1. Google My Business
Google My Business is a free service by Google that literally ‘puts your business on the map’. It’s really easy to follow through the sign-up stages and can give you a huge boost once you’re in control of the information Google uses.
To confirm your profile, you need to enter a verification code through the service which is sent to you in the post a few days after you’ve entered your business details. You don’t need to have a physical office or shop for this service either. Like with Pict, you can enter an area of operation where your services or goods are distributed to.
Once your profile is up and running, you will appear on a large, clear listing on the right-hand side of the Google search page whenever someone looks for your business on Google. You will also appear on Google Maps when someone searches for your type of business. This listing can then link back to your website.
Once happy customers start reviewing you on Google My Business, your star rating and the number of reviews will give you even more of a boost.
Appearing on Google for local searches means more people finding your website and coming to your offline shop or office.
Time to set up:
About 30 minutes
Appear on Google Maps
More visitors to website
Reviews from customers
2. Local SEO
Local SEO involves making sure you have a website which is optimised to appear on Google searches targeted at the local area. This is a key change, and the methods of implementing local SEO on your website vary from site to site. I’ve included below two main things you need to do to make sure your website is ready for local searches!
Use Local Keywords and phrases. If your business mainly operates in Inverurie (for example), make sure you use the word ‘Inverurie’ regularly on your website where it’s relevant – simple! You can include local keywords in your titles and subtitles for extra usefulness. If you use WordPress, a plugin like Yoast can help you specify the keyword you want to focus on for a certain web page and even customise the intro text that Google shows for specific web pages.
Include an address and map – it’s really important to include an address and map on your website, ideally in the footer. This will be recognised by Google’s robotic system and your business will be categorised into the correct local area.
There are more technical things to consider with local SEO, but the two key things above will definitely make a difference in making sure potential customers find you more easily. If you have any questions about your current website Pict can have a look for you – let us know!
Time to set up:
2 – 4 hours then ongoing
Appear on local Google Searches
More visitors to your website
3. Have a great website
Nowadays people expect a website which provides them with exactly the information they need with good design that’s appealing to the eye. Thanks to better website building technology, this is no longer limited to big companies with multi-thousand-pound web development budgets and you can get a great website up and running quickly.
Quite simply, small companies with good websites get more visitors and sales and it’s an easy way to establish your branding and make yourself look trustworthy to potential customers.
The consideration for any small business when getting a website is weighing up cost and the technical elements you need on the site as web design is now accessible to everyone.
At Pict, we build our customers’ websites on WordPress and provide them with an easy system to make any updates needed themselves. Usually, this will work out more cost effectively for businesses as although there is some cost to build the website initially, it works out far cheaper than paying the monthly subscription of self-build services like Wix or Squarespace and provides significantly more features and customisation options.
Time to set up:
6 – 12 hours
Easily stand out from the competition
Better website means more website views
More website views mean more customers
Showcase your products, services and brand
4. Produce top quality content
‘Content’ is talked about a lot in the digital marketing world at the moment, and it’s a term that describes a huge number of things! ‘Content’ can be anything from videos for social media, to pictures of your staff and products to more traditional blog posts and articles.
Content is so important because it gives your business a personality, providing a positive first experience to your potential customers. Your content can be shared across multiple platforms: your social media pages and your website and makes your business seem up to date and lively.
Also, content can be used to help improve how you appear on local Google searches. If you have written an article about a local customer you helped and mentioned their shop, you might appear in a Google search for them. If someone is looking for a specific product in Aberdeen and they search “Welding services in Aberdeen”, if a video appears from your business, they will be far more likely to choose your services as they’ve seen you in action.
You don’t always have to make a sleek, cinematic video or pen a writerly long-form article. Sometimes a quick photo from a phone with a couple of sentences on Facebook about what you’re doing is enough to really enhance your business. If you want to chat about how content could work for your business, give Pict a message.
Time to set up:
1 – 2 hours
Enhance your business’s personality online
Make your business seem current
Appear on local searches on different platforms
5. Join online communities
Businesses working on a local level in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire have an advantage over big businesses in that they can talk directly to potential customers. Local Facebook communities like “Grampian Business Finder” and the “Aberdeen local businesses and self-employed” group are excellent ways to talk to your customers and appeal directly to people in your area.