Day: June 10, 2018

Say Hello to Google My Business – Quick Start Guide

As a small business owner, you understand the importance of establishing an online presence. Without and well-built website and a presence on social media, your potential customers are driven to your competitors. But how can you be sure that you are reaching a local audience? That’s where Google My Business comes into play.

So What Is It?

Google My Business is a new tool for small business owners. All of Google’s tools are located in one, easy to use location. Even better, the service is free. This means that you now have a way to control your business in the virtual world at absolutely no cost to you. Here’s what you can do with Google My Business:

  • Google + – Maintain your presence on social media site Google +. You can update your status, share messages, link to other sites, and post media all from your business page.
  • Reviews – You can manage your page ranking and reviews from one main page.
  • Maps – Take control of your business’s location and contact information as it appears to your customers on Google Maps.
  • Hangouts – If you choose, you can hold video chats with colleagues or customers.

These are just a handful of the things that you can do with Google My Business. But more than what you can do, what is important is how it helps you.

What It Does For You

With Google My Business, you can respond to negative reviews about your company. You can use Hangouts to provide customer service and resolve issues. You can even see how what effect these negative reviews have on web traffic.

You can combine your brand page, social media marketing campaigns, reviews, information, and maps on one platform. This allows you to be sure you aren’t forgetting to keep up with any aspect of your virtual presence.

As a small business owner on Google My Business, you can see where your customers are located and what their needs are. You can use this information to design a better ad campaign. You can control your ad campaign on Google or from your mobile device.

Learning Curve

The nice thing about Google My Business is that you probably already use many of its individual components. This means that there is virtually no learning curve. You can get started with the platform almost immediately. As a small business owner, you will find the platform to be not only a benefit to your business, but you will find it to be an extreme time saver.

To sign up with Google My Business, simply navigate to the platform and click Get on Google. The site will take you through the registration process. Follow all of the prompts, enter the required information, and your Google My Business account is up and running. It really is that simple.

If you want to increase your company’s presence online, signing up with Google My Business is a no brainer. Get started today for free. It will be the best money you’ve never spent!

Tips for Using Google My Business Right Now

As you have read, Google My Business is not a difficult platform to use. The key is this: You’ve got to use it! So what four things can you do right now, right from the comfort of your desk? These:

  1. Set Up Your Profile

Take the time right now, while you are thinking about it, to set up your small business profile. Claim your space on Google by simply clicking on the “Get On Google” tab on the http://www.googlemybusiness.com site.

  1. Add Images

Add images to your profile. The images you choose should showcase your business. Be sure to include keyword-optimized filenames to boost search results. Not sure what to include? Try any of these images: the inside of your store, you and your team, before-and-after photos, or your staff on the job.

  1. Manage Reviews

You can monitor and manage your reviews right from your Google My Business dashboard. One of the coolest things about this platform is the ability it gives the small business owner to manage reviews found across the web. You can see how many reviews you have, and you can respond to any that you choose.

  1. Leverage Insights

Take a look at the insights section. You will discover how people are finding you on the web and how often they are clicking on your site’s link from a Google search. You will also see the amount of activity on your Google + page and the demographic details of your audience.

What Local Search Experts Have to Say – Do You Agree?

As with anything, everyone has an opinion. Now that Google My Business has had time to sink in to the minds of the masses, local search experts are offering their opinions. Here’s how some of the experts are weighing in:

Street Fight: According to Street Fight, GMB is a step forward, but more dedication to simplicity is necessary.

SIM Partners: Google has shown that it is committed to local business space. A bulk upload process would be helpful, but Google has shown its interest in serving the needs of the small business owner. http://www.simpartners.com/google-my-business/

Mike Blumenthal: While Google My Business is a strong step forward in the service of the SMB, users may be left wishing for specific upgrades.

The Benefits of Google My Business Are Too Good to Ignore

Think that you can’t carve out 10 minutes a day to keep your GMB account updated? Think again. The benefits of utilizing the platform are too good to ignore:

  • Growth
  • Authorship
  • Search Engine Recognition
  • Flexibility

There are more than 500 million users registered with Google +. If you choose to ignore Google My Business, consider how many potential customers are being driven to your competition that has chose to utilize the platform. With its ease of use and incredibly flexibility, Google My Business is a platform that every small business owner should be making the most of.

5 ways your website is costing you new business

Modern technology has improved at an alarming rateover the last decade, with the internet at the forefront of each and every single one of these advancements. Smart phones and tablet devices are now a part of everyday life, and you can even now use them to do your banking and to pay for items and services. You can even pay for items and services using digital currency, namely the bit coin. Yes, technology is most certainly king and for that reason, if you want to stand any chance of succeeding within the business world, you need to embrace it and get with the times.

It doesn’t matter how big or how small your business may be, the simple fact of the matter is that if you want to stand any chance of succeeding, you will need to own a website for your business, and if you want your business to flourish in these new times, your website will need to do more than the days of old.  It will need to work for you. If your website is outdated, neglected, or just simply poorly designed this could potentially be costing you thousands in lost revenue every single month.

If your business is suffering and you’re not quite sure why, maybe, just maybe, your website could be to blame? Here’s a look at 5 ways in which your website could potentially be costing you new business.

