Before you spend any money on internet advertising, do these three EASY and FREE things first.
Don’t get me wrong, we’re not against paid advertising. At some point, you actually should invest in paid advertising for your business.
According to the US Small Business Administration, a typical small business spends around 7.9% of its revenue on marketing and advertising. Doing the FREE things first will build a solid foundation for any paid advertising and help you get better results.
#1: Get and Claim your Google My Business Listing
A Google My Business listing is like an additional web page for your business.
It features your business name, phone number, address, business hours, and any photos of your business or products or services that you provide.
Claiming your listing is easy to do. In about 10 minutes, you can set it up and start getting your business noticed in online searches.
Being listed also gives you a better chance to show up in the Google 3-pack. Those are typically the three listings that appear underneath the paid advertising in Google searches. By properly listing your company and posting content regularly, you’ve got a better chance of showing up on that search for free.
A business like a car or dealer or similar can set up one for the sales side of the business and one for the service side of the business. If your business has multiple locations, set up one for each location.
And be sure to post fresh content every 7-10 days to help you stay in front of customers and prospects.
#2: Online Reviews = Free Online Advertising
When I owned a Money Mailer franchise, some business owners would ask me what it cost to advertise in the Money Mailer.
I would always look at their online reviews and first see if they had any reviews, or if the reviews were generally positive. If they had no or a small number of reviews, or if they were primarily negative reviews, I’d tell them not to waste their money at this point.
I’d suggest they improve their online reputation, first by getting more reviews, and second by managing the negative reviews received.
Pretty simple and it’s free.
Studies show that over 88% of consumers check online reviews before making a purchase decision.
More reviews and better managed reviews gives your business a definite and competitive advantage.
Even bad reviews can help. They give you the opportunity to engage with customers and address any problems you may not even have known you had. Negative reviews give you a chance to respond to and fix any problems, and that shows you care.
To get reviews, you need to provide your customers and prospects easy and simple ways for them to leave a review. We advise offering them options to leave a review review either on Google My Business Google or Facebook. These two platforms make it easy for the customer to leave a review because either they’ve already logged into their Google account to check email on their mobile phone, or they’re already logged into Facebook.
There is nothing more frustrating for a consumer than having to scroll and zoom on their mobile device to place a call or get directions to your business.
Make sure your website is set up with a mobile first design.
Your mobile website should include your phone number prominently displayed somewhere near the top of the page where the custome can make one click to call you. Or get a one-click to the Google map, so they can use the voice assisted navigation to get to your business.
This is critical especially if you’re an automotive or other service business.
Data indicates over 67% of leads and traffic come through voice-assisted navigation. We know they’re going into the business because they use that feature, or they’re placing a call from their mobile device to call a business while they’re in transit. Customers will use the Google Voice navigation feature to get to your location.
If all this seems like a lot of work, know that you don’t have to go it alone.
We’ll simplify the process of posting regularly to your Google My Business page and also cross post to your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. We also have an app that gives you the ability to request a review from your customers, either using their email address or via a text message. It will give them the choice to leave you a review on Google My Business or Facebook. It’s a totally seamless move for them, as most will either be logged into their Google or Facebook account. There’s no additional signups necessary to use our app, unlike some of the other review platforms that are out there.