Many local businesses feel invisible online. When it comes to generating more visibility for your business, there are several methods you can use – both organic (free) and paid methods.
One of the first steps to getting free visibility for your local business is to set up and optimize your Google Business Profile.
This is such an easy win because if you do this correctly, your business will consistently land in the coveted spot at the top of Google in the Map Pack.
Google Map Pack
When a potential customer does a service-in-location search, such as:
- Realtor near me
- General Contractor Philadelphia
- Chiropractor near West Chester
The first thing they will see are a few ads at the top of the page, then directly under the ads is the Google Map Pack.
Map on the right side, several local businesses listed on the left.
The key to landing consistently in the Map Pack is to optimize your Google Business Profile and have consistent activity on the account.
- Posting regularly (at least once per week)
- Getting consistent, high quality reviews
- Responding to reviews quickly
- Answering questions customers submit
- Answering calls that come in from your GBP
- Responding to messages quickly
- Keeping your profile up-to-date (holiday hours; accurate name, address, and phone number)
Niche Business Directories
Along with having a managed and well optimized Google Business Profile, you should consider getting listed on other business directories directly tied to your industry and/or niche.
Now, before you run out and try to get listed on the hundreds of business directories out there, here is a trick to know which ones are most important.
Let’s pretend you are a general contractor – go to Google and search for:
Best general contractors near me
Scroll down past the Google Map Pack, and you’ll see which niche directories Google has indexed. Pick five or six and get your business listed on those as well.
It’s important that your business’ Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP) and website are consistent across all the business directories, including Google My Business.
Now that you have your business listed on Google My Business and around five other niche-specific directories, let’s look at a paid source of visibility that will help boost not only your visibility, but the number of local leads your business is receiving.
That paid visibility is using Google Local Service Ads.
Google Local Service Ads
Google LSAs are different from traditional Google Ads because you aren’t charged per-click, but per call (or message).
These ads connect with your Google Business Profile and pull in:
- Business name
- Your review rating
- Years in business
- Hours of operation
There are several advantages of running Google LSAs as your paid source of visibility.
First advantage is where they are placed. When a customer does a service-in-location search (realtor near me), Google LSAs show up at the very top of the page.
Above the Map Pack, above the traditional Google Ads – they are prime real estate on the search engine results page (SERP).
Another advantage of Google LSAs is that you can connect booking software to the ads so, instead of a customer calling you, they can book an appointment directly from the ad.
This eliminates a lot of friction and gets you many more leads, fast.
Another big advantage of Google LSAs is you aren’t charged every time someone clicks on the ad – you are only charged if they call, message, or book an appointment through the ad.
And if you get a call that is clearly spam or solicitation, you can dispute the call and get credited for the charge on your Google LSA account.
What I have found with my clients – they are receiving much better leads and we are getting more of these calls/leads turning into customers.
In order for your local business to stop feeling invisible online and getting more high-quality leads coming in, you need to increase your visibility.
The best way to do this is with a combination of organic (free) and paid visibility.
If you haven’t already, claim and set-up your Google Business Profile and get it optimized to start showing up consistently in the Google Map Pack.
Then get yourself listed on five or six industry-specific, niche business directories and start running Google Local Service Ads for an even bigger boost.
There is one more component that will help drive more traffic to your website and get you a steady stream of local leads for your business – and it combines perfectly with visibility.
And that’s building authority online for your business. That’s the next article in the series – make sure to check it out!