Can a Minor Change at Google . . .
. . . Crash Out the Local Business Directories ?
Will it Propel Lagging Local Businesses . . .
. . . from the Pit Lane of Uncertainty ?
. . . and . . .
Why do You Need to Claim Your Listing on Google Places Now . . .
. . . before the Others Leave You for Dust ?
And it is no wonder.
The whole process of building a website and making sales on it has been way too challenging for the average business owner.
The technology has been hard to understand. And there are too many web developers who don’t know what they are doing with marketing, and they charge too much.
But here are the facts:
- 80.1% of the Australian population now have internet access
- 96% of them made an internet purchase this year
Things are changing fast, and small businesses are getting left behind.
It’s a real problem for many business owners . . .
The Google search engine favoured websites with:
- lots of activity
- lots of content
- lots of back-links
So to get onto page 1 of Google, you often needed to spend 99.9% of your time on your internet strategy, (usually at the expense of all other marketing efforts), or pay someone big bucks to do it for you.
As a result, Local Business Directory websites began to dominate the scene because they had the big budgets and huge teams to build websites that can dominate the search engines.
The internet looked like becoming irrelevant to local business owners and too hard for local retailers to ever “finish a few laps of the track”.
But that all changed!
Now Google Can Be Your Friend
Twin Turbos For Local Businesses
Two very important things happened, which combined, gave small local businesses a big advantage making it easy to attract new customers – even without a website.
1. Looking After The Little Guy
Google changed the rules and gave local business a big headstart in the Search Engine race
When Google changed the rules, it looked like just a small head start in the Search Engine race. But it actually puts small business laps ahead with a Formula-1 online marketing Race Car which is equipped a powerful Racing Engine that is ready to fire up targeted marketing horsepower at your competition who are still dawdling around the track.
Google went Local
Google transformed its search algorithm for location based searching.
When you do a Google search, you have no doubt seen the map pop up with the red pins on it. This is Google Places at work.
To see how this works, go to Google now and do a search for “accounting”. Then search for “accountant”. Google can tell the difference between a search term used to find information, and a search term for a local business. You’ll see the Google Places map on the search results for “accountant”.
Google can also tell where you are and deliver results that are near your location.
In August of 2009, the Product Manager for Google Local said that 43% of all searches on the Google network are local. To help the small local businesses, they changed the search engine to a location based service. They know where you are searching from and they know when you are looking for a local business. So they are able to present you with a map showing all the local businesses in your local area.
That alone is cause for celebration. But the second thing you need to be aware of will tell you why they did it and why local businesses stand to benefit more and more if they take action on this information now.
2. Searching On The Move
And by 2015 Google predicts
Two thirds of all purchases and half of all transactions will occur by mobile phone
The Nielsen 2010 State Of The Nation Report predicts “…e-commerce will be one of the big winners in 2011” with “…Smart Phones being the primary enabler of consumer purchases”.
Now take a deep breath because when get this next bit, you will understand why your little local business is about to blast the big international competition clean out of the water.
By 2015, 62% of all mobile phones will be smart phones.
And most of those will use Google as their search engine.
It’s very important you understand this. Google has geared itself to return results relevant to your location. And people are increasingly using mobile devices like iPhones, Andriod phones, Blackberries and tablet devices like the iPad. Which means the Google search engine will return results relevant to your customer’s location. Wherever they are in that moment.
Can you imagine what that means for a small retailer or food outlet?
Even local tradesmen can own a patch of turf with the right approach.
That, combined with the powerful marketing tools Google provides for local businesses and the focused information and assistance it provides to its users is why the book type directories are sadly doomed to crash after such a long time in the lead.
There’s Always A Catch
Here’s the rub. Even though there’s a good chance your business already has a listing on Google Places and Google Maps, it’s in danger of falling into obscurity if you don’t claim it now and set it up for the best results. Or worse, it could be attacked by those with dishonourable intentions.
Only claimed and verified listings will have a chance of staying in the top seven listings for any local search term.
. . . and only claimed and verified listings can be protected from having those listings hacked or altered by anyone who tries.
. . . and only continually optimised and maintained listings will dominate the local listings and put you in front of the perfect buying customers. It does take a bit of knowledge, and attention to the statistics, to get it right.
We provide a service to help local businesses make the most of these powerful tools at a surprising fraction of the cost of previous local or internet marketing options.
To secure and verify your local listing on Google Places and get a big head-start on your competition, fill out the form below for a 100% risk free, obligation free consultation in the next 24 hours. Our chat will be so informative that you could hang up and do it yourself if you want. But then you’d miss all the extra support and monitoring services included in the package.
So take action now, and find out what the fuss is all about !