Local Search vs. Google Ads
I often tell the story of when I began working in the online marketing space and one of my friends was helping his childhood pal get his overhead garage door business up and running. He employed a handful of local search engine marketing best practices which quickly elevated his website to the top of the search engine results. This began to bring in a steady stream of work. So much work that my friend ended up having to help out his buddy on the weekends.
Meeting the competition
One weekend they were picking up supplies at the big overhead garage supply warehouse wearing t-shirts they had just created and ordered off of Zazzle.com for $14.99 each. They were approached by the biggest garage door repair and installation company in the area, let’s call them Acme Garage, who shook their hands and asked them in amazement how much they were spending on their online advertising. The two friends looked at each other, shrugged and mumbled without actually naming a dollar amount. The Acme Garage guys said they had been furiously spending money and trying to catch up to this new kid on the block. When they were spending $1,000 per day and still hadn’t surpassed them they finally gave up and admitted being defeated by the little guy.
Brand new business reaches the top of Google for $0
My friend did not share what their ad budget was because the real number was $0. They spent not one penny on Google ads yet they had soared to the top of Google search. How had they achieved this feat? The secret was by focusing on local search.
What is Local Search?
Local search just means that you are narrowing your efforts to your city, region or even neighborhood and not really worrying about ranking nationally. How do you do it? One way is by getting yourself listed on Google My Business.
Google My Business in 2 Steps
Give your practice higher visibility with the people who will actually be your clients, the people who live where you live. Here are the steps:
- Create an account and claim your business
- Verify this is your business
Step 1. Create an account
- Log into the Google Account you want associated with your business (or create a Google Account if you don’t already have one).
- Go to google.com/business and select “Start now” in the top right-hand corner.
- Enter your business name.
- Enter your business address.
- Choose your business category. There are many options but Psychiatrist, Psychologist or Psychotherapist may fit your needs
- Add your business phone number and website.
- Choose a verification option. If you’re not ready to verify your business yet, click “Try a different method” → “Later.”
Step 2. Verify this is your business
Here are several ways to verify your GMB listing:
- The postcard should reach you in five days. Select the location you want to verify and select “Verify now.”
- In the Code field, enter the five-digit verification code on your postcard. Click “Submit.”
- If you’re eligible, you’ll see the “Verify by phone” option when you start the verification process.
- Make sure your phone number is correct, then choose “Verify by phone.”
- Enter the verification code from the text you receive.
- If you’re eligible, you’ll see the “Verify by email” option when you start the verification process.
- Choose the business you want to verify.
- Make sure your email address is correct, then choose “Verify by email.”
- Go to your inbox and click the verification button in the email.
You’re listed on GMB now what?
Now that you’re listed the next thing you are going to want to do is optimize your new page. Moz has one of the best tutorials on doing that here: How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
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