It's All About The Experience


A blog about managing and improving customer experience and improving profits.

Three (Non-obvious) Ways to Make Your Business Easier to Find on Google
Three (Non-obvious) Ways to Make Your Business Easier to Find on Google

Everyone knows that Google owns the ranch in terms of search. Recently, Google's leadership has expended much energy around local search, accessibility, and voice search.  All three of these trends offer savvy business owners opportunities to be found more quickly without spending lots of money to do it! Failing to harness these three trends can hold you back.  Here are three things you need to do.

  1.  ​Create or Update Your Account on Google My Business (GMB).  Google My Business can help a great deal in terms of local Search Results. Whether you're a dry cleaner, orthopedic surgeon, attorney, or taco restaurant owner, you want and need to be part of the conversation when people enter a search for [your type of business] near me on their phones. Here's how to set up a free Google My Business Account:
    1.  Find your business on Google Maps.  Claim your business if there is a listing; If none exists, create a new listing by adding your business's physical address and phone number. (You may need to verify your business with Google, so Google is sure you are authorized to manage the account.)
    2. Be sure to add opening times, contact info, services offered. Add a link to your website.
    3. Use keywords in your descriptions. Keywords will help when people search for specific products, services, or businesses on Google.
    4. Add photos that are of high quality and use all the available space in the photo frame. Make sure you are providing compelling images – this is the first thing people will see when they look for a business like yours.
    5. Embed service request, reservations, and appointment setting links in the GMB listing.
    6. Upload a short video highlighting your business and emphasizing the unique aspects of your service.
    7. If you have multiple locations, make sure that all your sites appear in Google My Business.
    8. Keep up to date with what customers are saying about you online - monitor reviews. 
      1. Address customer complaints quickly. If you don't, customers will take their frustrations out on you in the reviews section of your business listing. These negative reviews are challenging to remove.  
      2. Have a happy customer? Send them a note!  Request that satisfied customers write a positive review on Google My Business.
  2. Write articles about profitable and exciting parts of your business that competitors ignore.  One of the easy pitfalls that companies fall into is allowing third parties (SEO Consultants, Ad Agencies) to define their business in SEO terms, with a broad-brush category (usually one with lots of pay-per-click traffic) of competition. Often these one-size-fits-all approaches can ignore part of your business that drives your profits.
    1. Make sure you create content for your business's low volume, high-profit areas that your competitors ignore.
    2. Find the so-called long tail (less frequently searched) keywords related to your specialty and build content that addresses them. By some estimates, seventy percent of all searches fall into the long-tail category.
    3. Research questions people typically ask about this area and write Q & A copy to answer them. Keep a notebook with questions that your clients ask and update your content periodically to address them. Some examples will clarify: 
      1. Attorneys: Maybe you're a liability attorney who specializes in a certain kind of court case. Write copy around issues you like to take on and document the questions and answers typical for this case.
      2. If you're a doctor, perhaps you specialize in a specific type of surgery or procedure at which other doctors do not excel.
      3. A dry cleaner may have a specific type of garment, drapery, or bedding that is profitable to clean and which your competition may not handle well.
    4. Use Schema Markup for Your Web Pages.  Schema markups are specialized machine-readable information added to your website that allows search engine bots to categorize and interpret the information on a particular page quickly. By some measures, Google pulled as much as 40 percent of voice results from these so-called structured data snippets.
  3. Make sure your website is accessible to a wide variety of users. Google is committed to making sure the web is accessible to all users. To its credit, Google's User Experience Design curriculum emphasizes the so-called curb cut effect – in essence, the idea that improvements that help people with disabilities help everyone else as well. Curb cuts (ramps at corners) make street crossings accessible to people in wheelchairs.  Curb cuts also make life easier for the rest of us—for example, anyone using a dolly or someone looking at their phone. Google's search algorithm mimics this effect. It rewards sites accessible to many users, including those with disabilities, and punishes those not. Fortunately, accessibility is becoming easy to test! Follow this link to download a free Chrome extension that tests accessibility. In the meantime, here's a shortlist of questions to ask about your site:
    1. Does your site work well for both mobile and desktop users?
    2. Are your website's page load times short, so customers in low bandwidth parts of the country can access your content?
    3. Does your site use fonts, colors, and contrast that works for people color blind or otherwise sight-impaired?
    4. For the blind, does your site work well with screen readers like Apple VoiceOver and NVDA for Windows?
    5. For the hearing impaired, do your videos or audio offer subtitles? (Web apps like offer affordable tools for doing this)
    6. Do your photos include alt text describing the images and provide a text-only version of your videos (for those who can't see)?

For better or worse, Google dictates the rules for how search works on much of the Internet. Follow the above suggestions, and you'll rise higher in search rankings, be found more often, and convert more traffic!

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