"Octane is a web design, development and internet marketing consultancy started in June 1999."
My name's Wayne Smallman and I sell ideas that change the way companies do business, usually in the form of novel web applications.
I'm also a writer for business publications (both web and print), as well as a consultant, adviser and trusted ally to my clients.
So what is it be local? And local to who? Depends where you are. With more people on the move than at probably any other time, Google Local just made being a local business better than ever.
Google Local really does put your business on the map, in a very real sense. Be you a sole trader auto mechanic, or a family-owned chain store with city-wide shops and stores, Google Local can help get your business found. Here’s how to make the most of Google Local.
Most people know of Google Maps, especially their excellent app’ for the iPhone. Google Local takes Maps and makes a place for business, offering people like you and me the chance to add details about our businesses, like opening times, the payment methods we accept, as well as the services we offer.
Say you’re looking for a plumber. Google knows roughly where you are and will find all of the plumbers close to where you are. If they have a listing on Google Local, you’ll have the option to view more details about them.
Put simply, Google Local highlights your business for everyone to see when they’re searching in your area.
Google Local has come a long way in the past year. Now more tightly integrated with Maps than ever before, there’s plenty of reasons to get your business on the map.
You can now add coupons to your listing, which people can print, cut out and bring to your shop, store or restaurant to qualify for the offer the coupon relates to. This is ideal if you’re looking to clear stock, or to just drum up some extra trade.
As the web becomes an ever more social place to be, customer reviews are playing a major role in the trust people place in the businesses they use. If someone writes a damning review of your business, that might not be the end of the world if it’s just one against ten others that are filled with glowing praise.
People rely heavily on the say-so of others, for things like consumer goods and especially food. And because things are much more open and publicly available than ever before, the emphasis has to be on quality.
So if you have happy customers or clients who you feel are willing to say something nice about your business, get them to write a review on your Google Local listing.
Do you own a plush bar and restaurant, or maybe your offices are a uniquely styled building? Then there’s a good chance you have some professional photography. They say a picture paints a thousand words. Google Local lets you add up to 10 photos, which will enhance your listing no end.
Google Local now also integrates with Street View. So if Google have been down your street, taking panoramic photos of your place of business, that’s something else for your potential customers and clients to consider.
Having a Google Local listing is one thing, but if you can see what words people are typing into Google, that brought them to your listing, that’s valuable marketing information. Google Local offers exactly this facility. In addition, you’ll see how many people searched using which words and when, and when they clicked onto your website.
Having coupons for special offers is one thing, but promoting them is something else. Google Local lets you post a quick message (limited to 160 characters) about your offer or event, which appears in your listing.
Imagine you’re out in a town or city you’re unfamiliar with. You’re with a bunch of friends and you’ve all agreed on Italian food. But where? If you’ve got an iPhone, Google will take “Italian restaurant” and find the ones closest to you. It’s that simple.
Having a complete listing on Google Local, filled with positive reviews and gorgeous photography, may be the difference between a party of 3-5 people spending money with you (plus tips), or spending their evening and their money with your competitors instead. Worst of all, you probably won’t even know why.
If you’d like to know more about Google Local, or would like to add a listing for your business, why not give me a call on 07815 568 732, or contact Wayne right away?