Google is growing larger and larger as a major source of local searches. More than a third of the millions of searches made daily by Google users are for businesses in the areas around them. As a business owner, where do you stand when it comes to your local business search term ranking?
These top ten factors will help you form a Google local pack listing.
Claim your business on Google local listings.
You can submit your business to Google local listings if it is not already listed. If it is, you can just click to claim it, and you will be given the ability to update information on it after you confirm it is yours.
Be sure you have a local address. It will be useless to customers if your corporate address is listed rather than the address of the actual establishment.
Assure that you have the correct category tags. You will be able to add tags to your business profile to help customers find you.
Your tags should be simple, like “bakery” rather than “fancy pastries.” Use other search terms to your advantage. For a high-end French bakery, effective tags would be “cookies,” “cakes,” and “French.” Predict the search terms that customers might use to find your business locally.
Use your product or business category in the title of your business claim. For example, rather than “Coco’s,” use the title “Coco’s French Cupcake Bakery.” This should help direct customers to your search result.
It helps to be close to the city center. Sure, you can’t do much about this, but it is one of many factors that affects search results.
Use relevant keywords in your Google Place Pages description. Fill out the description page to help customers find what they need to know about your business or products and services.
Add photos to your Google Place Page. Take photos of your products, your interior, and your exterior. Add a video if you can. This will turn views into paying customers. Consider this part to be mandatory! It is one of the more effective steps you can take to using Google to your business advantage.
Ask for customer reviews. Good reviews will help build trust between you and your customers, even if they are doing business with you for the first time.
Add a local phone number. If you have business spots in more than one location, be sure to make certain that each has an accurate phone number. Also, be sure that the main number listed on your website is the same as the Google map listing number.
Create or review your website. Develop a business website with a domain if you have not already done so. The information on your business website should have the same details as your Google maps listing. The address and phone number should be clearly listed on the home page, and photos and links.
Start building a prospect and client email list NOW – A list that you buy will never be as effective as a list you’ve developed yourself over time. Plus, your own list won’t have as many spam issues as one you purchase.
When a customer buys, or even inquires, about your business, try to get their email address. This is true whether they’ve visited your store or your webpage. If you have a contest once a month and send out a gift card to the winner, you’ll rarely have anyone unsubscribe from your list.
If your business has many types of services, then you might want to divide your list into different categories. Not everyone on your list has to get the exact email or the same offers. Target your offer to the right list.
The Subject Line in Your Email
If your subject line doesn’t speak to your reader then they won’t even open your email. Be honest and tell them who the email is from. Then they’ll know it’s a list they’ve subscribed to and it’s not spam.
Then tell them about the interesting offer or information you have in the email.
ABC Co. – 7 Ways to Increase your Profits this Month
ABC Co. – The Winner of this Month’s Gift Card
ABC Co. – How to Build Your List Faster
ABC Co. – Why Your Webpage isn’t Working
Keeping Readers’ Interest
Write emails that intrigue or interest your potential customers; a good subject line gets them to open the email, but then you must hold their interest. Make it short and sweet. People want to read quickly on the internet. If your information is good they’ll keep reading. Don’t ramble.
Break the information into small paragraphs or bulleted lists. Long blocks of text are overwhelming and harder to read.
Make it personal. Use their name at the beginning if possible. Talk about things happening in your local city. Let them know your company is community-minded.
Put the most important information first – If they only read the first few lines before they’re distracted, you’ve still made your point.
Have a clear call-to-action – Tell them exactly what they should do next.
Provide Links – Make it easy for them to click through to your landing page or web site.
Include your phone number and the physical address of your business; this is one of the major differences in email marketing to local customers. Not all of them will want to correspond by email. They may want to call or actually drop by your business.
Use a P.S. at the end – This is one holdover from direct-mail days that still works. A P.S. is your last chance to throw in an extra offer or reinforce your call-to-action. Even when people skip reading the email, they’ll often read the P.S. at the end.
Don’t send it on Monday – Everyone’s busy, they’re not happy to be back at work, and their email box is full. There’s a good chance your email will get deleted before it’s even opened.
Follow-up – Your email campaign can be the greatest in the world, but if you don’t follow up on the contacts you’ve made or the interest you’ve generated, then you’ve done it all for nothing.
Have your follow-up plan in place from the beginning.
If you don’t have the time or ability to write an effective email campaign, consider hiring a professional. The investment will pay for itself over time with increasing customers and profits.
If your website isn’t as effective as you’d like, maybe it’s time for a makeover. A tired-looking, static site is not an effective marketing tool.
Here are the top reasons to redesign your website:
Your design looks outdated. You may have set up a webpage several years ago that was on the cutting edge of technology. But the internet world changes quickly. Make sure that your site stays current with the fast pace of technology.
Your site hasn’t evolved with your business growth. You set up your webpage when your business started, but now you’ve grown and expanded. Be sure your webpage evolves with your business. If you’ve upgraded your products or services, then keep your site current with all the changes.
It’s not user-friendly. If your site is hard to navigate visitors will click away. Internet searchers are not patient people. They won’t waste their time with a poorly-planned site.
It’s not getting traffic. You need to rethink your SEO if you’re not getting enough visitors. Effective keyword marketing can make a lonely site popular. If you don’t understand search engine optimization, consider consulting a professional.
It doesn’t connect with your visitors. Does your site look like there’s a real person connected with it, or a faceless company? Do you clearly explain to visitors how you can help them and how they’ll benefit from your products and services?
