Google, Google, Google – as search engine optimization professionals, it’s all we hear any more. They’re in our phones, they’re dominating our browser, they even creating humanoids and robotic animals. They’re into everything. That could be a bad thing, or it could be a good thing. If you are a business owner and you are in good with Google, or if you know how to give Google what they want in order for them to help you, then the more places Google is, the more places your business will be displayed. Since most of us don’t know someone at Google who can fix your rankings to get displayed more often, it’s upon each of us to give Google what it wants and needs in order to rank our businesses higher.
First of all, there are the Google My Business and Google+ pages. Google changes their pages, rules and methods quite often, so the specifics may change from what I describe here, but the fundamentals are the same. Verifying your business on Google is imperative, because doing so let’s Google know that the business is real, still in operation, and most importantly that you are complying with Google. They like that. The verification process, although isn’t as easy as it could be, isn’t too difficult. If you can run a business, you can copy a code from a postcard and enter it on your Google My Business page. In some cases, you can verify your business with a phone call, but if they won’t verify over the phone, Google will send you a postcard with a verification code.
A question we often get is, “do I really need a web site?” Oh, I don’t know, do you really need a business card, or a phone number or a storefront? Of course you should have a website. It’s just one more way for Google (and potential customers) to find you, to validate that you are in fact an ongoing concern, and that you give a hoot about providing customers with what they want – information about you and your products/services. As an exercise, search Google for a particular service in your city/area. On the 3-pack of map listings, how many of them have a website icon by their name? We’ve searched a LOT of different industries in a LOT of different cities, and 80% of the time, the top three have a website. Based on our experiences, you do need a website. It doesn’t have to be fancy. You don’t have to update it every week or even every month. Just having a site with relevant information that your customers need in order to know who you are and where you are is just about enough.
There are a few other things a business owner can do to help his company get found through Google searches, but these are a good start. Take the time to make sure you have listed your information in the important places on the web. Google is a great first start, your website is a surefire second step. By the time you finish these, you’ll probably have found other ways to build your traffic.
Getting found by your customers is a process that will vary from business to business, region to region, and industry to industry. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, unfortunately. As a business owner, you probably know better than anyone where your customers come from and how best to reach them. Be creative, relentless, and open to suggestions. When you get stuck on any of the aforementioned steps to getting found, reach out to us – we’re here to help.