How Google My Business will change your small business

How Google My Business will change your small business

Google is one-upping other social media platforms with their new and improved Google My Business (GMB). This platform allows small business owners to publish content so that when a user Google searches your business name- your content appears. This means when a customer Google searches your business name, you can control the content that appears in the search results and the map results. This is an easy tool to make any small business stand out from competitors.

Why you should start using GMB now?

1. It’s free
2. Helps customer’s find your physical location
3. Displays useful information
4. Better search visibility
5. Track website traffic & audience
6. Gain customer insight

What content can you push in front of your customers with GMB?

Small business owners can publish events, photos, services and products so that’s the first impression your customers have of your business. By simply creating a post on GMB you are connecting with your customer’s in an up-to-date manner.

Posting on Google My Business in 4 easy steps:

1. Sign in to Google My Business.
2. Click “Create Post”
3. On the “Create Post” screen you’ll be able to add photos, texts, and events easily.
4. Once you’ve created your post, you can preview it and publish it.

It only takes a few minutes for your post to appear in Google searches and Google Maps.

How to have GMB work best for you:

1. Post on your GMB weekly, continually pushing out content for your customer’s to see.
2. View you GMB admin page often to see what your customer’s needs are
3. Chat with your customers

Talk to your customers with Google My Business.

GMB allows customers to chat with your business after finding your business listing in the Google search results. By allowing customers to have this type of communication with your business you are building a reputation and relationship with your customer’s never before possible.

Be responsive.

Customers will be able to see your average response time when they GMB message you. Stand out from your competitors by having a quick response time- letting your customer’s know you value their business. Allowing this extra channel of communication gives your small business the opportunity to have relationships with your customers you didn’t before.

Allow this easy tool to work for you. Not interested in having to maintain another marketing platform? Let us do it for you! We specialize in helping small businesses reach their local markets. Let us help set up and optimize your Google My Business profile so that you’ll stand out to your customers.

If you need help with your google my business page or have questions on how to improve your SEO, contact Another Brad Idea today at 509-851-8447.

Want More Business Tips?

Check out this article from our friends at Lend Genius – 5 Mistakes Small Business Owners Should Avoid.

Why Video Testimonials Are So Powerful

Why Video Testimonials Are So Powerful


Video Testimonials

Everyone’s seen a testimonial on a website. Often, they appear in text form as a quote from a customer who uses a product or service, and recommends it to others. Written testimonials carry weight, to be sure, but a video testimonial can have a significant impact on viewers. But what makes a video testimonial so powerful?

The short answer is that video appeals to the human brain in a way that written words cannot. Humans have evolved over time, but we retain some of the instinctual abilities of our most primitive ancestors. One of those abilities literally requires us detect and analyze something that’s in motion. It’s a skill our ancestors used both to protect themselves from other predators, and to find something tasty to eat!

Videos are Irresistable

Motion speaks directly to the most primitive part of the human brain, and it is irresistible. People cannot help but stop and watch something that’s in motion. It doesn’t matter that the subject of our attention is neither threatening or edible. If it moves, we watch it. Add aesthetically pleasing visuals, color and sound, and we’re helplessly hooked.

Capture Your Audience’s Attention with Video

Once video has captured our attention, we can tune in and analyze what we’re seeing and hearing. If we’re watching a video testimonial, we’re seeing and hearing someone who has already made the exact decision we’re contemplating, and they’ve had a good result. In most cases, actors don’t deliver testimonials. Instead, a “real” person relates the genuine results of their actual experience with a product or service. Video testimonials have the undeniable benefit of authenticity, which is what viewers are looking for.

A video testimonial gives us the ability to relate to the content immediately. These testimonials tell us what we want to know: “What happened? How did it turn out?!” When we know that others who were once in our position had a positive experience when they made the decision we’re now considering, it makes saying “Yes” that much easier. The video testimonial gives us credible evidence to suggest that we can safely make a decision and get the results we’re looking for.

There’s also the issue of authority. A video testimonial creates a sense of the authority of the person who is speaking. The person is so confident that their decision to buy a product or service made a positive impact on them that they’ll share their experience freely. They can speak about their experience in a way that helps the viewer envision his or her own potential results.

