Part 1 – Bring Your Local Business Online
As promised, here is the checklist based on the Google Series for Local Business Owners.
How effective is your online presence?
Whether you are just beginning to bring your business online or looking for the best way to improve your current online presence, this checklist will give you an overall structure for achieving conversion and repeat customers.
Can your business found (and easily viewed) on desktop, tablet, mobile?
People use many different devices to access the Internet today.
Mobile is important!
- 85% of smartphone users have searched for local info
- 81% have taken action as a result
- 40% have personally visited
- 35% have called as a result of search
Can your business be found in Yelp, Facebook, Google Local and more?
People use many different channels to find and research your business
What is unique about your business?
- Why would a person select you instead of a competitor?
- What makes your business special?
Use the answers as part of your business description and introduction in the various marketing channels.
What is your reason for being online?
- Increase Revenue
- Acquire new customers
- Repeat business from current customers
- Decrease costs/ save time
- What questions can I answer for customers online so they don’t have to ask me every time?
- Increase customer satisfaction
- What information can I write or share my customers or potential customers would find useful
What counts to you as a step towards becoming a customer?
- Phone call
- Feet in the store
What is your sales funnel?
- How do visitors find you? What journeys?)
- Engagement (#3 above)
- Call to Action
- Conversion (#5 above)
Do you have your best practices in place and periodically review them for accuracy?
- Place your business in the most effective and relevant channels
- Make sure the ABC’s are up-to-date: address, phone, hours, rates
- Let your customers know you are online, and be there!
- Cross-link and reference multiple channels
How well have you built up your Google My Business (Google+) page?
- Post photos and videos
- Accept Reviews
- Think of it as a ‘lightweight’ home page – does your description make people want to know more or feel safe calling/going to your store?
How do you set yourself apart from the competition?
- Demonstrate your value-add in creative ways beyond photos, maps and videos
- Bring out the best in you with customer testimonials – videos are ideal
- Know your competition and use them for benchmarking
Finally, do you have a holistic online identity?
- Potential customers should be able to find you online and move between channels (ex directories to Facebook to Google as well as mobile to tablet to desktop) to learn more about you
- Each channel should have a consistent message and complete essential business info people look for about your business most frequently
- Make it easy for people to wander through the different channels by putting links to the others
Now is the time to start adding elements that can reinforce your value-add and personalise your business to get more customers and repeat customers.
I have been working with local businesses as a Local SEO specialist since 2010 and as a Google My Business Product Expert (formerly called Top Contributor) since 2016. I write about GMB suitable for most folks, business owners included.
When not working for clients, I volunteer with the local businesswomen’s network, volunteers on Google’s forum, and the Local Search forum.
Away from the keyboard I’m a very busy mother with two boys, nine chickens, two cows, three sheep, a cockatiel and a stupidly happy dog.