As a business owner it can be frustrating when you search for your business online and aren’t met with the results you are looking for; you expect for it to be easy for your customers to find information about your product or service.

But this isn’t always the case.

Google offers extremely cost effective marketing opportunities for brands, so it makes sense to take advantage of this. While it’s important to remember that Google is always trying to improve its service for the people searching, not the businesses fighting for their attention, there are still many different tools and techniques you can use to increase your online presence, and these are extremely valuable when incorporated into your digital marketing strategy.

1. Optimising your Search-ability

Keywords can be misleading. Don’t be complacent, it’s essential to be testing and tweaking your target keywords on a regular basis to ensure that you are maximising your potential online reach. Assuming that you know the perfect keywords to direct people to you without conducting thorough research can often eliminate a huge portion of potential traffic and customers. Find out which words your customers are using to search for your product or service, rather than using industry jargon that ‘regular’ people may not be familiar with.

 2. Claim your Listing Locally and Expand on What Your Business Offers

Having current information listed in local directories makes your customers feel more comfortable, and it makes you look much more serious, professional, and on-top of your game. This includes Yelp, Yellow pages and the White pages; the point is to expand your business presence so include as much information as possible. It’s generally done with only a few clicks too, making it one of the easiest things a business can do early on.

Usually all you have to do to claim your business is to visit it on Google Maps and validate the information that’s there, and then manage your page on an ongoing basis. Or you have the option of creating a new business listing if nothing’s there for you to work with.

 3. Don’t Use Your Keywords in Your Google Places Title

Not only will this make you look bad in Google Places, there’s also a strong likelihood that it will get you suspended from Google Places (as it’s against their terms and conditions).

Use 3- 4 locally optimised keywords and phrases that work well for you, but are also smart choices. It’s a great idea to include your city name in the keyword in order to get the most out of your local audiences; plus people are likely to insert this kind of information into the search bar, making your business easier to find. Also, try to target keywords that do a good job describing your business to a T (ie. nothing generic).

4. Hit the Right Categories, Provide Useful Information, and Request Feedback

Giving your customers as much information as possible about your business is important in building trust, which will in turn improve your conversion rate. Add at least 10 images of your business and 5 videos, so that people can really get a feel for your company and its culture. This doesn’t necessarily improve SEO, but it does attract attention as people are naturally drawn towards pictures and graphics on a page.

If you have a happy customer, make it easy for them to provide positive feedback. Customer reviews are a strong ranking signal as Google views it as a sign of trustworthiness, so it pays to have a steady stream of authentic and honest reviews of your business.