Video Marketing is Powerful

When you consider all of these elements, it’s easy to see why having a video testimonial on your website can have a major impact. Video excels at initially capturing a person’s attention. A powerful message about your product or service from someone with relevant experience can help a decision-maker reach a conclusion.

The amazing thing about video testimonials is that they can deliver in a very short period of time. Many testimonials accomplish their goals in 1-2 minutes. Viewers will watch a short testimonial in its entirety without feeling as though they’re spending time unproductively. In addition, video production is highly cost-effective, and digital editing platforms can add professional quality transitions and text easily. High quality video production reflects well on your business, and makes it easier for prospective customers to choose your products or services over other options.

For more information about video testimonials and how they can benefit your business, please contact us at Another Brad Idea at 509-851-8447.

Your Website Is Not Dead!

Your Website Is Not Dead!

Death is the natural conclusion to life. Sometimes it’s expected. Other times it comes as a complete shock. Recently, one of my clients reported matter-of-factly to me that he had heard on good authority that websites were dead. To borrow a phrase from Mark Twain, “the report of the World Wide Web’s death is an exaggeration.” A big one.

Don’t turn off your web server!

The World Wide Web – and by extension, your website – isn’t dead. Not even close. In fact, your web server is likely to be a key player in your marketing strategy for the foreseeable future. Here’s why.

Your customers want to meet you on the Web.

The Web has dealt a serious hit to the notion of “business hours.” Customers want to connect with you, but thanks to the Internet, that connection may never involve a personal visit to a physical place. Your business needs to be able to connect with customers when they’re ready to connect with you, even at 3:00 AM. Your website can be a brilliant stand-in for your business, provided that it’s designed well and delivers what your customers want.

Your website extends your market.

Before the Internet, customers couldn’t always find a local retailer that sold what they were looking for. Customers had to do a lot of settling. At the same time, retailers couldn’t carry niche products because their local customer base never demonstrated enough demand for that one weird little thing. You may never increase local demand for a product or service, but with the Internet, you can aggregate demand and serve customers wherever they are.

Location, location, location.

Your website doesn’t just serve far-flung customers, or people who are trolling the Internet at 3:00 AM. Your local customers – the ones you see every day – visit your website a lot. They want to do product research, compare prices, and check your inventory. They want to know that you have what they’re looking for on the shelf before they leave the house. They want to know how much something costs, and how long it will take to get it. Adding functions like online ordering with in-store pickup, inventory checks and reservations can really increase your web traffic, your foot traffic and your conversion rates.

Your website serves multiple functions.

Customers want to interact with your business, and your website allows them to do that. Today’s consumer often takes a hybrid approach to just about everything. The Web serves as a library, a shopping mall, a telephone directory, a communications tool, a wayfinding aid, an entertainment venue, a content provider and more. The Web hasn’t eliminated demand for these services; if anything, it’s increased access to them. Consumers depend more upon the Web for these services than ever before and that won’t change soon.

If you’d like more information about how you can use your website to meet your customers needs, please contact us at (509) 851-8447 or fill out a contact request form. We’ll be happy to show you how to use your website to connect with your target markets.

Directory Listings and Why They’re So Important!

Directory Listings and Why They’re So Important!


Increase Your Business Visibility with Directory Listings

If you’re attempting to increase the visibility of your business, you may be tempted to you’re your business in as many directories as possible. After all, the more directories you’re in, the more likely you will be found, right? Not so fast! What are directory listings, and what’s a good strategy for using them to promote your business?

Directories are collections of business listings, and they function much like the printed paper phone books did, and still do. In 1967, the gold standard for business advertising was a Yellow Pages listing. Businesses received a very simple Yellow Pages listing as part of their telephone service. For a fee, a business could upgrade its Yellow Pages listing to look like an advertisement. These upgraded entries included more information, colored inks, and made a business stand out. Businesses were grouped in the directory by type, and listed in alphabetical order. The bigger your Yellow Pages ad was, the more attention it would draw.

Online business directories perform a similar function, except that they’re dynamic. In addition to including a telephone number and physical address, directory listings can also include reviews, photos, special offers and other information. In a “good” directory, a good listing can help search engines promote your business. An unattended listing can produce random results, and a bad listing can be a disaster. On the flip side, nothing good comes out of a “bad” directory, so your best bet is to avoid them altogether.

