10 Dec Google and locally based search for your business
Are you making the most of Google to promote your business online? Did you know that Google offer more to businesses that just a search engine? In this blog post I will give you a few tips on how to use some of Googles less known features.
Google as a core business is in search results and all online businesses, like you and I, know that to get your website on page one key to a successful business, but and this is a big “but” are you being found for the right search results?
Searching with Google
Some of you may know that a while ago Google started making search more local, but what did not happen was, businesses did not change their websites to cater for this change. What I mean by this is, Google now rank local businesses around you higher if they match your keywords and are within a certain distance from you, which helps promote local businesses. But how does Google know that your business is local to an area? Well the best way to make sure you are prepared and ranked for your local area is to add your business location in the page title or in the meta description. This will help Google identify that you offer the correct service and in the area the customer is searching.
Now the downfall of local search is for purely online services that offer no incentive to local based shopping or search. However Google will still focus on the local search first and foremost. The best way to treat this issue is to focus on a more expanded market, not focusing on local keywords.
For those businesses that want to expand, my advice is to work local and then reach further out. What i mean by this is, think of it as a onion, but instead of peeling off the layers, you are adding layers or in this case Towns and Cities bit by bit. Google will focus on local search first, so why not start with your own Town or City and then focus on the next town over and so on.
This is just a simple tip and may not suit all the needs for your business, but if you wanted to talk about how to make it more specific to your marketing plan, then get in touch.
We all use Google maps from time to time, I do, mostly for finding locations of meetings, but you always notice that businesses can be search for directly on Google maps. Yes, Google maps has become a search engine for businesses, you can type a company name and if they are listed it will give you the option to view them on the map. But, a lot of businesses don’t know that they can actually add their business to Google maps.
You will need to create a Google+ account and Google+ page for your business to add your business to Google maps. The process is not quite straight forward, but once complete you can add a company logo, team photos and other information about your business, but most importantly, you can add your contact details, your location and clients can leave feedback / reviews about you. These are represented by the rating system, the stars you can see in the search results for businesses. Again if you require help with setting up a Google+ page, please get in touch.
Sitemaps on Google
A sitemap is an index of all your website pages and I don’t just mean a page with a list of pages you have on your website. A sitemap is a xml feed of information to create a rss / xml view of your website pages and content, such as blog posts etc. Not many people know about this, but Google actually has a Webmaster Tool that is used to let developers, such as myself, to add manual sitemaps to Google.
Sitemaps help Google identify your website and how many pages you have, it also helps Google know which pages to index in its search engine, which is a huge deal!
Google will require you to login, in this case your Google+ account and create a new website, at this stage you will need to upload and verify your website with Google, they have a step by step help on how to do that, but I won’t lie, most of you will require a web developer to handle this part for you. But once completed you are ready to rock and roll.
Webmaster tools allows you to see what keywords your website has ranked for and how often it has been viewed, it is similar to Google Analytics, but it actually tells you important keywords, which, since the update to force all search to encryption most analytic software cannot show you the keywords. Note: these keywords update over time and are not real-time or instant.
As you can see from reading above Google offer quite a few useful tools that help with your website and ways to help them increase you visibility in their search engine. I have only just touched on a few of the Google tools that can help, but they have plenty more, which, we can discuss in person. If you want to know how to get better search results for your business, get in touch.