A Google Local listing, now under the Google My Business moniker, is an essential and will no doubt be one of the first tasks on the To-Do list of small businesses across the world. As a search engine with over 1.2 billion unique users per month, it’s the natural next step if you want Joe Bloggs to find you online and start spending his hard earned benjamins on your products or services, and best of all, it’s genuinely easy and doesn’t cost a penny.
As I mentioned in our post on Why Your Business Needs A Search Engine Friendly Website, 50% of consumers who perform a local search on a mobile phone visited a shop or business that day, with 18% of these searches leading to a sale. As you can see, like ye olde Yellow Pages back in the day, the Google search now reigns supreme, and when someone searches for a product or service in your industry and your area, if you’re not on that list then you can wave goodbye to a whole lot of business.
This is how you get a Google Local Listing for your small business.
Go to www.google.co.uk/business/ and browse over all the features available to you on this initial page before you get stuck in. These are all the benefits you’ll have access to once your Google My Business page is up and running – phone number, address, a link to your website, a spot on Google Maps, photos and reviews. Everything you’d need for a searching customer to find your business and decide whether they want to use you or not.
Add Your Business
You’ll be prompted to enter all the basic information about your business that your customers will need to know. The name of your business, address, industry, business phone number and whether you deliver or not. Easy yes, but make sure you do get it down right the first time. You might feel a bit silly if you realise you’ve had a wrong number listed for the past couple months.
Verify Your Business
Once you have entered all your key information, you’ll be asked to verify your business. Completed via post, you’ll be sent a verification code within 1-2 weeks. When received, plug the code back into your Google My Business Page. Only then will your business profile be activated to it’s full potential.
Complete Your Page
Now that you have your business’ Google page, you need to make sure every minute detail is filled out. Don’t leave anything blank, the more information a potential customer can see, the more likely they are to choose you. Why? Because they trust your business is serious about what it does.
Link to your website, add your opening hours, put as many photos of your business as possible and add a cover photo (you can even upload ‘virtual tours’ using 360 degree cameras). All this will not only show searchers who you are, what you do and where to find you. It will give off the image your business needs to attract customers as well.
This is how simple it is to cement your place in Google searches from here on out. You could probably do this in your sleep. The only thing you have to make sure you’re doing is leaving no area untouched, if you don’t have photos of your business or a website, then don’t just chance it, go get a camera and take some, it really makes all the difference.
As for the website, sure you can DIY it if you want to save a bit of money and have the technical expertise. However, don’t be fooled that you can get a shoddy site past judging eyes. This is why many choose to go down the DIFM (Do-It-For-Me) route, where website providers like SoleTrader.com bring you a fully-fledged, turnkey website fitted with content, imagery and everything else you’d need for the online home of your business.
By Oliver Roche
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