This Should Be the First Step in Your Digital Marketing Strategy
What should be the first step in your digital marketing strategy?
You’ve started a business and now you’re ready to start marketing, what is the first thing you should to promote your business online? Many of our customers come to us assuming a website is the first thing they need to do, but actually there’s a quick, easy, and affordable first step to your digital marketing strategy.
A website is certainly an important way to market your business online, it serves two functions… If optimized correctly for search engines, potential customers can find your business when searching for relevant keywords. It also tells the story of your business and what you offer, often acting as the final step in a prospect’s journey, where they finally decide to sign up for your service or buy your product. For example, our client Palm Harbor RV Park enjoys thousands of monthly Google impressions when potential guests search terms like “Rockport RV Parks”, “Rockport RV Parks on the Water”, and several other relevant keywords. While effective, setting up a website and implementing a good SEO strategy takes time and money. Before you get a website we recommend another critical online marketing tool, the Google Business Profile.
A Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) allows your business to show up in Google Maps search results, the area known as the “knowledge panel” on the right side of Google Search results, and the local section of Google Search results. Focusing on a few simple steps can get your business to rank on Google maps and the local search results, many of our clients and our own business enjoy several phone calls, website clicks, and other actions regularly from their Google Business Profile. If you look at the screenshot from our profile below, you’ll see we’ve been shown hundreds of times in the past 60 days, this has resulted in 7 calls and 48 website clicks.
Another client of ours has received hundreds of phone calls and website clicks over the last 60 days:
We haven’t even mentioned the price, a Google Business Profile is FREE if you set it up yourself! As a digital marketing first step, creating this free profile is a great way to increase your visibility across Google services. Its available to any business that has a physical location (restaurants, real estate offices, stores, etc…) or businesses that provide services by meeting with clients in other locations (home washing services, housekeeping services, plumbers, etc…).
Some important things to remember when setting up your profile
Get verified! Your profile is most effective when it is verified. In the past, Google’s verification process was almost exclusively done through snail mail, a postcard was sent to your contact or business address that had a unique code on it to verify your business. Today most businesses can be verified by phone, email, or even using a video that you upload to their verification team. Once your business is verified you’ll have the ability to change your contact info, hours, and other details whenever you need to. You’ll unlock the ability to post updates, similar to a social media post, when you have new photos, a special offer, or a new product.
Ask for reviews! Reviews are an important part of Google’s ranking algorithm, we highly recommend you ask all your customers to leave you a review on Google. This is especially important when there are multiple businesses offering your service or products in your area, the number of reviews and overall rating can be the difference between showing up first or last. You can also respond to your reviews once your profile is verified, a simple response thanking the customer for the review helps with your search ranking and the customers will appreciate it.
Share regular updates and photos, once the profile is set up and verified you can post updates similar to a social media account. Share new products, photos, or services. Some of our clients mirror their Facebook or Instagram posting schedule on their Google Business Profile.
Your goal is to increase your ranking on Google, they want to present the most relevant and useful results to their users. The digital marketing first step you can take to show your relevance on Google is creating your Google Business Profile, its not only free, its a powerful tool to help potential customers find you online. Its the first step we recommend you take when planning your digital marketing strategy. If you need help setting up your profile or don’t have time, we can help set it up for you, give us a call or fill out our contact form to get started.