Let’s start with the basics of Google Listings on Google, for those of you who don’t know, there are several primary listing areas on the Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
- Paid Listings: these are the results at the very top of the search results page as well as the very bottom. The paid search engine listings on Google are listed with a green flag that says “Ad”.
- Local Business Listings: these are the listings that have a map preview. The local business listings are partly controlled by the information you fill out in on your Google My Business Profile.
- Organic Listings: When you search for something on Google, you’ll notice at the top of the SERP, “About 422,000 results”. This means that Google crawls the web and notices that there is that number of pages that match something in the search text you entered. These listings are primarily based on SEO content and external linking factors.
Local Business Advertising and Marketing Tip #1 Review Your Website & Tracking
- Does your website give your target audience the information that you want them to have when they are looking for you?
- Remember, who, what and where. The user should be able to see what your business name is, what you do, where you’re located and the phone number to get in touch without having to scroll down the page. The faster you can give the searcher the information they’re looking for, the more likely they are to take some type of action and get in touch with you.
- Do you have content on your site that accurately describe the services that you offer?
- Is your website mobile friendly?
- Do you showcase your credibility?
- Do you have the Google Analytics Setup? It’s free and will allow you to see exactly what’s happening with your site traffic.
Local Business Advertising and Marketing Tip #2: Do Competitive Research.
Seeing what the competition is doing is important, but don’t get stuck down a rabbit hole – stay focused on your business.
- What is your competition doing online?
- Do they have more targeted and quality content on their website than you do?
- How is the user experience on their site compared to yours?
- What websites link to their site that do not link to yours. To find out, do a search on google for “site:domainname.com?
- Build an action plan for adding website content and make changes from what found from your competitive research.
Local Business Advertising and Marketing Tip #3: Enhance Your Local Business Profile on Google and Other Free Business Profiles
- Setup a free listing on Google for your business: You can set up a free listing on Google using a Gmail address. To setup, a Google Local listing, visit www.gybo.com and go through the setup process. Make sure and add as much local information as possible on the site. If Google will not allow you to verify your listing right away via a phone call, they will send you a postcard with a verification code within a week or two.
- Get Customer / Client Reviews: To improve how your profile ranks and showcase the quality work that you’ve done for other clients, encourage former customers and clients to leave you a review on Google. Customer reviews are very important, would you ever buy a product on Amazon if the product had a one or two-star review? It’s easy to ask clients for reviews on Google – to generate a link to send for someone to review your business, use this free tool and send the link to your happy customers.
- Add Content To Your Profile: It’s free to add content to your Google profile. Add as many images as you can to your profile to help you stand out. Good photographs to get; outside your office, inside your office, a headshot of you and your employees, company logos and favicons.
- Use A Directory Listing Service: Companies like Moz Local offer a directory listing service that will push your business listing out to 50+ major directories and listing aggregators. Using Moz Local can help you control and update your business information across a large network of sites through one central portal.
Local Business Advertising and Marketing Tip #4 Run Paid Search on Google Adwords
To show up within a day or two on Google at a local level, set up a Google Ads campaign. The amount of money you will need to spend will vary depending on the geographic area that you serve, and how competitive your business category is. To get a rough estimate on how much search volume is taking place for keywords that are relevant to your business, you can use the Google Keyword Planner. The Google Keyword Planner allows you to enter some basic information about your business to determine estimated search volume and cost estimates for keywords related to your business. Just as a note, a Google Adwords Search Engine Marketing campaign should only be part of your digital marketing strategy.
Google Adwords Local Paid Search Engine Advertising Setup Tips:
- Adwords Express: Don’t use Adwords Express, the campaign configuration and advanced setting options are not very good. We’ve taken over countless client Google Adwords campaigns, where the vast majority of traffic was low quality. Start out with full Google Adwords and not Adwords Express to take advantage of all the campaign configuration features.
- Geo-Targeting: Make sure your geofencing targeting is set up the correct way. If you are a local business, then you may only want to show ads to people who are in your targeted location, not people who are in your target area or who show interest in your target area. Don’t stretch your ads outside of your geographic area until you know what you’re doing and get comfortable.
- Keyword Match Types: Make sure you don’t launch a campaign with poor keyword match settings. Depending on the different match type you use, the ads you run will be triggered for things you’d don’t want to show up for. Be careful with broad match keywords and make sure you are using a good negative keyword list.
- Text Ads: Stand out from what the competition is doing. Put yourself in the user’s position. If they were searching for a business, what would be unique about your business? Have you won any awards? Do you have any sales going on? Leverage the new Expanded Google Text Ad character limitations.
- Use All Ad Extensions: Use as many ad extensions as you can to give you more real estate on the paid search listing to stand out from your competition.
- Phone call extensions
- Site link extensions
- Location extensions
- Review extensions
- Callout extensions
- Setup Phone Tracking For Your Search Ads: Use a service like CallRail to set up tracking numbers that are specific to just the online ads that you’re running. CallRail allows you to have specific phone numbers for each online ad campaign that you’re running and provides full integration with Google Analytics.
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