Marketing Your Business
When marketing your business do you actually need Google? Well in a word yes, you do. However, you shouldn’t rely solely on Google to bring in business. You need to be doing more than just trying to rank on page one (which is very difficult to prove as search results are very personalised) you need to do things to get people’s attention.
You need to do offline promotions for your local area, especially if you’re a small local business. But here’s the rub, depending on what market/industry you’re in, people will most often go online to research you. Which is why you need to integrate offline and online marketing strategies and tactics to get the best out of them.
Let’s say you run a local coffee shop and you run an add in the local newspaper with a coupon or discount code. even though you may get people from that ad, you’ll also find that people will go online to get directions, or check out opening times and even whether you have free WiFi. Yes, you may have put all this in the advert but if they don’t have it with them they can’t see it.
So they’ll go online on their trusty mobile computer, their smart phone. They’re going to search for you!
Why Google matters when marketing your business locally
In a word, Maps, Google Maps (OK, two words) this is the local version of the search results page and is vitally important for any local business. Here on your Google My Business Page you can add opening times, menus and other pertinent information. It also of course gives travel directions so people can find your coffee shop (or whatever business you run) to take advantage of your offer.
Google also looks in as many places as possible for information to help them decide and then uses that information as ‘signals’ to help them decide how relevant a site is to a particular query. Now it may not be able to read your newspaper ad (yet) but it will track activity about what people search for in relation to you.
If you’ve included a reference to the coupon/discount code on your site or social media (preferably both) then Google will put the two together and understand that you have an offer that is current now. When people search for either your coffee shop or just a coffee shop and the word ‘offer’ or ‘coupon’ then your result is likely to show.
What if you’ve attended a networking meeting or appeared at a business event to promote your business? You’ve given out lots of business cards and leaflets (most of which will get junked) and you know that people have your number and can call you. What will they do? Anyone with any interest at all is likely to go online and do some research. This is where ‘branding’ works for you, if you promote your ‘brand’ offline, people will search for it online. Especially if it’s easy to remember.
If you do something offline, talk about it online, make sure you mention it on your blog and social media, take pictures of the live events and post them online. Interview people offline and post it online. Connect your offline marketing to your online marketing and you’re well on the way to beating your competition.
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