With the recent launch of its new Business Photos service, Google has created yet another useful tool that small business owners can use to drive sales by bolstering their geographic and demographic exposure. This deceptively simple concept is already paying dividends for the early-adopting small business owners who have taken the initiative and signed up to use it.
In this economy, your operation needs every competitive advantage that it can get. Even if your business is doing fine currently, Business Photos may enable you to unlock key areas of hidden potential. If you’re interested in positioning your storefront, or practice, out in front of the fast-changing landscape for bricks-and-mortar businesses, take a moment to learn more about this exciting new tool.
If you haven’t yet come across it, take a moment to check out Google’s mesmerizing, informative new “How Search Works” infographic. Since the success of your business’s Web presence depends heavily on its ability to play nicely with Google’s algorithms, you’ll want to review the core concepts of its search functions anyway.
You might also draw inspiration from the medium that Google uses to convey the simple concepts at the core of “How Search Works.” Unlike many of the infographics that you’ve come across in your web travels, “How Search Works” leverages “parallax scrolling” to engage and inform its viewers.
Small business owners are continually looking for ways to cut costs and maximize profits. If you’re spending a huge chunk of your marketing budget on traditional advertising such as print ads, media spots and mailers, you may want to consider blogging as a very cost-effective way of increasing business. After the costs of hosting fees and a designer to set up your blog, you’ll not only have a “free” (your time has a value) marketing method for your business, but could also generate extra money in your budget in the form of savings.
Frequent quality blogging will increase your search engine rankings so that potential customers can find you easily, and it also may be leveraged to establish you as an expert in your field. To achieve high rankings and leave readers with a great impression of your business, every blog post should include SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategies targeted toward both your human audience (those who actually BUY from you) and the search engine indexing robots.
In mid-2012, Google announced that it would merge its business-friendly Google Places directory with its consumer-friendly Google+ Local feature. Among small business and local franchise owners, this transition has engendered some confusion and plenty of apprehension. This is largely unnecessary. In fact, Google+ Local holds a great deal of promise for members of local business communities around the country.
As a company principal, you might be relieved to learn that the crucial business interface of Google Places is still in operation. For the time being, your Google Places account is still functional and fully interactive. However, you’ll notice that the directory’s name has been changed to Google Places for Business.
Unless you’ve been actively marketing your website online, and focusing on search engine optimization the past several years, you may not realize the vast number of enhancements the major search engines such as Google have made in the ways they index and rank your site and its content. As the major search engines battle it out to deliver the best search results to their users they work diligently to remain unique and rich with fresh, relevant results. Because of this ongoing maturation of the Search landscape, many small businesses (especially startups with limited budgets) have quite a challenge ahead of them to rank favorably for quality keywords.