Your site does NOT have a clear call to action

One of the best ways of actually getting what you want is to ask for it, and in simple terms, that is essentially exactly what a “call to action” is. On your site it is your job to encourage, or even to direct your customers towards exactly what it is that you would like them to do once they’ve finished browsing your services and/or products.

Exactly what you require them to do will of course depend on what your business is all about.  Do you want them to sign up for a free trial? If so, a simple hyperlink linking to the “free trial” page, with the text ‘Click here for your free trial” is all that you need to do. Do you want them to browse your service or products? If so, ‘Click here to browse our full range of products/services’ etc. Place these clickable links strategically throughout your website’s content, ensuring you don’t overwhelm the customers with too much text or content.

It’s essentially the same as using bait while fishing. A few carefully placed links with simple call to action text will bait customers into clicking them, seeing your products, seeing something they like the look of, and purchasing it whilst making you a tidy profit in return.

Your site layout sucks

On average, a new visitor to your website only spends six seconds evaluating whether to stay on your site or to click the back button and go somewhere else.  If your website’s most important information is buried under the fold, then there is a pretty good chance it’s not being seen. The layout of your website is arguably one of the most important factors to consider when creating a new site for your business. Although there are a number of “create your own” websites out there that cost little to nothing at all, it is advisable to always hire professional web designers to create and design your website for you.

You should think about what you want each page to say, and then look for ways of saying it using as minimal text as possible. Hey, if you have a knack for writing, that’s great that’s what your blog is for.

But most our potential customers will be visiting your website to browse your products and services, not to read long walls of text. They want to be able to find what they’re looking for as quickly and as easily as possible. Make sure you keep the text to a minimum, don’t try to include too many images, and make sure each page is well balanced.

Your design is outdated

A great website design can validate to consumers that your business is a legit, professional business that they want to patronage. It can either boost your reputation or turn potential consumers away.

If you’re trying to save money by doing it yourself, you could actually be losing potential customers, and in the end, losing money.By taking design into their own hands, small business owners cause themselves more headaches and risk by ending up with a poorly designed and planned out website.  Not surprisingly, 41% of small business owners who are unhappy with their current website say design/aesthetic is one of their top priorities

So do it right the first time. Hire a professional web design service and make sure your website looks contemporary, attractive, and allows customers to easily engage with your business.

You don’t have any social networking links

Social networking is now a part of everyday life, and whether you like it or not, it looks set to stay that way for the foreseeable future. First off, if you don’t have several social networking pages created for your business, you need to consider getting them set up ASAP. Social networking is ideal as it’s a great source of free, or very cheap marketing and advertising, millions upon millions of people use these pages, and it’s an ideal way of potentially drumming up more business.

Once you do have several social networking pages created, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest etc, you will then need to ensure that you provide links to each page from your website. Linking to social networking pages is ideal because it allows you a way of keeping in touch with potential customers, and keeping them up to date with what’s going on. So let’s say you are having a sale.  People love sales right? By promoting this sale through social networking sites, you have a direct line of communication to people who are already interested in what you’re selling.

Your friends, fans and followers then see the amazing deal your offering and will likely take advantage of it because you’re speaking directly to your target audience. We spoke about calls to action earlier and social networking links are prime examples of how effective a call to action can be. Simple text such as “Stay Informed by liking us on Facebook” with a direct link to your Facebook page is all that is required, and it’s proven to be extremely effective.

Your site is not mobile-friendly

As mentioned previously, smart phones and tablet devices are now extremely common, with close to 50% of all US citizens actually owning at least one of these devices. For that reason, more and more people are using these devices to browse the web, rather than laptops or computers. If your website isn’t mobile friendly then you need to rectify this issue as soon as possible, as again, you could be losing out on a lot of customers.

Websites that aren’t user friendly show up incredibly small on the screens of smart phones, forcing the user to have to enlarge the text and to then scroll left, right, up, and down, every few sentences. If there are any clickable tabs or links on the page, they often inadvertently get clicked by accident, which is extremely frustrating for the user. Rather than spending 10 times as long as normal to simply read a few paragraphs, the user will instead search for a much simpler alternative, namely one of your competitors with a mobile friendly website.

Mobile friendly websites recognize when a user is browsing via a smart phone and will display the text in the perfect size for your device’s screen. This means you won’t need to enlarge the text, you won’t accidently click on the wrong page, and you won’t need to scroll left and right every few words. You simply read the text and scroll down as you go. It’s simple but it works and works so much better than the non-friendly alternative.

Your contact information is hard to find

Studies and expert research have both found that including your contact information on every single page of your website is the most effective way of maximizing your potential to increase and boost your sales.

Many businesses make the mistake of placing their contact information solely on their ‘contact us’ page, or sometimes not at all. Visitors don’t want to navigate through different pages just to find a telephone number or email address.  Visitors want to be able to find what they’re looking for as quickly as possible.  You can easily eliminate any frustration by listing your business phone number, your operating hours and business email address situated at the top and bottom of every page.

For further benefit make sure to include links to your social networking pages with your contact information. The easier you are to get hold of, the more likely you will be to land yourself extra leads, and sales. You get the results you want, as does the customer as they easily get to find exactly what it is they’re looking for without wasting time by navigating through page after page.