7 Tips for Optimizing your Google Local Profile

Free Advertising: Utilizing Google Local to Maximize Search Engine Traffic

Many businesses pay SEO companies thousands of dollars to increase their company's search engine ranking and subsequently their potential client base. While I am a fairly solid believer in Search Engine Optimization, I am also a do-it-myself-er, and thus I have a complex about hiring an outside company to manipulate my website coding, tags and content to (hopefully, mind you, no guarantees) increase my rankings in search engines.

My partner and I both have been periodically working on our own website's SEO for our company, The Design Group. While doing so, we have found that one of our most successful SEO tactics we have come across utilizes a slightly different method of SEO than the norm usually takes you: Google Local.

After a little analysis and tweaking, our Google local profile has begun popping up all over searches. Check out what pops up when I type The Design Group charleston into Google below:

And what about Graphic Design companies charleston sc?

So how do you create a successful Google Local Profile? The real key with Google Local is to build a profile that encompasses all the important aspects of your business without overloading anyone with too much information and fluff and while somehow successfully getting them to call you. Below are a couple of tips for maximizing your Google Local potential:

  • 1.) Fill out as much as you can! Of course if you have a website, that is #1 (and if you don't - be sure to call me), but don't forget the small stuff, like hours, how to contact, etc. The Design Group's google local profile includes all sorts of information that people can use to get in touch with us or simply learn more about who we are and what we do.
  • 2.) Have a call to action. Call now. Set up an appointment. Tell people to do something - make them want to take action.
  • 3.) Include an address...even if it is at your home!! Some of you are probably saying 'Duh' to yourselves. Others, however, are saying 'Do we have to? What if they come to our home?" Answer: They won't. But if they do try, I think they'll get it. You are no Britney Spears, and there will be no paps at your doorstep with a giant camera when you wake up in the morning. Besides, ever heard of Google maps? Yeah, it's important. I know MapQuest was cool a long time ago, but who really uses it now? Theres nothing better than seeing a little melon colored marker pop up right on top of your office on Google Maps. Better than chocolate.
  • 4.) Use your description text wisely. Don't bore people. That's a fundamental. Briefly tell me what you do, where you are, and how I can get started working with you.
  • 5.) Order the specialties and services you offer in order of importance. If you are a custom home builder, but you have a garden that you like to work on on the side, please do not put 'Landscaping' first under services. Think. You are a custom home builder. Keep it at that and you are much better off.
  • 6.) Use your cell phone only if there are no other options. C'mon guys, I already told you about Magic Jack, now just get it together. Besides there is nothing more uncomfortable then calling a business you see online and them answering the phone at a bar/restaurant/other with a simple 'Hello...' or even throwing a 'who's this?' out there. If your cell phone is solely a business line, do it. Otherwise, keep the cell for personal use only.
  • 7.) Offer free quotes, free consultations, etc. Whatever might make a potential client less tense about the repercussions of picking up the phone and calling. But be sure not to come across as scammy by doing so. Keep the class. Keep the business sense. Lose the stinge.
  • 8.) Throw in a coupon. Believe it or not, there are a lot of budgeters in business. Sometimes a coupon serves as an excellent persuasion tool. If you do hair, throw in a free cut with highlights. If you sell books, make a buy one get one for 50% off coupon. Don't just give stuff away, now, but do offer a deal that you would give to your friend or acquaintance.
  • 9.) List your website in other business directories. It's fairly accepted knowledge that the amount of directories one is listed in is related closely to that one's rank in Google Local. List yourself on Yahoo, CitySearch, InsiderPages, HotFrog, etc. This will not only help your Google Local ranking, but it will also help your SEO campaign overall.

For an interesting look at Google's other popular free service, Google Analytics, check out this recent post.

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The Call to Action

Marketing Goals Involve Action

My favorite thing to do when pitching a website to a potential client is discuss what we refer to as the "call to action." The call to action is the method used in marketing materials to tell potential clients how to act. Example: Call Now. It is such a simple concept, but it comes in such a plethora of different forms. Check out some of my fave calls to action listed below.

Call to Action - Firefox Call to Action - Forever 21 Call to Action - Snuggie Call to Action - Best Buy Call to Action - Twitter Call to Action - Columbia House

More after the Jump!

Call Call to Action - Britney Spears Tickets

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