In the past, marketing for Alpine carpet cleaners has been limited to yellow pages and coupon packs. It can be an expensive proposition to gain substantial exposure through either of these marketing mediums. This has recently been complicated by the fact the yellow pages are rapidly becoming extinct.
Local business searches are rapidly transitioning to the Internet. According to a SMX study, 77% of all local business searches are done online. This statistic is only going to increase over the next couple of years, and this means that it is essential that Alpine carpet cleaners adapt to these market changes. So the question is; how do you adapt, and what is the online comparable to the yellow pages? It’s called Google Places.
If you have ever done a Google search for any type of local business, you will find a list populates that is Geo targeted to your location. For example, if a potential customer in Alpine, Utah were to type in the keyword “carpet cleaners”, it will automatically detect location, and list the closest service providers. If they were to type in “Alpine Carpet Cleaners”, It would automatically bring up a list of carpet cleaners in Alpine, Utah. Now one might say; “What’s the big deal, aren’t these just normal Internet listings?”. At first they may appear that way, but in reality, they are very different. Google Places listings appear above normal listings, so all the ranking magic that SEO companies try to sell, has become obsolete in local searches.
Google Places listings are also tied to a customizable business web page that Google has set-up for virtually every existing off line business. If you are an Alpine carpet cleaner and have not claimed your page, it is likely there waiting for you. It is very easy to complete, and if used properly, it can be like having a full yellow pages ad, without the thousands of dollars typically attached to that old school marketing medium.
So the next question is; how does an Alpine carpet cleaner get the equivalent full yellow page ad on Google Places? The answer to that evolves four essential marketing components including:
- Page Placement- According to an I cross Study, 95% of all online searches never go beyond page one. So if your Google Places listing is beyond that, you have virtually no chance of getting that business. Ideally, you want your listing to be as high up as possible on page one of the search.
- Reviews- A very important component to a Google Places page is the opportunity for your customers to review your service. This is critical for ranking purposes as well as the reputation of your business. Reviews can make or break your business in a big way. According to a Jupiter Research study, 78% of online shoppers use reviews in selecting a business. For this reason, a business must be aware of, and very proactive in assuring those reviews are positive. In addition, the quantity and quality of the reviews is a big factor in driving your listing to the top.
- Effective Places Page- Places pages give a business the opportunity to promote their services through pictures, videos, coupons, maps, and a link to website. A complete and effective places page is important in ranking, but also in selling your services.
- Optimization Strategy- While traditional search engine optimization is obsolete with Google Places. This new system has its own rules for ranking that a professional can help you with.
For the businesses that manage to meet and capitalize on these criteria, the results can be nothing short of phenomenal. Imagine your business listing on top of page one, with dozens of 5 star reviews. Take that one step further by imagining all surrounding Alpine carpet cleaners having minimal, and even negative reviews. The result being, your business leaps off the page. Back to the full yellow page ad; the potential of this dwarfs it, and best of all, it’s free.
So how does a carpet cleaner go about achieving these results? There is some good information and books on it, but Google is constantly changing their rules, so a book or Internet information can be obsolete very quickly. For best results there are marketing firms that specialize in Google Places. These firms keep up with the latest changes and strategies, and some can get you to the top of page one with dozens of great reviews fairly quickly. If you are serious about capitalizing on the massive movement to local online marketing, it will be the best marketing investment you ever make.
Hundreds or even thousands of people are searching for Alpine carpet cleaners every month. Can you imagine all the business you would derive from virtually making your competitions listings invisible to every one of those searches? That’s the power of a well-managed Google Places Listing. Seize the opportunity, and you will dominate the Alpine carpet cleaning market.