It doesn’t work properly. Do you have outdated links? Does it load too slowly? How does it look in various browsers? Have you checked all the popular browsers or just the one you use? Does your order processing system work correctly?
It’s boring. Let your website have personality. Write with a personal voice that relates to your target audience. A technical site will obviously need to be written in a different style than a guitar webpage or comic book web store. Show some excitement about your products.
It gets traffic but doesn’t make any sales. If you’re not getting any sales then there could be several problems with your site. Do you explain how your products benefit your potential customers or do you talk about features only? Does your site have a clear call-to-action? Can visitors easily figure out how to place an order? Is there a buy button or similar way to make a purchase?
It doesn’t build your list. Your page should have an easy way for visitors to join your mailing list. Have them sign up to receive your newsletter or a free e-book.
Keep your site current, workable, and readable. SEO techniques are constantly changing, so market your site armed with current strategies.
If your site has any of the above problems, then it’s time to consider getting it redesigned. A good web design company can give you a quote and explain the process to you. Don’t let one of your most effective marketing tools become obsolete.
When it comes to things like how much a website costs, there’s no such thing as a menu that you can look at and pick from. Just as with any other outsourced talent, the pricing is going to be a case-by-case basis, based on the going rate of the designer and what kind of website it is that you are looking for. While there are many other factors to launching a website aside from the design, for the sake of this article, we will stick to design fees topics.
Now that you know that website design fees vary, this is when you need to ask yourself a few questions. The three major questions that we will tackle are:
- What do you need the website for?
- What is it you need in your website?
- How much time are you giving the designer to work on your site?
To give it to you straight, the initial industry standard begins at around $2000. That’s just the beginning of the site; the more complicated the website gets, the more you’re going to need to pay. For a big corporation, this price is nothing compared to the advantages they will get to properly branding their product. For an individual, on the other hand, this is quite steep. If you’re only putting up a personal website that will not garner you any income, it might be best for you to keep it to a minimum, unless you’re willing to dish out the cash.
What is it that you need in your website?
Now that you know the $2000 base web design costs, you need to figure out how many features you would like to add to the site. Don’t expect to pay that same amount if you want complicated Java and Multimedia add-ons to your site. But then again, adding something different to your site will make you stand out. Weigh the pros and the cons before making that decision.
How much time are you giving the designer to work on your website?
Good web design is an art; and in an ideal world, art is never rushed. But the reality is that we all have to deal with deadlines. Rush work is hard, especially if you’re expecting something that is top-of-the-line. If you need something right away, be prepared to pay as much as double the initial cost. The best way to avoid something rushed is to plan to give them ample time to work on the designs.
But of course, there are still cases where a website designer may take advantage of you, especially if you are not experienced in hiring one. Make sure that you see a working example of their work before you decide whether you want to hire them or not. Your relationship with the web designer should be a two-way street: you give them what they deserve, and they should give you exactly what you pay for. It’s that simple.
Inconsistent business location information across online maps, apps, directories, GPS devices, social networks, and search engines costs you real sales. PowerListings lets you control your listings across 60+ partner sites, including Google, Bing, Facebook, Foursquare, Yahoo, and Yelp.
Get on Google
Today’s world of smartphones, mobile moments, and self-driving cars demands accurate location data more than ever. And no single search, maps, and apps provider is more important to your location marketing strategy than Google.
Sync and manage your Google My Business account and:
- Update your customers rapidly about timely changes to key location data like hours or unforeseen closings.
- Control the data Google receives about your locations and ensure it’s always consistent, authoritative, and up-to-date.
- Save time and streamline your data management process by managing information on Google My Business and across the web with a single click from the Yext Location Management Platform.
Publish Everywhere and on Every Device
We partner with the most established and popular search engines, maps, apps, and directories across the globe. Leverage our direct connections to the publishers in the PowerListings Network to get found.
Enhance and Drive Revenue From Your Listings
Help customers choose you by creating the most complete, rich, and accurate presence on all the search engines, maps, apps, and local directories where they search for local businesses.
Enhanced Content Syndication: Leverage your listings across the web to differentiate your business from the competition and drive measurable business results.
- Showcase photos, videos, business descriptions, hours and holiday hours, menus, staff bios, product & service lists, and more than a dozen other fields alongside basic NAP. Listings complete with enhanced content receive 416% more views than those without.
- Turn your listings into measurable marketing opportunities with the exclusive Featured Message. Highlight special offers, drive reservations or form fills, and more with this exclusive 50-character field.
Website Widgets: Embeddable widgets drive consistency across your digital presence. Sync information like social posts, staff bios, menus, calendars, and product or service lists from the Location Management Platform to your own website. Updates flow immediately to your site, reducing hassle and complexity.
Measure With Exclusive Analytics
Analytics are crucial to your success. Our publisher relationships provide exclusive analytics on your presence across the PowerListings Network to help you measure what’s working and how customers are engaging.
Listing Visitor Reporting: See how often a listing appears in local search results, the views its detail page receives, and the number of times customers click on a Featured Message – which helps you tie revenue back to your digital presence.
Search Term Reporting: Monitor the search queries for which your listings show up most often in local search results. Use this information to optimize your listings and your own website for the keywords you want and discover hidden opportunities to get found more often.
Listen To Your Customers
Most brand experiences happen at the local level, and your customers record and amplify those experiences through reviews, photos, videos, and posts across the web. Monitor the feedback and content customers generate about your locations to ensure you deliver the best experience possible, everywhere.