An online business profile makes it easier for local customers to find and contact you. Online business profiles usually include basic contact information such as your business name, phone number, hours of operation, street address and website address.
How Can an Online Business Profile Help My Business?
Online business profiles are included near the top of search result pages. Popular search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo! provide business profiles along with maps and directions to display business locations. Google My Business offers local brick and mortar stores the opportunity to target local consumers who may be searching for their storefront via mobile devices.
Search engines want to provide the best, most accurate and up-to-date information to those searching for information. To do so, search engines gather relevant information across the internet to provide accurate search results.
When posting business information on your website, social media pages, or in search engine directories or online business directories and business review websites, make sure to use the same information on each platform. For example, if you use different business phone numbers on your website and social media pages, your business information may be deemed incorrect or out-dated by search engines. This means your profile may not be included in the search results.
How to Reach Local Customers
Rather than using a phone book to look up local businesses, more and more people conduct simple online searches these days to find what they’re looking for. By providing basic business contact information online, you can help customers find your business quickly and save customers the time and trouble of searching individual websites to find suitable matches.
Imagine that your business was the only one of its kind in your area. Now consider a customer in your area decides to conducts a search for the goods and services you provide but only finds similar businesses located hours away. This customer realizes they have no choice but to contact one of these businesses. Not only is this inconvenient for the customer, but if your business had been listed in the search results that customer would probably have contacted you instead.
Customers performing local searches are typically in need of goods and services immediately and usually contact a business within one day of performing a search. This type of customer action can lead to an increase in actual appointments, sales or contracts for your business rather than a flood of inquiries or the promise of future sales you may receive from direct mail, email marketing, social media and print campaigns.
Attract Customers Already in Need
Promoting your business to those who already have a need for your goods and services is much easier than trying to convince customers they have a need for your services. Small business owners must attract both types of customers – those with an immediate need and those who may not know they have a need – to build a successful business. Online business profiles help attract customers already in need.
Even if you face competition from other small businesses in your area, having an online business profile can still help you build a lucrative customer base. For some customers, the difference between your business and the competition may simply be location or hours of operation. Other customers look closely at consumer reviews of each business before making a purchasing decision. These business reviews can substantially impact traffic and sales for local establishments looking to build a brand and attract customers. With this kind of unpredictability, it’s best to be as visible as possible to all people searching for internet for your goods and services.