Google My Business appears on the right-hand side of the search engine when you search for a business or company. Its value is not fully realised by most businesses, but it's the first thing we set up when we're working with your business.
Google my Business assists your existing and prospective customers find you easier and find the important information about your business. It lists your open hours and lets your customers know when you are closed over the holidays.
It will show your contact details prominently, which for a mobile user this is vital. You need to make it as easy as possible for customers and your prospective customers to contact you. Business is a contact sport after all! You may think this is odd coming from a consultant that enables business automation, but you still need that initial contact to create trust and understanding.
If you have your address listed on Google My Business, your customers will see a map and directions to your business. This is great for mobile users and businesses with a shop front. Even if you don’t have a shopfront (like Toowoomba Digital), it helps legitimise your business, creating confidence for your potential customers.Here is the big reason though! We’ve seen where competitors have used your business name in their keywords and advertising. This places their adverts above your organic search position. You have spent a lot of time, effort and/or money getting yourself onto the number 1 position on search. Don't have your customers looking for you by name and unintentionally clicking on your competitors advertising.
If you have your Google My Business set up properly you will still appear above the fold and if you have included posts and pictures, your business will be prominent.
You will need to verify your account address which involves getting a postcard sent to you that has a verification code to verify your business location.
Set it up - you don't have to use all of the bells and whistles (you can even have a simple brochure webpage there if you wish). You can set it and forget it. Putting a few photos up there and the occasional post makes it a bit stickier and more likely to be noticed and read.
Reach out if you need a hand with setting up your Google My Business.
Recently, I was working with my neighbours putting in the foundations for a shed they were building. The son had taken over the family property through a succession plan. It was interesting to listen to each different perspective. Each generation talked about their surroundings, challenges, achievements and plans for the future; and the differences began to surface.
The discussion shifted to a tree near the old family house. The father described it as having the most amazing flowers. He had recently purchased an empty block and built his dream house. He was now considering the trees and garden that he would plant around the new house.
The son saw the tree in a much different light having done much mowing below the tree and described the massive seed pods that the tree produced. He had plans of removing the tree with a chainsaw. The father I felt was considering planting one in his new yard. The obvious solution is that they hire a tree relocation firm, but it was possibly felt that the cost would be prohibitive.
My observation was that the older generation is prepared to live with the bad elements to benefit from the good. Whereas, the new generation held onto the short term and negative aspects in spite of the long term good. In business, we often go for the quick solution; when a bit of hard work, focus and determination will achieve a much better outcome. Be prepared to have to shift a few seed pods each year to see the benefits of a blooming great business.
Regional Online Heroes is a business competition managed by the Regional Australia Institute and Google. They look for regional businesses that make use of the internet to grow. Introducing AGDATA Australia, a small software company that grew through word of mouth for over 30 years. There is a large amount of political and media attention on the start-up community. AGDATA Australia had longevity against them and weren’t confident they would be considered.
AGDATA Australia has social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and Instagram, and has also trialled many others. The company attempts to be everywhere their customers are. AGDATA surveyed their customers which pointed to the four platforms most utilised. That is where AGDATA then put the majority of their efforts. The company has regular monthly eNewsletters to keep their customers informed.
The support team uses Teamviewer to accomplish over the shoulder client assistance. Online video tutorials are available for customers to self-help using a customer portal. AGDATA runs both paid and free webinars for their clients using ClickMeeting. They use many other online tools to achieve various functions within the business. AGDATA provides both cloud and locally installed (desktop) packages for their customers. They recognise very well that not all internet services are created equally (especially in the bush). All Phoenix training workshops, desktop and cloud solutions are purchased online using e-commerce technology. All of this is monitored and analysed using Google Analytics.
Without this technology, the company would need to employ more staff and increase prices. The team of approximately 18 work from the Toowoomba office. Some staff occasionally tele-commute to allow for flexible work opportunities.
Firstly, it gave AGDATA an opportunity to review the business and look hard at the current digital footprint. Most businesses are so busy working in the business that the review process is neglected. Many businesses don’t enter competitions such as Regional Online Heroes. They don’t think they have enough online activity. However, as AGDATA Australia found, it didn’t take long to see how big their digital footprint is.
Secondly, when AGDATA Australia was selected as a finalist, Stephen enjoyed an experience of a lifetime. He attended the Google Masterclass meeting with the Minister for Small Business. One-on-one expert tuition from one of the Google web marketing gurus was a highlight. All finalists enjoyed a tour of the Google Headquarters in Sydney.
A most positive outcome was learning how the other finalists are implementing their online solutions within their businesses and to what effect.
The Federal Minister for Small Business, The Hon Michael McCormack MP, announced AGDATA Australia as the National Winner. Apart from the enormous media coverage that the win provided, there was a valuable prize pack. The win provided the company with renewed brand recognition in what has become a very noisy #AgTech marketplace. Google produced a case study of AGDATA, along with a series of videos (below) to promote Regional Online Heroes featuring the AGDATA leadership team. AGDATA Australia is now on the radar of most state and federal government departments with the company leadership being involved in advisory surveys, case studies and promotions.
Most definitely, whether you are a small family business or a small/medium enterprise (less than 200 employees). The benefits begin the moment you start reviewing your online presence. Regional Australia Institute starts calling for nominations later in the year. You’ve got time now to conduct your review, implement changes, monitor and correct before submitting your entry for ROH 2019. Take the first step now and join the Regional Australia Institute mailing list so that you receive notification as soon as the call for nominations goes out. If you would like to discuss your entry, drop us an email or give us a call 0426 244278.
We can provide the advice and direction that you need.
Is your business utilising social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and Linked in successfully? Are you essentially using it as a form of advertising? Still locked into traditional media marketing? If you are, your social media channels are being ignored by your customers and prospective customers.
Newspaper advertising doesn’t cut it in the quick glance world of social media. If you are looking for engagement you need to talk less about your business, and more about your customers. Many businesses struggle with having the time to learn what their clients customers social discussion needs are. This is a huge challenge and takes some time to understand. Listening is a great way to start. Our first tip with social media is to join the various social media channels, connecting with your customers trying not to broadcast. Listen to the discussion taking place. Add value or knowledge to the discussion and get involved when you are comfortable.
The trust you have with your customers can very quickly become undermined by poor social media management. Don’t compromise your business by not understanding the channel or your customers utilisation of that channel. We recommend to add value by being interesting, informative (not about your products or services all the time), entertaining (be aware of ‘good taste’) and engaging. If you need help with this please don’t hesitate to give me a call.