Why is the map so important?
Not every industry can benefit from the map, but if you look up some, such as “SEO Kingston”, or “Doctor Kingston”, you will see that Google automatically populates a map. It’s called Google Places and as a business, it’s one of the first places you should populate with information. All you have to do is set up your free Google my Business account.
The map has become a great tool for people. The list is perfect so people can choose the best location based on Google’s recommendations. Many people don’t realize that it isn’t the same thing as Google’s search list. You may not rank well on one, while you come first on the other.
But how can a business take advantage of the map? How can you increase your position?
1. Business information
- Your Business Information has to be on your Google business page and across the internet. Once Google can confirm your information is accurate, it will determine that you are a real company and that you’re local. Make sure you add your company information to as many listings as possible.
This section is really broken down into a few smaller points. Make sure your name, phone number, and address are correct and consistent and local. You will also want to make sure your category is correct. You don’t want to compete with Walmart if you aren’t in the same industry.
2. Google Business Page Photos
- Adding photos to your business page will help prove to Google that you’re real as well. Not only that, but people looking at your business page will be able to see what your facility is like. If you are show-worthy then people will be more inclined to show up.
3. Google Map
- Embedding a Google Map on your website may seem like a you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours situation, but it isn’t. It’s more that Google can verify your location if you have their map on your page proving it.
4. Google Reviews
- Google believes in the power of social proof. It’s why they have Google+ and why they have a review system. In fact, having more reviews will overweight everything. It’s arguably one of the most important things you go do to make sure people not only see your flag on the map first, but explore yours if you aren’t first. People will tend to gloss over a business that has fewer or no reviews. Making sure your reviews are populated with write-ups is very important too. According to Search Engine Land, 88% of consumers see reviews as powerful as personal recommendations.
Aside from item three, you don’t have to be a web developer to accomplish these items. You want to make a habit of getting them right however so you can ensure people are choosing you over your competition.
Get into the habit of searching for your company to see where you show up. Add your contact info to every new directory that you find, but make sure it’s consistent.
When it comes to reviews, it can never hurt to ask. I’m sure you’re already doing a super fantastic job for them so everyone will want to shout your praises. Saying it, and writing it down or having the time to think about it are two different things however. The best thing you can do is send them an email asking for a review. Be honest with them, you need the reviews to spread the word.
5 Important Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Build An App
A client forwarded an email to me recently with the subject, “Why don’t I have one yet?”
Have what? I asked. It didn’t take long to realize; an App.
They were excited about the prospect. In fact, the email went so far as to mock up an image of the specialize app. Who wouldn’t be excited? You must have heard it from every marketing agency. Build an app. It will make you rich by letting you take payments, give you fame by connecting with your audience, and help you grow client awareness by engaging with them more often. But will it? Is it worth creating an app for your business? We would argue no, not yet at least.
5 reasons why you shouldn’t build an app.
1. Integration Of Social And Other Apps
The sayings, don’t fix what isn’t broken and there’s nothing new under the sun have more meaning when you’re creating an app. If someone is pressuring you to create an app just so you can integrate your social media feeds into it, then they’re trying to steal your money. There are services such as Hootsuite that do a great job of that integration. You audience doesn’t need to use your app to follow you on twitter or Facebook; there are apps for that already.
Not only that, but apps such as WaveApp let you accept credit cards and Asana help you direct your people to the next task. There’s no end to the apps that you can download to your Android or Iphone device.
2. Cost Of Upkeep
It seems every time you plug in your phone half a dozen apps have to update. Sometimes they are updating for something simple such as a glitch that shuts down if you have another app installed. Sometimes it’s far more complicated to do with security.
Whether you have someone in house or you’re paying someone to do the work, keeping ahead of glitches or those who would take advantage of those glitches can become expensive. When it comes to security, a small update in the operating platform, Android or Apple can be catastrophic. Imagine a banking app that goes down for an hour, or a day. A small business can ill afford to lose that kind of time. Then again, imagine if your security is breached and you lose all the payments that should be going your way.
3. You Don’t Have Repeat Customers
Every industry moves in cycles. Some are shorter, such as grocery stores while others are longer such as roofers. If your business isn’t predicated on recurring business then engaging them every day with your app isn’t going to be worth it, even if it is a branding exercise.
Car sales, realtors, and even dentists are hard pressed to keep an audience returning to an app on a daily basis if they only sell something to them once a year or worse, once in a lifetime. That means your cost of acquisition is infinite and the only benefit you might gain is the possibility of a referral.
4. Your Audience Doesn’t Use Mobile
Knowing the demographics of your audience is important to every business. It is one of the first things you should be doing when you set out your marketing plan. Unfortunately for some businesses, their primary customers are older. That means they don’t have their noses stuck in their cell phones all day waiting for the next update to pass by their twitter feeds.
You will be hard pressed to convince your audience they need to download your app if they don’t have a phone to download it to.
5. You Have To Continue To Reinvent Yourself
According to Android Authority,77 percent of users don’t use an app after three days.
To keep your audience engaged, you need to continue to reinvent yourself and your app. The question you have to ask is whether you have enough time to create content for all of your social media feeds and your blog (which you should be doing) as well as the upkeep on your app. Just because your competition has an app isn’t a good enough reason to have your own. If you want to engage your audience or draw more leads use Facebook social and Facebook ads. The upkeep on an app can run your in the thousands per year and that’s assuming you have a team who can debug any issues before your money or data is stolen.
If you genuinely have an app that will add value to your clients then explore it, but if it’s a regurgitation of what’s already in the marketplace, use someone else’s for free or a nominal monthly amount.