lead generation tips for SMEs

It’s no secret that Google can do you a favor or two to help your online success as an small or medium-sized business. With a 67.6% market share in the US and 12.6 billion searches processed per month1, the opportunities for customers to discover your business via Google present themselves thousands of times each day. 

However, if Google is going to prioritize your business above everything else on the entire internet when users search for particular phrases, then you’ve got to let it know you exist. One of the ways to let Google know you exist that’ll help you generate more leads and sales is to register to Google My Business2/3.

Google My Business will help potential customers find you by taking the details of your business and spreading them across the Google services.

 

How Can Google My Business Generate Leads?

Google Maps

When your business registers to Google My Business, you’ll be given a presence on Google Maps. This will come in the shape of an icon at your business location, which gives potential customers a chance to find you when they’re browsing.

Once Google knows your location, it can offer directions to your business across its services, too. This can help raise awareness, entice ad hoc traffic to your site and generate leads from local customers. It’s particularly handy for bars, restaurants and retailers.

Local Searches

Google personalizes its search results depending on the searcher’s location, so those searching for ‘pizza delivery’ in Washington DC will be shown different results than those searching for ‘pizza delivery’ in Seattle. If your business targets customers at a local level – maybe you’re a local business or have a number of branches - then being featured in local searches can help you find customers that match your target geographic4.

Enhanced Visibility

The local search results pages tend to be formatted differently to the standard results pages, so your business could be given the entire right-hand spread if users search for your business by name5.

This stands head and shoulders above the listings on the left-hand side and draws unparalleled attention to your business.

Phone Number, Opening Hours and Address

When you register with Google My Business, your companies contact details are visible on the search results page6, as well as on Google+ and Google Maps. This means that potential customers can make an inquiry without having to go through trouble of searching through your website. This is a handy feature if you’re either a well-known brand, or if you’re in an industry with many substitutes, like car mechanics. Opening hours and your address are also listed, so potential customers can be informed early.

Reviews and Endorsements

As well as your phone number and address, Google My Business also features ratings and customer reviews, which allow customers to share their experiences and rate your business7. The more positive reviews you attract, the more chance you’ll have of attracting new leads.

Google+

Rumors suggest that Google are set to axe their third attempt at a social network, or at lease phasing it into the background and removing its front-end aspect8/9. However, with over 300 million active monthly users10, the presence on Google+ that you’ll adopt when you register with Google My Business will provide you with the opportunity to tap into some of that potential customer base while it’s there.

Google Autocomplete

An added bonus that we recently discovered is that, through registering to Google My Business, you can work your way into the branded Google Autocomplete feature11. This is prime link-bait for user searching for your business or similar phrases, which again has the potential to increase your leads and find new custom.

How Do I Get Involved?

Google My Business isn’t a replacement for a business website, nor is it all you should focus on to increase your visibility in the search engines. However, it’s free, it’s handy and it has the potential to increase your leads online.

To get involved and register your business, follow these steps to register your business or find out more here.

References

1 http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2345837/Google-Search-Engine-Market-Share-Nears-68

2 http://www.google.com/business/

3 http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2350395/Google-My-Business-New-Tools-for-Small-Business-Owners

4 http://pocketnow.com/2014/05/05/axe-google-plus

5 https://support.google.com/business/answer/2721884?hl=en&ref_topic=4596754

6 http://www.google.com/business/#befound

7 https://support.google.com/business/answer/4801187?hl=en-GB

8 http://techcrunch.com/2014/04/24/google-is-walking-dead/

9 http://pocketnow.com/2014/05/05/axe-google-plus

10 http://marketingland.com/google-hits-300-million-active-monthly-in-stream-users-540-million-across-google-63354

11 http://www.fasttrackteam.com/the-latest-google-addition-that’ll-boost-your-website-traffic.aspx

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Posted by Sunday, August 24, 2014 6:59:00 PM Categories: online marketing social media