As our community grows, and with the influx of tourists each holiday, ensuring your organisation or small business can be found online easily is critical for capturing attention. The good news is, the tools are available.
Manage your Google listing
If your business is not coming up in Google Maps or Google Search, or the information is out of date, you’re missing out. To update this yourself, open a Google Business account (https://business.google.com) then click “Info” on the menu. Now you can update your address, contact details, hours and more.
Update your Google photos
Have you changed the signage outside your store? Or updated the interior? In Google Business, click the Photos link. Here you can add new photos, videos or even a 360-degree shot, which you can take with your smartphone. These new images will appear when people search for your business, helping create a great first impression.
How’s your website?
Speaking of first impressions, a professional website is critical for creating a great online presence. Relying on a Facebook page, which does not come up well in Google Search, is a poor substitute. Google may also penalise you if your website is old and doesn’t work well on mobile devices. The good news is that you can build a website yourself if you have some ability with words and photos and an eye for layout. Google offers a free tool under Google Business, and there are other online services too. Or, you can hire an agency to take care of this for you.
Make the most of Google search
With a good website in place, it’s important to get as many visitors to it as possible. When people search for your goods or services, they’ll find you on Google through either Paid Search (SEM) or Organic/Free Search (SEO). SEM gets your business into the four paid slots at the top of Google’s search results. For this, you’ll need an AdWords account (https://adwords.google.com) and a daily budget. You can do this yourself, though it gets complicated quickly, or you can outsource it to an agency. SEO is free, but takes time and effort to develop. It comes down to many factors, including how well your website is built, if it’s mobile-friendly, the content, its relevance to visitors and many other details. You can open an account Google Webmasters account at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools and start exploring.
Grant Henderson, Free Range Media