that any content you share should be relevant and interesting to your audience. You don’t want to keep posting promotional sales messages all of the time. The point of Google+ is not to push your products or services on people but to create a close knit community which will inspire trust and loyalty in your brand.
Check the Performance of your activity
This is where the Insights tool comes in for your Google+ page and Analytics for your presence across all Google platforms. Both of these tools make it very easy for you to see how many views you are getting not only in general but you can even see how many people are reading your specific Google+ posts. It even gives you information on how many people have checked out your business on Google Map searches.
But that’s not all. The Insights and Analytics tools will even show you who is engaging with your brand, what kind of content they like and how frequently they want to see it. This allows you to target your information at the right people, knowing that they will read it. After all, there is no sense in putting a lot of time and effort over a web presence that nobody is even going to engage with.
Encourage and Respond to Customers Reviews
Whether you love them or you hate them, customers will want to leave a review about your business. It is part of online culture and people will either want to rave or complain about any customers experiences that they have had.
If they are going to do it, you might as well make it easy as possible for them. They could also generate many more sales for you too as many customers decide to purchase a product or service based solely on what other people are saying.
My Business makes it easy by allowing you to register your business so that customers can add their rating simply by Googling your name or company.
The dashboard even makes it easy for you to promote the reviews on your Google+ page and even monitor reviews on other platforms like Yelp. This will help you to easily respond to positive reviews, while professionally and politely dealing with any negative reviews. You will know exactly what people are saying about business and no review will slip through the net. It is a very valuable asset for your business.
Just as most of your customers are likely to visit your site while browsing on their mobiles, Google My Business will allow you to do the same with iOS and Android apps. The mobile streamlined dashboard makes it easy for you to simply swipe through all of your tools and data allowing you change date and manage your online presence from wherever you are.
Claim Your Page today
With Google My Business, you will find all of the best Google tools all ready and waiting for you simply by logging into your dashboard. It makes management of your online presence fun and easy with the added benefit of working along the most powerful search engine in the world.
As you can see it is easy to use, but as with all aspects of online marketing, your web performance is only as good as you can make it. It is very important that you include as much relevant information about your business as you can. If it is done right, it really can make a difference between your online success or failure.
If you are in any doubt or would like more helpful tips and advice on how to make the most from this great tool, please don’t hesitate to contact us.