But what makes a directory “good” or “bad?”?

How can you take advantage of the “good” directories and avoid the “bad” ones?

Good directories have established themselves over time. They’re trustworthy and highly credible. The information in them is verifiable, believable, complete and accurate. As a searcher, you can count on what you find in a good online directory. Bad directories are the opposite of all of that. They’re not recognizable. They came out of nowhere. The information came from multiple other sources without verification. They might even look a little abandoned.

Good directories offer ways for businesses to claim their listings, and verify the information in them. Complete directory information is more than a phone number. A complete listing also includes the physical address of the business, a working website link, an email address or other online contact, business hours, recent customer reviews, maps, photos and more. Good directories verify the information they offer, and they have a defined and rigid process to validate information about a business. Examples of “good” directories include:

  • Google My Business
  • Yelp
  • Bing Places
  • Yellow Pages

A good directory strategy is to start with a few recognized, “good” directories. Manage your listings carefully in the good directories and you’ll see tangible benefits. The biggest directories will deliver the best results, so even if you never venture into smaller directories, you’ll still maximize the benefits of directory listings for your business.

If you’d like more information about directory listings, or you’d like us to help you create visible business profiles in the top directories, please contact us at (509) 851-8447 or fill out a contact request form, and we’ll be happy to help you get started on managing your business directory listings.

Why should you claim your businesses online directory listings?

Why should you claim your businesses online directory listings?


Claiming your search engine business listings is easy!

If you own or manage a business, one of the simplest and most important things you can do is verify the information in your search engine business listings. The top primary business listing services are Google, Apple and Bing. Ensuring that your location and contact information is correct on these three sites can have a major positive impact on your business.

Google is the most used search engine

Since Google is the most-used search engine, starting with your Google business listing makes sense. Google allows you to include much more than your street address, phone numbers and a map to your location. You can also include pictures, reviews and important information about your business, products and services.

Verifying your Google listing is easy and secure.

To claim your business listing, simply tell Google that your business belongs to you. Claiming your business listing is the first step in the verification process. Once you’ve claimed your listing, Google will verify that your claim on the listing is legitimate by calling or sending you a letter through the mail. Once Google has verified your ownership of your business, you can modify the details of your listing, update information and add information that makes your business stand out.

Another benefit of verifying your Google listing is the ability to respond to online reviews. Maintaining good, responsive online reviews for your business is important because customers and potential customers pay attention to them. Good reviews promote your business, but the way you respond to less enthusiastic reviews gives others a very good idea of how your business manages challenging situations.

What is Maps Connect?

Maps Connect is Apple’s business listing service. Maps Connect accepts listing information from businesses with a physical, customer-facing location. Maps Connect performs verification using the business telephone and a PIN. Apple also reviews verification information manually before a business listing is complete.

You can also use Maps Connect to extend features to certain types of businesses, like restaurants and ride-sharing services. These extensions may allow customers to make reservations via the business’ mobile app. Depending on the size of your business and the number of annual visitors your site entertains, your business may also be able to take advantage of built-in special offer features for customers who are in the area. Businesses that have social media presences on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Yelp, as well as their own website to their Apple Maps Connect profile.

Bing Places is 3rd most important directory listing

The last major listing to set up for your business is a Bing Place Listing. Bing offers a free business listing that’s designed to help customers find your business and up-to-date information about hours, contacts and services. Like the other two services, the listing process starts with you claiming your location. Once you’ve claimed your business listing, you can update your business profile. Your profile will include the business address and phone number, as well as photos, hours, products or services and other helpful information. Like the other services, Bing will verify this information to ensure that your listing is secure.

If you cannot be found in Google, you might have a big problem on your hands

Setting up search engine business listings isn’t tough, but it can be time-consuming and frustrating, if you’ve never done it before. The website professionals at Another Brad Idea can assist you by setting up your business listings and helping you through the verification process. Once your listings are active and validated, we can help you keep your listings up-to-date or show you how to manage them.

Please contact us at (509) 851-8447 or fill out a contact request form, and we’ll be happy to help you create search engine business listings that help your customers find you fast!