Digital Marketing • March 23rd, 2018
If you run a business in Prescott, you know that it is important to be as visible as possible to locals and tourists alike. Part of being visible comes from not only your physical location but your website’s digital location. Just like having a business within 100 yards from the highway gives you great visibility, so does having a website that is on the 1st page of Google for your service and geographic location. For instance, if you are an Italian Restaurant in Prescott, you would want to come up as high as possible on the 1st page of Google for Italian Restaurant Prescott. This is true on desktop computers but more than ever this is critical on mobile devices and smartphones.
Let’s take a look at a common occurrence that takes place hundreds of times per day in Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, and Dewey-Humboldt. Visitors come from out of state or out of town and take a quick drive through our towns, cruise Whiskey Row, and ultimately take a moment to ask the questions nearly every visitor does. What should we do? Where should we eat? Where is there good shopping? In the good old day’s people used to go into a local store or ask a local, is there a good Italian Restaurant around here? Now people tend to ask Google or Bing depending on their smartphone. A common search to follow our example would be Italian Restaurant Prescott, Best Italian Restaurant Prescott, or Italian Restaurants in Prescott. If you happen to own such a restaurant, it is important that you come up for those search terms on the 1st page of Google. Here are a few tips to help you do just that.
1. Claim your Google Business Listing and make sure it is as complete as possible. One of the first things that people see when they Google a product or service followed by their location is a map of businesses populated by Google. This map is populated with Google Business Listings that allow companies to claim their listing, add their logo, menu, photos, store hours, types of payment accepted, and also accept reviews online. These services are very valuable when it comes to gaining visibility online.
One of the best ways to take control of your Google Business listing is to visit https://www.google.com/business/ and claim your business location. The Google platform does a great job of guiding you through the rest of the steps to make your business as visible as possible. One of the best things is that your business listing is updated almost immediately upon proving your ownership of the business. Google may send a postcard to your business address with a code that you will enter to prove that you are affiliated with the address and business you are claiming. This is a very important step, without it, a competitor could pretend to be your business and put false information in your business listing.
Getting your Google Business Listing up-to-date and as complete as possible is a great tool for gaining online search visibility.
2. Make sure your website is mobile friendly. It is still shocking how many websites are built specifically to deliver content to a desktop and neglect the mobile market entirely. Not making your website mobile ready or “responsive” is a huge mistake as nearly 60% of all online searches are done on a mobile device. So to put it in perspective, if your website does not perform on mobile devices you are alienating more than half of all online consumers and researchers. To add insult to injury Google has also implemented changes to their search algorithm that gives preference to websites that give mobile website visitors a better experience. This is a great move when you take a look at what Google is all about. Their entire search engine is built to give their customers the best experience possible on any device. So if your website has great information but looks horrible on a mobile device, you can expect to have your search rankings depreciated if you are not providing the best possible user experience.
One good tool you can use to see how mobile friendly your website appears to Google is https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly. This tool is not as robust at Google Webmaster tools, but if you are looking for a quick and easy way to check the responsiveness of your website the above-mentioned tool by Google is a great start.
3. Regularly update your website’s content. It can be a ton of work to regularly update your website with great content, but it is a step that should never be overlooked or neglected. One of the main reasons to update your website’s content is that people who visit your website often will be looking for something new to keep them engaged and coming back for more. This may sound like a difficult task, but if you build a marketing calendar, this can become much easier. To use the Italian Restaurant example from above here is what a very simplified marketing calendar could look like.
1st Monday of Every Month– Update the menu to reflect seasonal offerings.
2nd Monday of Every Month– Add photos of events held at the restaurant or photos of special dishes prepared in-house.
3rd Monday of Every Month– Add the recipe of the month. Giving away sample recipes is a great way to build relationships and keep people coming back. You don’t want to give away trade secrets, but you can give away ancillary recipes to keep people coming back to your site for more.
4th Monday of Every Month– Post a list of events for the upcoming month.
By keeping your website’s content fresh and unique, you will be giving your website visitors and Google exactly what they want, a great experience full of useful information.
We hope that you have found this article informative and valuable. As always if you have any questions regarding marketing, branding, or simply taking your business to the next level please feel free to contact us anytime.