For most small business owners, by far the best way to get started with digital marketing – i.e. advertising your business online – is by using Google. This is a very easy process, which you can starting by entering “my business” in Google. This automatically takes you to Google My Business, from where you sign in or register. After confirming your email address and phone number, the site takes you through a step by step process, asking for basic details including physical address and, very importantly, website URL. As soon as Google knows your address, your business will feature on Google Maps, and your website address will appear on search results, ready to move up the SEO rankings. Just by taking these steps, your business is extremely easy to find, and attractive to potential customers.
Getting Started With Google
Google have specifically designed their business portal to be user friendly, and it assumes that the the user is not technically minded. As a small business owner or manager, this is very useful whether or not you’re qualified in IT. The point of Google My Business is that it asks you for details of things which Google itself uses to produce search results; thus you don’t have to waste time second guessing the best way to approach the process. Another advantage is that the My Business functionality is designed to be used via its app; this makes it particularly user friendly on smartphones and tablets. As the registered user, you don’t have to take time out from your schedule to head to the office, should you spot something about your offering on Google and want to make a change. The process is so efficient you can have this change implemented on the way to a meeting or job.
Google My Business includes a dashboard, which again is extremely useful when using a smartphone or tablet. Using this dashboard, you can make any changes you want, all free of charge for the basic service level. Your opening hours may change, or perhaps the geographical area you’re able to cover. One very useful feature is customer reviews. Hopefully, you’ll get lots of these, and they’ll be good ones. However, even an average review is better than none. The fact that you haven’t had a review for a day or two should be a warning that you’re not reaching enough people. Whatever the feedback from your customers, you’ll be able to act accordingly. As such, the instant responsiveness of Google is the best updating tool in the world. Once you’re comfortable with My Business and its uses, you may decide to invest in premium services, but there is no obligation to do so.
Google is Just The Start
Small business owners and managers are probably the busiest people in the economy, so it’s natural that you’ll have a long list of things to do, and you’ll want them ticked off as you get through them. In the online world, however, this is not possible. The fact is that digital marketing is a job which is never finished; it needs constant attention in order to keep you at least in the running with your competition, and hopefully ahead of them. Google is indeed an excellent place to start, but there is also a huge choice of business directories that can keep your company in the public eye. These can be specific to your local area, or applicable to your range of products and / or services. It is important to remember that quality of site is important, not the number of times you are listed. Certain companies, for instance, deliberately choose not to appear on comparison sites, as these cost money which those companies decide is better spent on improving their customer offer. Also, appearing on a rarely visited or badly maintained site is worse than not being listed at all, due to the workings of search engine optimisation (SEO).
If you think digital marketing is something best left to the professionals, it is indeed worth turning to a reputable online business directory site, with experts to help target your listing and keep it up to date in the long run. This means you can leave the job that is never done in the safe hands of others, and get on with running your business.