Invisible is FATAL! Check yourself…and check your friends!
It seems like I am saying this over and over again, but bad economic conditions are getting blamed for failing businesses and in some cases, the business is effectively “invisible” online – even if they have a website!
NOTE: Post script circa May 2013 – It is especially important that you make these checks with smart phones and mobile devices like tablets! People are not getting new desktops, they are going mobile!
There are several ways this can be happening even if you have a website – and here are three things you can check for yourself or check for your friends that are “make or break” level important.
Local visibility is priority 1! – Many small businesses depend on customers who travel from 5 to 10 miles maximum to do business with them – dentists, hair salons, restaurants, paint stores, insurance agencies are examples. Other businesses like plumbers, carpet cleaners, and service companies may have a range that covers a metro area, but they are still considered “local”.
Search engines – Google, Bing and Yahoo now deliver results based on the location of the person doing the search online. (I am assuming that you realize that having a Yellow Pages ad doesn’t mean people will ever reference it on paper – or go to online Yellow pages. People expect to type in what they want on Google, for example – on their computer or smart phone – and have listings show up that are good businesses.)
Check 1 – Local Visibility – Open a web browser and go to http://maps.google.com (this narrows down local results) and type in the keyword (what you want) and the City and State or Zip Code. Example – cabinet refinishing Minneapolis MN – The number one result today is “Tweeker Wood Renew” – she was invisible a couple months ago and we helped her get to the top of page one in less than 2 weeks.
When you do this, you will get the top results that Google selects for businesses there. If there is a lot of competition, you will see lots of Little Red Dots and several “balloons” with numbers or letters on the map and a list of listings on the side. You want to be up on the top of page 1 of results on the side and you want to have a balloon so that a nice little business preview pops up.
See if you can find your business as a balloon or a red dot – if you can hover over to open the preview box, click on “more info” to see if your business is claimed by owner and if the info is correct.
Correcting this listing IS something you can do for yourself, but there are things you can do to increase your visibility and ranking that you can’t do on this page alone that we recommend you get help with… especially if you are in a highly competitive business! You need to do all you can to show up close to the top on page 1.
Check 2 – Check your telephone number – go to http://google.com and type your business telephone number in the search by itself. If it comes back with generic reverse directory listings at the top, this is BAD. You should get results for a Google Places page, your website and other business directories.
Check 3 – Direct check of your Business Name – go to http://google.com and type in your business name (and postal code if you have a multiple location business or one with the same name as other businesses elsewhere) You should see your website and other facebook pages, twitter accounts, Places pages and articles about your business that have been in the press. This is also where reviews show up prominently and cultivating and managing these is very important.
What did you find? Are you happy? Terrified? Paralyzed? Shocked that you spent several thousand dollars on internet marketing SEO or a website and you are not listed on top? We have a Local Focus Search package for $500 that works FAST to boost visibility and get you up to the top and creates almost immediate (within weeks) visibility and higher credibility with potential clients who expect to find you. If you don’t have a website at all or if you have a very local niche like a restaurant or salon, this also makes you visible on mobile devices like a dream come true!
Do you need help? Did what you find make you question your whole marketing matrix? We start right where you are and make it easy and paced with your budget and time resources.