Tammy Levent | May 16, 2016 12:00 PM ET
How Can I Get Found on Google?
Dear Tammy: If I can’t afford to pay for advertising, how can I get found on Google?
Tammy: Bill Gates once said, “If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on PR.” There’s good news in that quote. Gates was right, you do not need a lot of money to be noticed in business and I’m not even sure you need $1 to be successful on Google.
Make sure you are listed on Google My Business (formerly known as Google Local), whether you have a storefront or you are a home-based business. It’s a free service offered by Google and it allows you to create a company page that includes all of your contact information, as well as reviews of your business and a link to your website.
So how does it work? Let’s say you are based out of Sheboygan, Wisconsin. A local consumer searches “travel agents” on Google. The first thing that Google does is pull up a list of local businesses and this is where you can be found.
Before you begin your Google My Business account, make sure that you have a Gmail account. It allows you to access business services that Google offers. Then, once your Google My Business listing is up, tell your customers about it. Have your customers write positive reviews about you. Once their trip is complete, send a thank you and include a link to where they can contribute. You can also contribute photos and videos to enhance it. All is takes it a little monitoring to move you up on the local listings.
Of course, being a travel agent isn’t just a local business. You might be in Sheboygan, but someone in Japan can hire you as well. The best tip for getting noticed on Google nationally is to make sure that you have Google Analytics installed on your website. This system tells you what search terms your web visitors are using to find you. These terms should be used on your website to make sure that your potential customers find you. This will also help you to move up on Google searches.
The more people search for you, the more you’ll move up in the Google world. You can also accomplish this by cross promoting and guest posting on other industry websites and making sure your social media accounts are spreading the word about who you are and what you do.
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