If you’re a local business, chances are you rely heavily on foot traffic. It may seem to you like all you have to do is have a flourishing Instagram account and a nice storefront with a sandwich board out front.
It sure sounds nice but you’d be wrong to think that it’s all you need.
What you truly need is to rank well online in your local area. More specifically, you need to be showing up in Google Maps so that people who have never heard of you can find you.
Why is this so important? There are a couple of reasons.
Reason #1: You do it
Question: What do you do when you need to find a product or service?
Do you ask your parents?
Do you grab the YellowPages?
Do you get in your car and just start driving around?
You go to Google and search for what you need. In fact, you’re likely searching for that product or service within a 5-mile radius of where you’re sitting.
Reason #2: Everybody else is doing it
Trust me, your customers aren’t going to the YellowPages or asking their parents. They don’t know who you are but they need your product or service. And how do they find it?
By going online and searching that product or service “near me”.
That’s right. You do it. They do it. And “near me” searches are so popular among searchers that they have increased by 900% in the last couple of years. When you factor in that billions of people are using search engines everyday and that 92% of those searches happen on Google, ranking in your local area is more important than your Instagram and sandwich board. Capeesh?
Seriously, it’s really important
Now that we know that you’re doing it and your prospects are doing it, let’s take a closer look at how important local searches really are and how they can be a game changer for your business.
If you’re here to learn how to create your mapped listing via Google My Business, you can skip to that section here. If you know you don’t have time to create it and want to talk with us about how we can help, skip to this section.
Here’s the skinny: (In two forms. We accept all kinds of learners here.)
- 46% of all searches on Google are seeking local information
- 97% of search engine users have used a search engine to find a local business
- 72% of consumers say search is their first choice to find information on local merchants
- 86% of consumers rely on the internet to find a local business and 29% of those same consumers search for local businesses at least once a week
- 76% of people who search on their smartphones for something nearby visit a business within a day and 28% of those consumers will make a purchase within a day
- 86% of people look up the location of a business on Google Maps
- 72% of consumers who search for local businesses end up visiting stores within 5 miles
Here’s an infographic for you visual learners!
Stats, stats, stats. What do these stats tell us?
They tell us unequivocally that the computer in the palm of our hands (we’re talking about a phone here) is the #1 source for local businesses to get found and attract new customers.
Here’s a quote we like quite a bit.
If we were to apply this mindset as a small business owner to local search, it would sound something like this:
“If you want to win, you have to be everywhere.”
Now how do you get consumers to find you and start winning online? You need to have a Google My Business page and you need to promote it with local search engine optimization services.
We’ll start with the very first step, creating a Google My Business page.
Step 1: Find yourself
If you’ve been around for awhile, there is a strong chance that Google has already found you and placed you in the Google My Business directory. Now you’ve got to find yourself and stake claim to your business.
Sorry, we’ve been watching a lot of Netflix documentaries on kings and royalty around the office lately.
Head on over to Google My Business to get started.
Once there, you’ll want to click on “Manage Now”.
You may be prompted to sign in or you’ll go straight to the following page where you can input your business.
If your business appears, skip to Step 3. If it doesn’t appear, continue to Step 2.
Step 2: Add your business
Complete this step if your business isn’t found when searching in Step 1. This means you need to create your Google My Business page.
Fill out all the necessary info for your business here. Some things to keep in mind when doing so.
- This is how your business will be presented online so make sure the business name, address and phone number are all correct.
- Consistency is key. If you write out A-V-E-N-U-E here instead of just AVE, you’ll need to make sure it’s the same on your website, social profiles, well everywhere basically.
- Fill out the information the best you can and the most accurately you can. Hours of operation, categories, questions and answers and so on.
- The category is also important because Google will use this category to define what your business truly does. Type in your most important keyword and choose from there.
Submit your information and move on to Step 3.
Step 3: Claiming and verifying your business
Once you can see your business in your Google My Business dashboard, you’ll have the option to verify the business via postcard.
Why are they sending a postcard? They need to verify your actual address. No PO boxes allowed here.
This postcard will have a PIN code that you’ll be able to input into your dashboard once you receive it. It typically takes a week or two to get there.
With that PIN code, enter it and hit “Verify”.
