According to Google, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. If you want your organization to be found during online searches, take advantage of the numerous free tools provided by Google. The first Google Tool in this blog series focuses on Google Places.
In our marketing consulting practice, after we first speak with a prospective client, the first action Reciprocate takes is to “Google” them. We suggest you Google yourself as well to see what others find when they are searching for you online. You should Google:
- your personal name
in all forms, including legal and nicknames i.e. James, Jim, Jimmy; and with and without your middle name and initial
- your industry
use words that customers and potential customers use to describe your company i.e. “lawn mower repair” and “fix my lawn mower” not “lawn and garden service company.” Local organziations should add city and state to subsequent searches.
- your competition
learn which online directories and search terms the competition is found under and duplicate the ones that make sense
- trade associations
look for membership lists and directory listings that should include your organization
- Finally, search for your organization name
again, search for all forms, including “Inc.” or “LLC”
You might be surprised to see how many times your company is already included in auto-generated online directories such as Google Places. You’ll want to claim your organization’s Google Places listing and any other places online where your organization is listed.
To claim your Google Places listing, visit Google Places. You’ll need a Google Account, which is free to create. Every Google business listing also must have a mailing address. If you work from home or are a mobile business, you can hide your physical address and instead choose a “service area” for your listing.
Google Places is a great FREE online way to promote your organization, products and services using photos, vidoes, and product and services descriptions you provide.
For a worksheet of additional free directory listing opportunities, like the Reciprocate LLC Facebook page.