How do I get my business found?
One of the most common questions I’m asked by customers is “how do I get found?”. They want to know how to make more potential customers become aware of their business and services. The strategy to reach that goal is multi-faceted.
There are several ways to go “off-line” to get awareness of your business and offerings, including networking and speaking engagements, as well as the typical online solutions. Social media provides a publishing platform to promote your services to your existing followers. Though both these strategies are effective, they are not necessarily capturing customer’s attention when directly searching for your services using Google.
There is an often overlooked strategy to grow your digital empire that links back to your website and helps your business be found more easily – local search engine optimization. In fact, up to 58% of small and medium businesses do not have strategies for local SEO or overlook it. As such, they consequently miss out on key SEO opportunities.
Findability Strategy: All Roads Lead to Rome
Today’s tip to improve your “findability”, and the ease of your business being found, is to utilize an online directory strategy to get your business listed in more places online. Your website should not be an island – sitting alone, hard to access or to be found. You should take the time to create a web of roads or links that lead to your business. Think of the saying “all roads lead to Rome” and use that as a metaphor to create many pathways and roads that lead into your business. An online directory strategy can give your business more links, and in essence more roads, which leads to more visibility and awareness.
Google Business is by far one of the most powerful online directories. Google Business links to Google Maps and can be utilized by both service-based businesses (by hiding your address) and by store-front businesses. Plus, it captures customers’ attention as they are looking for services, and is especially effective when a customer is searching on-the-go using their phone. Google listings are as competitive as website searches are, so the key is knowing what sections to pay the most attention to so your business can rank better against your competitors.
Create Your Google Business Profile
The best place to start is to make sure you have your business listed in Google Business. Here’s a link to show you how to get started with your own Google Business Profile.
Audit Your Google Business Profile
The next step is to conduct an audit to see if your business is missing any opportunities so you can stand tall against your competitors.
1. Check your business’s primary category and secondary categories.
Categories are the most important part of your business listing. This is how Google knows how to categorize your business and when to show your business listing information to someone searching for your services.
2. Check your business’s profile information.
Your profile information, especially your identifying information like business name, address, phone number, should be consistent and identical across all business listings and your website. This is not a place to use different spellings or formats. Complete as much as you can in the Google Business Profile information and be as clear and succinct as possible to what you do and the services you provide to your customers.
3. Connect your services to your categories.
You’ve assigned categories to your business listing, now it’s time to connect your services to those categories. This step helps Google know what services you offer within the categories you’ve chosen.
4. Fill out the Q&A section of the business listing.
One of the sections of the Google Business Profile is called Q&A. This section refers to pre-qualifying questions you think your potential customers need to know so they can properly understand if you are the right fit for them. This is where you would connect the dots between your category, services and then putting those answers into more human centered language to allow the person searching to know if you are right for them.
Want to learn more about this strategy?
We’ve written two articles that go into more detail on directories in general and about using Google Business Profile specifically to help your business get found. They will help you see if this strategy is right for your business. These articles outline the same strategies we use for our customers.
Keep in mind, in highly competitive industries, it may be hard to rank your own Google Business Profile. We are here to help!
Part Two: Developing a Local SEO Strategy using Google Business Profile
“A comprehensive local SEO strategy is key to staying ahead of your competitors and maximizing your long-term business success.” Read more on strategies to get found.
Part One: Developing a Local SEO Strategy using Digital Directories
“With an overwhelming amount of websites on the Internet, it can be difficult for small and medium-sized businesses to stand out in search results.” Read more on our tips to maximize impact.