Saturday, February 16, 2013

Guest Blog: A Cost Effective Way To Advertise Online

If you have a website for your local business and would like to attract more customers to your store front or if you sell a service to local people in surrounding towns and would like to get more leads, adding your business to Google Maps is a cost effective way to get these customers and leads. 

  1. If you haven't already claimed your local Google Places/Map listing, do that now. Just do a search on Google for "Google Business Directory" or click this link: and list your business. 
  2. You want to find all the searches that result in Google showing their local business directory. Google's local listings don't appear for all searches, so you need to do some research to find out which keywords or phrase make them show up. Example: If your a plumber try a search for plumber, or plumbers. If there isn't a local result for that, try adding your town like: "Boston Plumbers" or Plumbers in Boston MA". Find all the keyword phrases that produce a Google Maps result for your industry, include other town names in your service area.
  3. Create one page for each phrase or keyword that Google shows their local directory listings for on your website. The best way to do this is to incorporate a blog on your website. If you do not have a blog, this is an easy addition. Write one new blog post a week about the keywords and phrases you found trigger the local maps listings. You could write a post about a job you did in that town, include reviews and testimonials from people you serviced in the town, include pictures of the job, whether or not you pulled a permit, what traffic was like in the area, etc. Make sure each page is about the single phrase or keyword. It should be the first words in the title of the page, include it in the "alt" text of an image on the page, and you page content should be somehow relevant to the phrase. 
PRO TIP* Start by writing about towns that are recession proof, neighborhoods where the median income is above average, and where you aren't likely to have many DIY types. 

A Google places listing is free, advertising does not get any more cost effective than that. Free is Good! showing up for searches by locals in your home town will certainly get you some leads every year. But, showing up in 10-20 local towns will get you enough work to stay busy every week.

Michael Kern is the Founder of Inform Local, a BBB Accredited Business since 2012.

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