Google My Business page
First of all, you can get on Google even if you don’t have a website and get found online locally just using a Google My Business Page. You can create yours here: https://business.google.com/create
Make sure you add your location, phone number, opening hours and any details Google asks to ensure you’re GMB is listed, Google is less likely to if you’ve not included all of this information.
A Google My Business Page (or GMB) means if you run a cafe and someone searches for a local cafe in your area and your establishment will turn up in the map and the local results at the top of Google like so:
GMB- Posting updates
Posting updates to your Google My Business Page can grow your visibility and these can increase traffic to your website and direct enquiries from your GMB.
When posting updates, use words and phrases people might be using to look for your services, for example, if you have a tree surgeon business, and you post a photo of a hedge, just saying ‘Hedge in Sudbury’ it would be better to write ‘we cut back this hedge in sudbury’ the phrase ‘cut back’ and ‘hedge’ are better than just ‘hedge’. Using sentences that describe what’s happening is better than just a brief title, as these can match the types of things people are searching for. The same goes for the content on your website.
Once you set up your Google My Business profile you’ll see links to add updates while you’re in the page management area itself.
Reviews are great too, good reviews are a positive ranking factor in Google so don’t be shy to ask customers to write you a nice testimonial, if they add words and phrases that people will be using to search for your business, that’s even better. Google provides a way to create a link to send to people, rather than having to explain how to find your site on Google and write a review. After all the easier you make it the more likely people are to write it.
Yes, have a profile on all the social media platforms where your customers hang out, even the ones they don’t just in case a competitor snaps up your company name on that platform and tries to misrepresent your business and you can be there if any enquiry comes your way from that platform.
Local groups on Facebook
If your customers come via Facebook, then joining groups for local areas near you are good to post into, but beware they can contain a lot of spam and adding your ad to the noise may get drowned out.
A social media profile is no replacement for a website, you’ve no control over the design or uptime of your profile should something happen to that social media site, outages do happen and so do big updates that can affect the way you or on there are using that platform. Also, not everyone is on social media, having a website will mean you can reach more people online as well as on social media.
Here’s a related post Why have a website when I can use social media for free?
Get on directories and promotional sites
We’re on the Bestof Sudbury and have been so for the last 7 years. We’ve got lots of local traffic from here. Not to mention the opportunity to win awards (of which we’ve won 12 :) ) and meet local businesses which has led to lots of local customers, brilliant!
Networking groups which allow you have a profile on their websites are area great too, and if you’re a member of any organisations or accreditations do make sure your profile on those are up-to-date too.
All mentioned of your business online whether you have a website or not build a picture of what you do and what you’re about, this is your online brand. Do make sure to review the content on your online profiles, whether that’s on your GMB or a business profile somewhere it can make a big difference in enquiries!