If I told you that 74% of consumers use Google Search as their primary source for finding information on the web, would you want your business to be the first thing they see? If I told you that it takes less than 30 minutes to make that happen and won’t cost you a penny, would you do it?
Why is it so important?
Maybe you’re in the field service industry, or maybe you have a small shop. Maybe your company is mobile and you work from home. Either way, you have a location-based business, making it imperative for you to show up on a map – specifically Google’s.
Of your potential customers, 33% of their online searches are local. Divide that by your local population and you’ll find the number of people that could potentially find your business. On top of that, 50% of them will visit a store or contact the business they find.
That means there is a ton of potential customers using Google Maps to find companies. However, that’s only half of it. Of all potential customers, 88% of them trust online reviews. This makes it imperative to not only show up on the map, but develop an online reputation.
How do you make it happen?
It’s pretty easy to sign up for Google Business; just follow this link to learn more. They have a great tutorial, and will explain Google search, Google Maps, and all of the other features much better than I can.
In short, you’ll fill out some very basic information about your business. Just be ready to upload your logo and some photos to put your best foot forward with potential customers.
After you’ve created your Google Business page, the next step is imperative. You’ll need to reach out to current customers and ask them to provide a review on your Google profile. That might sound burdensome, but it will create a sense of trust for all of the new customers who will find you through Google. This will ultimately drive customers your way.
What are the benefits?
- Your profile is more likely to show up at the top of their search results for targeted keyword phrases (ie, “Fairfax Plumbing Service”).
- You can customize parts of your profile, like service area. For example, you can set it by a 5, 10, 15, 20, or 50-mile radius that you want to provide your service in.
- You can offer discounts and coupons as part of your profile, increasing the likelihood of visitors to your website, and growing your customer base.
- You don’t have to have a physical location; Google Business is effective for online or freelance companies as well.
- You will automatically show up on the map.
- This replaces paper yellow pages.
- If it’s optimized, along with a good website, you’re almost guaranteed to show up on the first page of a search.
- Mobile phone users specifically benefit the most, because those populate at the top of the search no matter what.
- It’s free.
What if I don’t use Google?
Perhaps you are like my father, and would rather spend your time building something than using a computer. Just like I respect him, I respect those who love working with their hands. Unfortunately, the ones that do love computers, are your potential customers.
Some of the funniest conversations my father and I have start with technology, and how it’s affecting the world. Primarily due to social media, sharing, and that weird thing called “Google.” Although he is someone that has built incredible things, he still types his AOL email and password with one finger because he refuses to check the “remember me” box.
Meaning, when it comes to technology, he does nothing but laugh. He always chuckles about “back in his day” and how “us kids need to stop burying our faces in screens.” Although I’m inclined to agree with him, I’m also inclined to teach him how to leverage technology.
We sat down for a brief 30 minutes last year. I showed him the first thing I do when I’m looking for a service business. I then showed him how his company could be listed at the top of a local search. We then set up his account, and before he knew it, he was the first company to show up on Google in his area.
I understand that leveraging technology isn’t always the first thing on your mind, but it probably is for your customers. There are a ton of free resources out there, but if you have a location based company, getting your company on Google Maps should probably be the first thing you do. There are also other search engines that offer similar services.
Last modified: November 28, 2016