With that, you’ve done it! Congratulations, you now have completed the most important task in getting found online in your local area.
But having a verified Google My Business page is not enough.
Promotion is key
If you truly want to get in front of local consumers, you can’t just have a website and just have a Google My Business page and think it’s going to magically happen.
That’s like expecting everyone you know to come to a Super Bowl party just because you have a house.
You have to send out the invites, you have to make it interesting, you have to be in their face a bit.
Remember the quote we fashioned earlier? “If you want to win, you have to be everywhere.”
Getting everywhere means you’re taking advantage of local search engine optimization services and Agency Jet is the Milwaukee SEO company to help you do that.
Not sure what SEO is? Check out some of these blogs:
- What Does SEO Mean and Why Is It Useful?
- How Does SEO Work?
- Defining Search Engine Optimization Services
- What is an SEO Company?
Don’t have time to read? Watch this video:
Here are also some great posts we’ve written on local SEO specifically:
- Customers From The Couch: Defining Local Search Engine Optimization Services
- What do Local Search Engine Optimization Services Look Like?
- How to Best Use Local SEO for Your Small Business
- The Local SEO SECRET no Digital Marketing business will tell you, but we will.
If you want the gist of what all of these blogs say, it’s really quite simple. Hiring an SEO company to run your online marketing is actually the most affordable and effective way to spend your marketing budget.
Here’s a stat for you.
61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority. (Source)
Knowing that, as a business owner, ask this question. “Do our marketing employees know how to do proper SEO?”
More often than not the answer is no. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a complex, multifaceted set of actions that gets your website found. In fact, there are over 200 touchpoints that Google Guidelines outline to work on successful SEO month over month.
So if you know you need it and you know your marketing team doesn’t know how to do it, you’re left with the question of how to get started.
You could hire another marketing employee who actually does specialize in SEO but that’s just one person and let’s do the math on what that one person would cost your business.
The average marketing employee requires:
- $40,000 annual salary
- Medical + Vision + Dental
- Social Security
- 401K matching
- Extensive training
- Sick days
- Their own computer
- Their own parking space
- And of course there is more
Let’s say with their salary and all other benefits they are costing you at least $60,000 a year.
$60,000 / 52 weeks / 40 hours a week = $28.85/hour.
OK, that’s not horrible but let’s do the same evaluation for Agency Jet (that’s us).
The average yearly contract with Agency Jet for a local SEO strategy includes:
- Cost: $23,155
- Team Members: 8 people
- Doesn’t require you to pay: 401K matching
- Doesn’t require you to pay: Social Security
- Doesn’t require you to pay: Medical + Vision + Dental
- Doesn’t require: Vacation
- Doesn’t require: Sick days
- Doesn’t require: A company provided computer
- Doesn’t require: A parking space
- Doesn’t require: Extensive training on marketing, only needs a little bit of training on your business goals
OK, so we know the average cost for 12 months of local SEO with Agency Jet costs $23,155 annnnnd nothing else.
Let’s check that math.
$23,155 / 52 weeks / 40 hours a week = $11.13/hour.
But wait! I forgot! You get 8 team members, not just one!
So take $11.13 / 8 and that equals a whopping $1.39/hour you’re paying for local SEO services.
Can a marketing employee guarantee results? How many times have you interviewed someone where they said, “If I don’t get better results for this company, you can fire me no questions asked.”?
A guarantee like that doesn’t happen.
At Agency Jet, it does. From day one, we say if we don’t get more Google traffic to your site and better ranking keywords focused around your products and services by the 4-month mark, FIRE US.
No questions asked.
We’ve given this guarantee to every single Agency Jet customer and do you want to know how many of them have fired us?
So it’s pretty simple. We guarantee our results, we only cost $1.39/hour on average and we show you everything we do.
That’s right! You get a custom dashboard for your local SEO campaign that not only shows you the statistics but also our actions.
Full transparency is the name of the game at Agency Jet.
Your business is located in Milwaukee and you want to get found on the map. You now know that having a Google My Business page and a website isn’t enough to get in front of your potential customers.
You need a Milwaukee SEO company with a proven track record of helping businesses get found.
We’d love to discuss how we can help you.