Back in the day, a business needed to be listed in the Yellow Pages if you wanted to be found, but online search is now the main focus. However, most small businesses are not easily found online.
Even solo service providers CAN be found online, much more easily than you think, with some simple steps that are free. Make sure you’re found in the primary online business listings: Google My Business.
Google offers a free and easy way to include your business in their search results. It’s designed for local businesses, but it works even if your clients are beyond local. You don’t have to have your address shown publicly.
Here’s where to start:
Get a local listing in Google. You need to follow all these steps for it to work:
- They will walk you through everything. Just read the instructions and answer questions.
- Even before you have perfect words in there, go ahead and verify your listing to get the ball rolling. It can take a few weeks before it will show up. You can edit later.
- Be sure to complete the verification process or the listing will never show up.
- After you find it showing up online, send your public link to some of your happy customers and invite them to leave a review in there. That will help improve your rank in Google.
- For increased effectiveness, include good photos in your listing.
For ideas on optimizing your listing, see Google’s tips for creating a great listing.
After I added myself to Google’s listings, I became one of the top results in Google when someone searches for a coach in my local area. I immediately noticed receiving more inquiries and I continue to get leads from Google. For free.
It’s easy to be a big fish in a small pond so start local, even if you want a broader audience.
Make this is a top priority if you want more business. Fast, free, effective — the best kind of marketing task.
When you’re ready for more visibility, the next best place to be found online for your business is LinkedIn. See LinkedIn Profile Essentials.