Did you know that your business and Google have something in common? Google was created to be helpful, to provide answers, and solutions to problems. Guess what? Your business was created with the same intent in mind, of course, with your own spin.
In this age of information, people, especially your potential customers, are looking for a product or service that can either make their lives easier, bring entertainment, make them feel better as a person, or solve from pesky problem. In a sense, your business makes Google “look good.” Google understands the importance your business plays in their “helpfulness” so it gives Google so much joy to refer people to your business. So Google rewards you by showing your business to more customers. But there are steps and levels to this “relationship.”
Want to know how to get found by more customers with Google’s help? This post is definitely for you.
Get Acquainted with Google, Set Up A Google My Business Listing
This step is for business owners who have a brick-and-mortar storefront ( where customers come to them) or a business that travels to the customer location to perform the service (i.e plummers).
In order to reap real online exposure, the first is to set up your Google My Business listing.
(Google My Business listings of Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles)
Google My business is a free business listing where you input your business information. ( Name of business, hours, address, etc) . Most people search for businesses based off of the product or service, specialty and location. So Google loves when you provide this information so that they can pass it along to the searcher. This listing is fairly simple to complete. After you provide your business information, you have to verify your listing either via a text, phone call, or postcard. ( you get a verification code). The verification step validates that the business is real and operating. Depending on what type of business you operate, potential customers are able to make appointments and set reservations.
Tip: Make sure you complete your listing with accurate information. So for example, if your business address is 12345 E Social Pl, make sure to type it in the same way on your google listing.
Google helps point more customers your way because they have your info in their "digital rolodex". As long as your business is prominent, relevant, and in a certain distance, Google sends potential customers to your doors.
Get on Review Sites
Google loves when others know your business and can have vouched for it. If people took their time out to publicly share their positive experience with your business, Google wants other potential customers to experience the same thing. So be sure to set your business on some review sites. Although Google has it's own review section on the business listing, the most popular review site is Yelp. Yelp has grown to be the go-to place for business insights and one of the most trusted platforms for customer feedback. Honest opinions are important to Google and if your business has a good number of genuinely positive reivews, Google will gladly refer customers to your business.
Tip: Encourage current customers to leave honest reviews. Publicly asking for reviews online can get you in some trouble. Respond to all reviews in a timely manner. If you receive a negative review, answer in a short, professional manner and offer a solution.
Socialize with Your Customers
Converse with your customers by getting on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, etc. Social media gives businesses the opportunity to truly connect with customers. On top of that, it allows you to show how awesome your business is and you can be as creative as you want to be with communicating your brand ( of course with your customers in mind). You can answer questions, get customer feedback, involve them on what’s new and let them know of any sales you have going on. Google loves when you show the “human side” and personality to your business . Remember, we build relationships with the people behind the business.
Social media sites are usually one of the top sites that shows up in search results when someone looks up a business. Google doesn’t like the anti-social.
Get on some Online Business Directories
Online business directories are like digital phonebooks. Just as it was important to have your business in the physical phonebook back in the day, this still stands true in the digital world. The cool thing about a lot of these directories are they are free and most are respected by Google. So make sure to add your business on a good number of online directories. This look good for your business because you have legit sites linking back to your business.
Tip: Make sure your business info is accurate and consistent on all the online directories your business is on. Mismatch information can negatively affect your business online visibility. Some directories to be listed on are Superpages, Manta, and Yp.com.
Google loves when they can find you on other business sites. This gives Google more confidence in your business to refer customers.
Get some videos, Get in front of the lens
Videos help visually show off your product / service and gives potential customers a look into that to the experience . Studies show videos captivate attention more than pictures and text. ( Make sure to utilize text and pictures as necessary in your marketing strategy.) Because video gets more engagement, most social media platforms show them higher in news feeds and Google understands this. Video is so important to Google that YouTube was acquired by them. So it would be to your benefit to create and upload an informative video on sites like YouTube. If your phone has a great camera, film away and use a software like Animoto to make your marketing videos.
Incorporating video into your marketing strategy helps Google visually show potential customers that your product or service is the best for them. So an informative and/or entertaining video is the way to go.
Have your Own Website (That's Also Mobile Optimized)
Having a website allows you to have helpful content that Google can refer potential customers to. Helpful content can include a FAQ page, testimonials, menus, list of services, etc. Your website should be the main hub of information and truly help customers get their problem solved. One of the basic things to remember is make sure your business is accessible. There is nothing worse than a customer not able to get in touch with you. So just like the Google My Business listing and online directories, you want to make sure your basic information is consistent and prominent. If you are a local business, make sure to mention your city and what services/ products you provide through your website. Google loves when your website is easy to navigate and shows how your business can be contacted.
Make sure your website is set up to be seen on mobile phones. People usually use their phones to look up directions and contact info.
Another aspect to consider is having a blog. Having a website blog helps your website have fresh content and new keywords (searched words/phrases) linked to your website, providing it more online traffic.
Google loves when you keep your website updated with keyword-rich content. It gives Google the assurance that when they point a potential customer to your site, your content will help them.
The Wrap Up
Google wants to send you customers because your business provides a truly solution. Google wants to provide people with best fit for their needs. However, Google has a huge reputation to maintain so your business’s online presence has to be fact-checked before customers are sent your way. By following these tips, your business will receive more calls, more door traffic, and more sales. Google just needs to have a certain level of trust first before it represents and vouches for your business.
As long as your business is prominent ( on social media, review sites, online business directories), relevant ( keyword-based), and in a certain distance ( location-based), Google sends potential customers to your doors.
Have other aspects to add? Any questions? Please feel free to share in the comments below.