Startups and small business without a big marketing department need to be creative to compete with their well-funded peers in the digital world. These basic Google tricks are (mainly) free and can significantly boost your online presence.
Google My Business
The best way to start is setting up a Google My Business account. This registration ensures your business can be found across Google platforms such as Google search, Google+ or Google Maps. If you would like to start right now, visit Google’s registration site. If you need more convincing, keep on reading.
First things first: Google+ is not Facebook. That means it is not essential to invest a lot of time in creating content tailored to your audience and their changing needs. All that matters is that you equip your Google+ presence with useful information around your business (opening hours, logo, address etc.) and relevant updates such as a store opening, team introduction etc. Once the basic setup is done, confirm your business by requesting a verification code. Once you receive it (via old-school mail) and confirm the code, your business is listed on Google Maps. Last but not least: add images because these will also be accessible from other Google platforms as these are all connected.
How often did you use Google Maps to navigate to a destination lately? Most people use it on a regular basis and your business should not be missing on this channel. The benefits? You are seen on the map even if people are not searching for you. Thea can instantly learn about what kind of business you have, when you are open, and they can click on your website or call you with just one button. On top of that, the images you added on Google+ are connected and will show automatically. Another advantage is that reviews that were done on Google+ also go into the data on Google Maps. Need more convincing?
I saved the best for last – we all know Google Search. The name is particularly funny because a Google employee once told me they refer to themselves not as a search but a find engine. Think about that for a moment…
Back to the point: You cannot directly change Google Search results. There are however some tricks to help you rank on the first page without paying. Your website needs SEO – make sure you add content that is relevant for your business and uses the language connected to it (you cannot talk about selling bags when your business is not even selling bags). If you are using WordPress, I highly recommend Yoast SEO.
The more relevant content you add, the more it is likely to appear on Google Search. To ensure your information is not old and therefore not ranked properly, try to create new content every once in a while. If the search robots see that your website gets regular updates, they will notice, which in turn affects your rank. One more basic tool is referrals. That means talk about your business or website on other channels such as Google+, a blog, other social media channels, or even in the news if you can. If people outside your company’s channels talk about it, Google Search will reward that – consider it a digital word of mouth.
If you have some marketing budget and think your customers might be attracted through Google Search, you should go for Google AdWords (=advertising on Google Search and their display networks).
Want to have insights into your website visitors? You can learn where they come from, what language they speak, how long they are on your page, what they read most etc. With these insights, you can create new content tailored exactly to your audience. For those who are interested and tech-savvy enough, have a look at their intro.
If all of the above is not really your hometurf, we are more than happy to help you. WILLAM COMMUNICATIONS has helped clients in digital marketing from day one, and our mission is to help you get your message heard – no matter what channel.
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