Why Should Customers Pick YOU?
It is hard to target a specific audience with your online listings, but deep down you know what will catch the attention of most humans: pictures, colors and the knowledge that everyone else is doing it. The old school mentality of “less is more” is no longer relevant; people want to know everything about you in just a glance. A headshot goes a long way for small business owners, as people will be working with you face to face and want to know what you look like (so smile in your picture!). In general fleshing out your page, not with nudie pics, but with content, will be what keeps you as a contestant in your customer’s mind. People don’t want to waste their time, so they do their research online before even stepping into an establishment. Would you go on a date with someone you knew nothing about, nor even what they looked like? (If you say yes, just make sure to tell many people where you are meeting so they can find the body more easily).
So you have all of your business information listed online on multiple sites, consistently with the same info, right? Check to make sure. But you’re still not getting the people to come in droves like you were promised. What gives? Well, your listing might not be as “sexy” as another business’s—you’ve gotta use tricks to get the people to click on you and be intrigued enough to read about you. It’s the same as with an online dating profile: what separates a man from the 5 million others listed online? Picture? Bio? “Likes”? What will make someone choose you over another site with a flashier logo?
Don’t Miss an Opportunity to Stand Out
Your typical listing will offer fields like name, address, email, website, logo and a short bio. Now, you can’t make your address stick out, but if you use every field offered on each site your listing will look full and thus catch the eye of your customers. Don’t be afraid to post staff pics, as people like to see with whom they will be working. Google now has “Offers” as well as updates and reviews: make an offer, post an update and ask your clients for reviews, nicely (here’s how). A video will go a long way, not just with preference from Google, but from your existing and potential customers to see inside your operations and really know what they’re getting themselves into. Having a strong tagline will also help people remember your business as well as what you do: “Squeeze More Out of Your Website” is pretty action-oriented and let’s you know that we deal with optimizing your website for everything it’s worth.
Your business description should be the right mix of formal and informal to give the potential customer the idea that you know what you’re doing but also know how to talk to people and give them what they want. You want your page to be full and juicy (no pun intended) and the more valuable content, the better. We squeezed what we could out of our Google Place Page and although from the pictures it looks like one man and his harem, you get an inside look at what the team is about and (don’t lie) it makes you want to know more about us.
Good ‘Ol Facebook
Facebook is gaining more trust with business owners as gradually everyone builds themselves a Facebook Page for people to ‘like.’ These ‘likes’ are reviews for you and you should utilize this tool to the best of your ability (as previously mentioned); thus landing pages for business pages need to scream “pick me!” and demand the attention of our over-stimulated society. All Facebook pages look the same, so use Facebook tabs to create a colorful, informative peak into your operations to entice people to go to your website. Don’t go overboard with it; you still want people to go to your actual website, so keep it simple and a little mysterious to draw the people in.
Don’t Lie And Stay Consistent
Overall, your information needs to be the same on every listing—especially your basic name, address, website—and you need to put info in every field that you can on every listing site. The more address citations your listing has, the more weight you have on Google. Pictures, videos, updates, offers and reviews weigh in heavily as well, so consider these things when you look at your Google Places profile. Don’t make up reviews just to have them or add services you don’t perform and especially don’t take credit for things you haven’t done. It takes time to build an online reputation, so just make sure you follow all of Google’s rules—they’ll suspend your listing in a heartbeat if you don’t!