Business owners come to me looking for high-impact, low-budget marketing solutions. From sole traders to national companies, the team at The Cheshire Business Directory provide monthly marketing packages to ensure our clients’ businesses are both seen and heard. Social media, leaflet drops, networking groups – you name it, we do it.

But if your marketing budget is non-existent right now, there are plenty of ways to bolster your business’s online presence, and they won’t cost you a penny.

Google My Business really is an essential local marketing tool. Your profile helps your ideal clients to find you faster, on both Google searches and Google Maps. An engaging Google Business Profile will help you stand out from the crowd. And the best bit: creating and maintaining one is absolutely free. Even if you have one, it’s worth considering if you are utilising it to its full potential.

So how do you use Google My Business to improve your reach, and give you the impact you deserve?

Be searchable

Once you have claimed and verified your listing, you’ll be asked to complete your business details. Make sure you regularly keep this information up to date, amending opening hours as and when required. Your address, email and phone number should also be accurate. Search engines like to see consistent business details, wherever they may appear online. Algorithms also reward activity, engagement and content, so keep your profile fully optimised if you wish to boost your local ranking.

And remember to keep your business description short and snappy. You have 750 words to tell the world what you can do for them, so keep it brief, engaging and accessible. Ensure your keywords are featured clearly in the first two sentences. For example, if you’re a beautician in Prestbury, ensure the keywords ‘beautician’ and ‘Prestbury’ fall at the start of your business description.

Share visual content

Businesses who feature images on their profile receive over 30% more click throughs to their website. So if a customer finds you on Google maps, your business’s photographs really can be an effective call to action.

Share quality images of your products or services, your shop floor or business environment. Avoid sharing images of events or customers, unless you have consent from each individual.

Although images of you and the team are great to share and celebrate, ensure your Google Business Profile is about your customer, not you. Share images that will impress them, and give them the solution they need. Keep visual content professional and consistent with your brand.

And in order for it to be fully optimised, ensure your Google Business profile features your logo and a cover photo.

To keep search engines happy, aim to post images at least once a week.

Post regularly

Many businesses under-utilise the posting feature on Google My Business. You can entice new customers by sharing special offers, deals, promotions, events and discount codes.

If you download the Google My Business app to your phone, you can add updates within seconds. Your business updates can be 1500 characters in length, so think of this feature as part of your wider social media strategy. Make links to your social media posts or blogs, and regularly post about new products or services. You can also accompany your updates with images and videos.

Similarly to any social media post, ensure your Google Business posts end with a clear call to action. Shop the collection now. Make your appointment today. Find out more about the services we offer.

Build your reviews and recommendations

According to Google’s own research, over 75% of consumers value online reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family. Your customer star rating is clearly displayed on your profile, and it’s a powerful marketing tool. Ultimately, you want more 5* reviews than your competitors.
Recommendations allow you to entice new customers, and to improve and refine your products or services. So to ensure your customers leave you a review, include a direct link to your profile on all electronic correspondence. For maximum impact, send a personalised customer satisfaction email to all of your clients. Provide your profile’s URL, and explain how much your business values customer feedback.

If your business welcomes customers in-person, pop up a poster, quirky rhyme or heartfelt message in the window kindly asking customers to leave a review. In the wake of the pandemic, people are keen to support local businesses, so it’s well worth a go.

If budget and resources allow, why not tempt customers into leaving a review? Could you offer all reviewers money off their next purchase? Or enter all customers who leave a review into a prize draw, and feature this across your social media platforms too.

When you do receive a review, Google allows you to personally respond. Prospective customers love to see personalised acknowledgments from businesses. They ooze professionalism and integrity, so set aside some time each week to respond to your reviews.

Struggling to get your business seen and heard?

Then The Cheshire Business Directory can help.

We are a professional business directory, supporting businesses across Cheshire and Greater Manchester. We help businesses to connect, collaborate and grow. With a combined social media following of over 140K, we put businesses in front of thousands of prospective customers.

So if you need an extra pair of hands to ensure your business reaches your ideal clients, then join The Cheshire Business Directory, today. Whatever your budget, we can help.

Focus on running and maintaining your business, and leave the marketing to us.

Contact me, Kerry, on 07501 896445 to find out what we can do for your business.

Let us showcase what your business can do.

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