Don’t waste your time figuring out what you should do first to promote your business. I have done it for you. Here are my 5 top tips.
Top 5 tips to grow your local business online.
Hi everyone. Luc DURAND here from ranking academy.co.uk . Today I am going to give you my top 5 essential tips to help you improve your online visibility and drive more customers to your website.
Tip number 1, your web site must be responsive
Ok this is just a bit of internet jargon which means your website must be mobile friendly.
Because internet searches on mobile phones and tablets have become greater than searches on computers. This is especially true for people looking for local business information. This trend is growing bigger and our old computers will soon be compared to dinosaurs. So if your site doesn’t look good on mobile devices, you’re in trouble.
Let’s check what your site looks like on small screens then?
Here I’ll use a local beauty salon in London Hampstead called “Beauty boutique” but you can use your own site.
Firstly let’s start by looking at beauty boutique’s site on a normal computer screen.
Type the address and click go . Voila. You can see what their site looks like on a mobile. Switch to a different device by clicking on the devices icon. Let’s pick the iPad mini, and here you go.
If built properly your site should adapt according to the screen size of the device you have tested it in and give your customers the best possible experience. Beauty boutique seems to have done their homework properly.
Let’s now look at “mad lilies” located a stone throw away from Beauty Boutique and a direct competitor to them.
http://www.madlillies.co.uk/. See how half the site doesn’t display properly. I cannot see any of the links to other pages of the site which means I am pretty stuck. If you were a prospective client which one would you choose for a beauty treatment?
The other reason why you must have a responsive site is because Google now favours businesses with mobile friendly sites which means you are likely to be positioned above your competitors if they don’t have one. So it’s a win win situation.
Having a responsive site is essential for any business these days and more so if you are a local business. Many of your competitors will have overlooked this very important aspect giving you an edge if you have a responsive site. If not simply buy the bullet and make your site responsive, it’s not expensive and will be worth it. Now, let’s move on to TIP 2
Tip 2 Create a Google my business account. Free
I almost hesitated to put this as my number one tip since it is very important.
Google my business is a platform that helps local businesses to be found in Google search results, Google map, Google plus and more.
It provides your customers with vital information such as opening hours, images, description and somewhere you can collect customer reviews and really showcase your business
I am astonished at the number of business who do not have a Google my business account especially since it is free. If you don’t have one claim yours at www.google.co.uk/business.
And if you are not sure what to do check out my “how to optimise Google my business” tutorial.
Let’s move on to
Top tip number 3, Ensure N.A.P accuracy or Nap – Free
Euh. What the heck is that?
This is not some new police force. It actually stands for
Name Address Phone number. It is very important that whenever your business details are listed on reputable websites such as the yellow pages, yelp or Thomson directory, your information are consistent across all of them.
Apparently 50% of small businesses get it wrong.
The accuracy of the information will vouch for the credibility of your business and give confidence to Google about its legitimacy.
But it is very easy to get wrong. Let’s have a look at a few examples
Although these guys seem to be very reputable plumbers it seems they have missed a trick when it comes to their NAP details on line.
Firstly I struggle to find their Name address and phone number somewhere on the home page of their site. Scrolling down to the footer gives me at least their address.
Let’s check how their listing is displayed across the web.
Starting with the most important one of them all Google my business
Here we have: C Anderson & Sons 25 Filmer Rd London SW6 7BP 020 7386 8888
Since GMB is the most important one let’s assume these are the correct details
Now let’s have a look at the second most important one Yelp
C Anderson & Sons LLP 25 – 27 Filmer Road London SW6 7BP 020 7386 8888
Different name and different address
Let’s move on to Facebook: C. Anderson and Sons Plumbers LLP 25 – 27 Filmer Road 020 7386 8888
Another version which doesn’t match with any of the previous one.
Our next stop is Thomson local directory:
Anderson C & Sons 25 Filmer Rd, London, SW67BP 020 7386 8888
Yet again another name
Given the inconsistency of the information available on line for Anderson and son it is likely google will struggle to establish the exact name and precise location for this business. Fixing this type of issue a very easy job, it’s free and mostly will help you become more visible online. Don’t miss out
Tip number 4, Get customers to post online reviews – Free
A) Reviews are believed to increase your website ranking in Google
B) They play a very important part in the decision making process of new potential customers
C) They give business a lot more credibility
D) If you do things right you will see those little stars displayed (show an screen shot) under your name in Google results which will encourage people to click.
That’s 4 good reasons why
For more info on this just watched my video “how to get online reviews”
And last but not least
Tip number 5, Analyse the performance of your site with Google analytics – Free
I have a couple of questions for you.
if you run a brick and mortar business does the number of customers walking through your door matter to you?
I am pretty certain the answer is yes
Does the number of visitors coming to your website matter to you as much?
You don’t how many visitors you have coming to your site?
Unfortunately for a lot of local business owners this is a very common answer. They have gone through the pain of building a website only to just park it there and hope for the best, probably because everybody else has a site so they thought it would be a good idea to have one too.
Your website is your best marketing tool. It is vital you understand how many people visit it, where they have come from, how long they have spent on it, what they look at. It is the online representation of your brick and mortar business.
Understanding your performance is key to the success of your business. This is exactly what Google analytics can do for you. You don’t have to be a NASA engineer either as it is very simple to use.
Make sure it is implemented on your site and start understanding your audience. 5 minutes a day will make a great deal of a difference and save you a lot of money. Oh and I almost forgot, google analytics is totally free. For more info go to https://www.google.co.uk/analytics/
There are many other things you could do to improve your online visibility but these are my top 5.
Making your site responsive is the only thing that may cost you a little bit of money, everything else is free so what’s your excuse? If you are serious about running your business then take these tips seriously.