Get more Leads for Free from Google Maps
Unless you have been living in a cave or using only Bing you will have seen what is called the Google Map Pack. It appears when you search for a specific business or some business type, and a location, eg. plumber Walsall.
So in the image above we searched for ‘Gas Engineer Walsall’. Google are always experimenting with the layout of this and in some cases have been trialling paid listings (eg. if you pay Google enough money they make you #1).
There are some easy things you can do improve your position, which done properly cannot fail to increase the number of enquiries you receive. If you don’t have a Google map listing yourself, we will cover that too with some simple steps.
Google My Business (GMB)
If you don’t have a Google My Business listing you will need to set one up.
It’s a simple process, you just answer all of the questions. If you don’t want your home address listed, you need to tick YES in the box that says
“I deliver goods and services to my customers at their location”.
If you don’t have a listing already you will need to verify your address with Google. This is to stop fake businesses setting up. Google will send you a letter, with a special code on it. When you enter this, Google now know you have a valid reason to be listed with them at that address.
A citation is an online mention of your business that can have a link to it or not. This tells Google you are real. If you imagine, hearing about a great pub and the more times it gets mentioned, the chances are it’s a great place.
In its simplest form, that’s how Google works.
When Google first started there used to be a list of websites they trusted. To stop people abusing the system, they now no longer say which ones they look at. But some of us had already grabbed these lists
The citation must be formatted in the EXACT same format as your GMB format. So if you are listed as ‘InTheTrade’ you need to make sure your citations match. This is the same for the address part too.
When Google first started there used to be a list of websites they worked from. To stop people abusing the system, they now no longer say which ones they look at.
Well some of those lists still exist. Scroll to the bottom to get an idea of just how many there are. Some will come and some will go, we don’t guarantee these are all live.
You will have to log in to each one, find most suitable category and add your business details. It’s a hassle.
TIP: Use a paid service where someone will do this for you, for a fraction of your time costs. We have used www.grow.online in the past, to give you an idea it could cost in the region of £70 to get listed on 50 websites. As a novice, doing this yourself could easily take you a day or more.
They do offer different packages, with more listings being cheaper pro-rata. Depending on how competitive your business sector is, you might only need 50 listings, but for the extra cost it can be worth just going with a larger package.
Something to note here is these websites are trying to make a living, so they are going to call and email you to try and sell you extra things. This is just how it is, there is nothing you can do but politely refuse; at least you know in advance, and you can always tell them to take you off their mailing list!
Once done you will have to wait for these listings to go live and then be found by Google as they crawl the web.
When you are buying something do you look at reviews? Yeah, of course you do. Well you need reviews for two reasons:
- Google like them.
- When customers search for local businesses in Google, they are going to trust businesses with good reviews. So you will need to ask people to give you reviews. They will need a Google account.
Tip: This may seem obvious, but only ask happy customers to review you also, NEVER fake your own reviews, because if you get caught, your listing can get banned.
Making It Look Great/Real
This comes down to trust again. When you buy online for example, do you feel better knowing the company is real, has a physical address and looks legit? Of course you do. So, add images, for:
- Logo and header
- The product (if you have any)
- The team or just you, to show you are real. Maybe a photo of your van, it all adds trust.
It’s trust again here, but you don’t need to go crazy. Just get business pages for the main social networks. Make sure they have a link back to your website if you have one. Remember to keep the format and name the same as mentioned above in Citations.
Don’t panic, you DO NOT NEED to be active on these social networks (unless you want to), but you need to own the page. Start with:
To help the citation listed above if you own a website, make sure the name and address are formatted correctly. If you have a website it will appear in the map listing, so make sure it has your main details on.
If you have a website developer, ask them to:
- Add links from your website to the social media pages.
- Add ‘structured data’ that matches the GMB Data
(Geek link >> https://schema.org/LocalBusiness)
Get A Geographical Phone Number (starting 01/02)
It’s a fact, many people still do not like calling mobile numbers, especially older folk. So ensure you have a landline listed and do not miss out on calls by setting up an answerphone for when you are not about. Or get your landline redirected to your mobile, which is very simple and cheap to do, because again, some folk don’t like using answerphones, and if they call someone else who does answer, you may have just lost their business.
We hope this article has been useful. Broken down, each of the steps above is not that hard, even for a technophobe. Take the time to do them properly, and if you don’t see a measurable increase in your enquiries, we will eat our (hard) hats
Good luck, and please let us know how you get on!
Local Business Directory Starter List