Welcome to the age of the internet…
These days, the internet is deeply embedded in how people behave and live their everyday lives. If you have a business then you want your customers to be able find you; your contact details, opening times and address. In the past, the Yellow Pages was the de-facto way of contacting a business but with the prevalence and availability of the internet, search engines are now the source of almost all consumers’ information. Here, I’ll show you how to get your business online for free.
A widely quoted statistic these days in this area is:
97% of consumers surveyed about local shopping habits (not online habits) said that they use the internet in some way before visiting or contacting a local business.
This number is staggering and highly reflective of peoples’ shopping habits in this connected age.
But how do I get my business online?
You may have a business that is completely offline and relies on footfall rather than user clicks to make money. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have some online presence and getting your business online does NOT mean getting someone to make you a website for hundreds of pounds.
Google is the biggest search engine and Google Maps is a massively useful tool for finding local businesses. You can get on both and supply information about location, opening times, business type along with storefront pictures and whatever else you want using Google’s great FREE tool Google My Business.
Google YOUR Business
Click on “Start Now” and begin filling in your business information. What you are actually doing is creating a Google+ profile for your business which essentially gives your business something for Google to present when potential customers search for your business or business type in your area.
This is hugely important and I couldn’t recommend you do this enough.
Fill out a minimum of:
- Business Name
- Business Type
- Opening hours
- Contact telephone number
- Some level of description of your business
Google will send a validation code by postcard to your address so you can prove your ownership and location. Once this is done – you are online! For FREE! And you did it all yourself! Your business will have a prominent place in search results. Check out the screenshot and see the large box on the right!
You can see your logo, shopfront and location on Google Maps along with any contact details you wish to display and Google shows today’s opening hours by default with a button to show all opening hours.
You can go back to your profile any time and add pictures, updates, anything you like and your customers will now be able to find you, and all the details they need to plan a visit, online.
I hope you found this little tip useful and I’d just like to point out I am not connected with Google at all. I just think this is a great tool and is increasingly important for businesses of any size to be findable online in some way.
Please feel free to comment or contact me if you have any queries or feedback to this post.
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