Think Like Your Potential Customers
Before you think about listing your local business online you have to answer two questions.
Who is Your Ideal Customer
Where Would You, Find You?
What would you do? The Yellowbook? Yellowbooks make great booster seats, are deadly against spiders, and if you have a really old one, you might even be able to sell it as a collectors item on Ebay. But chances are, you definitely are NOT going to do is use your phone book to find a local business.
If you're like most people, you do 3 things:
So…go for it, but first, choose an industry different than your own; restaurants, mechanics, and residential contractors for example. Where would you start?.
If you’re like the 97% of people who learn more about local businesses online than anywhere else, chances are you opened up a search engine.Hubspot
Now, Run Your Search. Then, Study the Results.
So, go for it. But first, choose an industry different than your own. For example, restaurants. Pretend your hungry for pizza.
Study the Results
After you run the search, spend some time on the page. What do you see? Learn from your observations and apply them to your Google My Business small business listing.
Now that you have a better understanding of how you think. By understanding how you behave as a consumer, you can think like your customers. Next, think about how you would search for your small business industry.
Search Your Own Industry
Now it’s time to see how you stand up to the local competition. Do you show up in Google My Business listings? Do you show up in Google search results?
Choose a Search Phrase
Think about what you would type into Google if you were looking for a business like your own. Local search accounts for over 40% of traffic on Google. Searches for local businesses with the phrase “near me” have been surging in recent years.
For example, one of our recent clients is a roofing company. When he did this exercise 3 months ago, he ran the search phrase, “trusted roofer near me” and wasn’t happy. His business did not show up in the results. However, he studied the results and observed what he saw.
Results Before Optimizing on Google My Business
Our now client, MCAS Roofing & Contracting, Inc. ran their own search, and didn’t show up. However, they took it as a learning opportunity and studied what they saw. They observed a few things.
How Does Your Local Business Measure Up?
What search did you run for your own industry? Did your business stand out? Take some time to understand the results. You should also run some different variations of industry related search terms.
After seeing the power of listing your small local business on Google, take some time to think about what you see. Are you happy with how your business is showing up amongst the competition? The great thing about GMB is that you always have time to start.
GMB Presents a Unique Opportunity
There’s no better place on the internet to list your local business than GMB. The best part is it’s free. GMB let’s you connect with your customers by offering up to the minute contact information, offers, news, promotions, photos, videos, messaging and more.
Is There a Current Local Leader in Your Industry?
What do the search results look like. Is there any business that stands out? If so, how good of a job are they doing? If you did not notice an industry leader popping out to you on GMB, then you have an once in a lifetime opportunity to increase your revenues now. You can always compete by starting to build a GMB listing. However, whoever starts first has the advantage.
When Can I Expect Results?
There’s no guarantee of exactly how well you will rank on Google My Business, or how long it will take to become the local leader. However, you will immediately begin to see results by creating and optimizing a Google My Business Profile.
MCAS Roofing & Contracting, Inc. - 1 Month Later
Every week after MCAS Roofing & Contracting, Inc. hired us for our GMB services, they ran that same search again. After just five weeks, they started showing up as the top business in their city, Croton-on-Hudson, NY. However, several factors play into the results you see and how quickly.
Finding Ways to Stand Out
What sets your business apart from local businesses in the area? For MCAS Roofing & Contracting, Inc., it’s the quality of the work they do. During our free consultation, we helped them to find a way to showcase their skills. Photos and videos are recommended for local contractors to show your potential customers that you have done jobs like theirs before.
Proven Results that Jumpstart Sales
After optimizing your GMB profile, you immediately begin to set yourself apart from the competition. One great way to showcase the skills of your business and what makes you special is by posting photos to Google My Business. MCAS Roofing & Contracting, Inc. immediately began taking advantage of photos.
Before optimizing their GMB profile, MCAS Roofing & Contracting, Inc. had almost no website visitors. As you can see from the chart above, from the time they optimized their GMB profile in late February that all changed. Now, their web traffic is surging and their getting new leads.
What Factors Impact My GMB Results?
The ways Google decides to prioritize businesses is kept internal to Google. They don’t tell us exactly how, but they do give best practices. By utilizing all of the features of GMB, and ensuring accurate, relevant information for the local community, you will see positive results. There are a variety of factors that impact those results.
The best advice is to follow best practices, and build your profile over time. First, claim and completely fill in your profile. Take advantage of all the features Google has to offer. Then, steadily get new reviews, post new photos, and use the posting feature to keep your community up to date on the latest news, events, promotions and offers from your business.
Most of all, communicate your story, and what makes your small business special.
Don't Be Scared, Get Motivated
This exercise wasn’t meant to scare you. The point is to get you thinking like your audience. Running a small business is hard. It takes long hours, dedication and a lot of risk. A digital marketing plan should evolve over time, as your business grows, but the first few steps are often the easiest and will deliver amazing results. Best of all, listing on Google and Facebook is free, and that’s where most small businesses should start. It’s a huge opportunity in any case, but if you didn’t notice one of your competitors crushing digital marketing when you ran your search, then you have the opportunity of a lifetime to make your business the leader in your local community.