This is a bit of a short and sweet blog post….well…rant…about making sure you can be found on Google. The other day, I tried to find a shop that I know is in existence in an exact location, so I found the place on Google Maps expecting to find the lovely red marker that would give me the name (which I couldn’t remember exactly), the opening hours and, hopefully, direct me immediately to their website. BUT IT WAS NOT THERE!
Google My Business provides a completely FREE listing for your business which appears on Google Maps. There is absolutely no reason why you should not be on it! It’s a wonderful way to advertise your business and, what’s more, it means you can appear at the TOP of the Google search results, as part of the map (see screenshot below). You are effectively recommended by Google with no expenditure and no SEO headaches.
So, if you have not claimed your listing or you don’t have one, please go to https://www.google.com/intl/en_uk/business/ asap and get it sorted. There is a bit of a delay with getting verified by being sent a code via the post, but after that you have your own ‘advert’ on Google and your very own red marker on Google Maps.
You can include links to your website, contact information, photos, opening hours and, importantly, customers can then leave you reviews.
Take a look below at the two examples of my business as they show up – all thanks to Google Business. …and remember this is totally free.
You may argue, “that’s just because it’s her own computer” …fair enough…but look, if I put in a really generic search term – “Florist Hampshire” – this is the result:
Look at all those red markers and that list to the side! Your business could be there for FREE! Furthermore, Google reviews are highly regarded.
There are people who go out and actively write reviews for Google Maps, called Google Local Guides . I know a lady locally who does this and she is awesome because she believes in supporting small local businesses and, so, actively sets out to visit local places and review them. They don’t get paid just earn points and status – a bit like a ‘top fan’ on Facebook.
It may seem odd and I know you also will have a ‘skewed’ set of results on your own phone or computer, but it is still worth typing some keywords and your location (both specific and broader) and take a look at the results. Search not just on Google but on Google Maps specifically and see who your competitors are locally and what their profiles are like.
If you already have a Google Business account, then certainly make sure it is up-to-date, the links work and upload new photos.
Ask for reviews
Finally, as mentioned, Google Reviews are well thought of, so do ask clients and customers to leave a review. You can get a short URL and direct link to send out via your account on Google My Business. Like this one: https://g.page/r/CTZaSIJdoATSEAE/review
Ask me for help
I admit it is an area of digital marketing that I need to learn more about – especially with regards to posting regularity and the types of photos to include. Personally, I also need to upload a good video! However, if you want help writing about your services or your business descriptions, then, of course, let me know and we can learn more about it together!