Why Google Business Listings Are Critical to Crushing Your Competition

Google has become the 800 pound gorilla for search. Sure, people still use Bing, Yahoo, and many others, but most searches start with the big G. Because of this, it’s more important than ever for local businesses to have at least a basic Google My Business listing. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Well that’s exactly what I’m about to explain in this article.

How Google Map Listings Function

If you have ever performed a Google search for a product or service in your location, you have probably seen 3 listings in a little box above all of the other listings. These are called map listings, and the three companies that are listed in them get a surge of calls and inquiries above the other ones in their industry. And it’s obvious why. They can easily see reviews, the business’ phone number, how close the company is to their location, and what services they provide.

You have to reminder that people are busy these days and also impatient. This typically leads them to select what is practical, and Google map listings are just that.

Some people will go a bit further and look at all of the organic listings, which in simple English means the ten websites listed on the first page of Google when you search for something.

The Importance of Google Map Listings For Better Business

As you may have already been able to see, it can be quite beneficial to have a top three listing in the Google maps.

Not only will this attract more business inquires, but it creates a new level of trust on a subconscious level. Think about it: what makes these three businesses good enough to be placed here above all of the rest? Sure, some people will look past the top three listings but for the most part, those wanting to move fast mostly choose one of the “best.”

Ultimately, whoever is at the top will receive most of the lion’s share of business; it’s all in the numbers.

What’s the Best Way to Market Online?

There are many different ways to market a business online. Most work, but only if you work them. The bigger catch is though, you have to put work into mastering one, maybe two at a time – Otherwise, you may not see such a successful marketing strategy.

Our experts have tried just about every way to market you can think of, including social media, video, blogging, SEO, paid ads, and so much more. In that time of experience, we have concluded what works best for specific types of business models, and the best methods of implementation.

All of this leads us to this blog post today in which we are going to share our favorite way to market online.

This answer may be a little broad and non-satisfactory to many, but that’s okay.

So then what is the best way to market online?

The answer, my friends, is organic SEO.

SEO stands for search engine optimization, and in this instance, organic simply means that you assume the position is a natural way. i.e: relevant & trustworthy links, shared content.

Organic SEO can take much longer than paid or social media marketing, but it brings a much great ROI and can work for you for years.

Proper organic search engine optimization yields a coveted position at the top of the results when potential customers perform a relevant search. This means more traffic to a website and increased conversions (if the site is compelling, of course,) all without doing any work.

A well-positioned website is like a billboard that advertises for you 24/7. Organic SEO can help accomplish this. But what does the organic SEO process look like? Well, it can be a little complicated, but here’s a preview:

1.) Organic SEO mostly surrounds the optimization of a website. Essentially, what your site says along with what other websites are saying about that site.

In English, this means that it the content on it talks about the service or product being provided along with the location, and there is a decent amount of content in place.

Other websites that talk about your website provide a “vote.” Meaning, when another website links to yours, it provides a vote of confidence and in return, a higher position in the SERPS.

2.) Organic SEO depends on views from visitors in order to stay on top. Not only does a site need views though, it needs views that last more than just a few seconds.

In order to make visitors want to stay on a site longer, they need to be able to find what they are looking for, and fast. This means that a site should have content that answers questions, informs potential customers, and should include a call-to-action that compels them to become a customer.

This subject obviously goes a lot deeper but for now, we don’t want to sound too confusing.

We hope you got a basic understanding of organic SEO, and will stick around for future follow up posts.

Explained: Why Local Businesses Need Mobile-Friendly Websites

Have you ever been out in public and taken notice of the hoards of people that seem to have their cell phone glued to a part of their body or two?

While this is not really a good thing, it serves as a good illustration of how often people really use their cell phones, which includes for searching for local services. Ahem, this means you mister local business owner.

With this ‘fad’ becoming more popular in the coming years, it’s more important than ever for owners of local businesses to make sure their websites are mobile-friendly. Buy why?

First things first, Google -the largest and most common used search engine – is designed for human search, and to make their experience the best possible. This means that if a search is happening from a mobile device, the results returned to the user will only be sites that are optimized for mobile search, which can translate to a lot of lost business.

This reason alone is important enough make the decision to move to mobile.

If you want people to have a good user experience on your website, meaning:

  • They don’t have to scroll up, down and all around just to access your information
  • They can easily tell what your services your business offers and the locations you serve
  • They can easily contact you to request a quote or schedule a service

Then you are going to have to be more than sure that your website operates well on mobile devices of all shapes and sizes.

If you aren’t sure whether or not you currently have a website that is mobile-friendly, you can easily use Google’s free testing tool to find out.

3 Big Marketing Tips for Small Business Owners

"MARKETING" Sketch Notes on Blackboard (advertising management)

Searching for a local business on the internet now far outweighs doing a search in the phone book, wouldn’t you agree?

Sure, many offline marketing models are still slightly effective and so are word-of-mouth referrals. But for most people, it’s just easier to search online.

With that being said, it’s now more important than ever for small business owners to consider their presence online; how many reviews they have, how many places customers can actually find them, etc. Otherwise they are going to have a hard time competing the other similar companies in the area that do.

So here are 3 big tips to help you get started today.

1. ) Get on Google

At the very least, small businesses need a Google Local listing. Over 70 percent of local search starts in Google, and the majority of those searchers will see the top three Google listings first which you guessed it, brings them a huge chunk of search.

To get a Google listing, simply go to the Google browser and scroll to the bottom of the search engine where you will see a clickable link labeled ‘Business.” Or simply do a Google search for ‘Google My Business’ and then click get started.

2.) Have a Website That Converts Well

Not all searchers will just use Google to find the information they’re looking for. Many will push past the local results to the organic ones, meaning the list of the ten websites on the first page of the search results, that are listing beneath the local listings and ads.

Many people want more information about a company, their prices, even work history, so you need a website that contains all of this. More importantly, you need:

  • A clear, visible phone number at the top of the site
  • A contact form for people to request info. through as an alternate method than phone
  • A list of services offered, and reviews and testimonials from previous customers always help

3.) Be Listing Where Your Customers Are Searching

If you have ever performed a search for a local service yourself, you may have seen organic listings than include Yelp, Yellowpages, Angie’s List, BBB, Superpages, Thumbtack, etc.

These are all known as third-party directory sites, but matter a lot because they are well-known websites that customers are constantly leaving reviews on, which will definitely matter to people that are considering your services.

With these sites being increasingly important, it’s a good to have your business listed on all of them to kill two birds with one stone. Let me explain.

  1. Being listing on these sites means that when other people use them for search, your business can be found.
  2. These websites are so authoritative and popular, not to mention important, that they show up on most first page search results for local services in any location throughout the United States. This gives you twice the chance for people to find your listing on this platform.

Being listing in more places gives people the perception that your business is trustworthy, seeing that it’s listed on all of these trusted websites.

I hope you’re starting to see the bigger picture.