As the top-ranked Internet search engine and mobile mapping app in the world, Google holds powerful sway over your online marketing success. And with a host of online marketing tools, programs and directories available, the online giant leaves its imprint in nearly every form of Internet commerce. With so many different virtual paths to follow, what are some of the most important things a local business owner should do in order to make the most of what Google has to offer?
Create Original Content
As part of its constantly changing algorithms, Google has been increasingly finding ways to reward websites who publish original content. Original content is that which is written specifically for your business website, and may include anything from product descriptions to customer reviews and blog posts. While linking to a manufacturer’s site for a comprehensive product description is fine, it’s important not to copy and paste non-original content to your site. Websites that contain original blogs and articles consistently score higher with Google’s search algorithms, which strive to favor relevant and original material. Business owners who don’t have time or inclination to write blog posts may want to hire outside writers, or even scour their own employee pool for blogging talent. Even customers may be persuaded to contribute original content.
Create an Account with Google Places
Google Places is Google’s new platform designed to enhance visibility of local establishments. Research consistently shows that U.S. consumers have traded in old fashioned print phone books for local searches on desktop and mobile devices, with 80% of purchases made within a 15-mile radius. Some 20% of Internet searches are for local businesses, and 40% of those are conducted on a mobile device. Android users utilizing Google’s voice search function are led directly to Google Places results. Be sure to claim or add your local business listing on Google Places, and encourage customer reviews to help boost your search results.
Install Google Analytics for Free
While many SEO specialists will try to sell you an expensive analytics program, Google Analytics is a free service that allows you to monitor the number of people that visit your website, what pages they visit and how they get to your site. For those wishing to delve deeper into the platform, it also allows you to create advertising campaigns, set up goals, and view reports and data sets that provide key insight into your data. Each time you make changes to your website, Google Analytics will guide you in making sure those changes are beneficial and not detrimental to your site’s web profile.
Find Keywords Using the Google Adwords Keyword Tool
Google’s Adwords Keyword tool is designed to help you zero in on effective keywords to use with an Adwords campaign, and provides the popularity of each keyword and the cost per click amount for targeting that keyword in Adwords. Whether or not you choose to use a pay per click campaign, however, keywords are important in all aspects of your online marketing (by clarence at dresshead inc). Google’s tool allows you to enter a general search term, and then returns groupings of keyword ideas that you can explore further in the tool to find the best keywords for your business.
When it comes to marketing your local business, there are so many choices out there – and so many opportunities to spend massive sums of money. By taking a little time and exploring the many tools and products available at little or no cost, you can make your marketing dollar go much further than you ever thought possible!