The days of using Yellow Pages to find local businesses and services is long gone. Most of us now reach for our phone, or ask our smart speaker and immediately receive the name and details of a suitable provider.
We receive calls every week from people that have tapped “computer repair near me” into their phone homescreen. As you can see, we show up at the top of the list.
Here’s the thing: Google has favourites. No, I don’t mean they have a different name for bookmarks compared to other browsers. I mean, they like some people – and some businesses – more than others.
If you run a local business, with a local presence, then you NEED to easily be found – on Google Maps, Facebook, Waze, Nextdoor, Yelp… wherever people might be looking for you. Getting your business included in these places is usually free, but there are things that can be done to help ensure you are being shown when people look for you – ways to become their favourite in your area.
Most of these platforms also relying on their users to help keep things updated too, and some edits will be actioned quicker than others. Again, it’s all about favourites. I’ve been working alongside both Google and Facebook in their respective programmes for several years as well as a couple of other less-known ones – Google Map Maker, Facebook Places Editor, Google Local Guide, Google My Business, Waze Editor, Nextdoor Lead – although the names have changed over time, the basic principle is the same and the net result is being highly trusted by these platforms for making quality edits, additions and improvements. The free t-shirts are a ‘nice to have’ but the important thing is it means I can help businesses be found easily for the right things, and also remove those that shouldn’t be there.
We’ve been doing a lot of work recently helping local businesses be seen and found more easily online. Primarily by adding them to Google Maps, via Google My Business, but also on some other platforms too. It’s been a huge success, and something I’m continuing to develop. The next phase in this will be a series of emails – probably once a week initially – with hints, tips and tasks that will help ensure you continue to get good exposure online.
The Next Level
Curious about what to expect? Yup, me too… it’s still in the planning stages if I’m totally honest, but here’s a few of the things I’ve written down already, which you can expect be encouraged, told or taught to do…
- Keeping the business information relevant and accurate
- Receiving and responding to reviews
- Choosing and taking suitable photos
- The value of consistency
- Re-purposing content (use your time twice)
- Other platforms to exploit and explore
- Building a following
- Keeping in contact with customers
- Finding our how people find you
As I said, there will be tips and suggestions, but also some tasks and instructions. Whether or not you follow them is up to you. I’ll be putting together some short videos to guide you through some of the things you can do, and there’ll always be the option of just having me do it for you.
The initial plan is to send an email roughly every week, for 2-3 months. They’ll likely slow down a bit then, but also by then there will be a nurture campaign that people can sign up to at any time, and they will then receive the same series of emails from start to finish to work through in the same way. As an early-adopter your feedback will be really valuable, and I’ll be sure to look after you should you decide to take any other services from me later 🙂
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