Problem: Getting Found
One of the most important aspects of a small business is getting found by new customers. If customers cannot find you, then you will not have any new clients use your services or purchase your products. This applies not only to yourself as a marketing agency, but to your clients as well. In today’s digital world, there are so many ways for your business to get noticed, whether it be organic or paid. Today, I am going to give you the first step on how to be found, and it happens to be free.
Solution: Google My Business
Let’s face it, SEO is scary. Not only can it be expensive, but sometimes the organic process can take forever and requires monthly, if not weekly, tender love and care. There are also hundreds of factors that go into SEO (Figure 1.1), yet it is the most effective way of being found as a business.
To begin our journey of getting found, we are going to start with the most basic SEO strategy available by the universe’s biggest search provider, Google.
What is Google My Business
Formerly Google+, Google My Business gives your business a powerful way to be found. Google My Business features a built in profile that appears to the right of a user’s search results and shows the following information:
What is required to create a Google My Business?
Google requires that you have a brick and mortar business location. If you do not have one that is fine, there are many options out there.
You can locate a Post Office Box that does not use a “P.O. Box” in it’s address or you can see if a local office building in your area has a virtual tenant program. Google does not approve businesses for Google My Business profiles that use a P.O. Box in their address. Virtual tenant programs are widely available in many office buildings at all price points.
Let’s look at the steps it takes to get your Google My Business account set up!
Getting your Google My Business Account
Once on the Google My Business Page, select “Start Now” at the top right hand corner.
Next, you will be brought to a map page. This is where you enter in your business information.
Once all of your business information is filled in, press “Continue” wherein you will be prompted to verify your business information.
Google will then create your Google My Business profile and account. Once that is done, you will be asked to verify the address of your business so that they can send you the verification postcard.
You can verify later if you like, but I suggest that you verify your business as soon as possible because it will take a few business days (and you may need to submit for verification again in some cases) to complete.
After you verify your business address for the postcard, you can now access your Google My Business dashboard.
Ok, I am all set up, now what?
Now that you have your Google My Business profile up and running, you are one step closer to customers finding your business. Begin asking for reviews from your clients. Not all at once, but have a goal for you and your staff to get between 4-5 a week. Make a game out of it or reward your employees for spreading the word and getting reviews.
Consistent reviews are a great way for your organic SEO to begin to raise and with the consistent reviews, you will have proactive responses to both good and bad reviews.
Got it! Ask for reviews! But what if I am too busy to be that proactive?
Believe it or not, Cutting Edge Digital Marketing has a product that allows you to change your business information, review analytics, and proactively engage reviewers. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Your Google My Business Page is now set up and your business is ready to roll! Growth and retention await you on your journey as a business.