A whopping 87 per cent of all Australians access the internet every day. The vast majority of these people use Google as their designated search engine; over 90 per cent of ‘net-surfing Aussies, in fact.
Not only does Google help answer our every query, but it can also be used by small businesses to build trust and rapport with consumers. Here’s how you can utilise Google for to increase the credibility of your business.
Claim and verify your business
If you’ve ever Googled-searched a business, you might recall seeing a box on the right-hand side of the results containing all the key information and contact details you need.
This information box adds a weight of validity to any business, as well as providing potential customers with a quick snapshot of what you’re all about. However, it only shows up for Google-verified business.
Thankfully, it’s not difficult to verify your business at all. Firstly, create or claim a Google MyBusiness listing – this will help you build visibility in Google Maps and search results. Follow this comprehensive step-by-step guide from Google to do so. Ensure all your information is accurate and up to date.
Once you’re set up with MyBusiness account, you can begin the verification process. You will need a physical business location to verify – if you work from home, register your business as a service-area business.
Most local businesses request a postcard that contains a verification code, however some are eligible to verify over the phone or by email. After you receive your code and follow the directions of entering it, your information will proudly show up when your business is Googled!
Use inbound and outbound links
Inbound and outbound links are a great way to prove your trustworthiness. Put simply, inbound links are those on an external site that lead to yours, while outbound links start from your site and lead to another.
Google gives a lot more credence and search visibility to websites that receive a lot of strong inbound links. But how do you gain them?
One of the best ways and easiest methods is to join your local Business Chamber, who will link to you in their online directory. Websites that are Government or Education-run also carry a lot of weight with Google.
Outbound links help give Google a clear understanding of your website’s niche and improves your standing in SEO rankings by showing you as a related page in the search results of the websites you link to. As well, linking to other sites is a great way network with other businesses or bloggers.
Update your content frequently
As we wrote in a blog last month, updating your content frequently will help you become more prominent in search results.
To boot, fresh content helps engage audiences and paints you as an expert in your field. Posting regular content is a brilliant way to secure those valuable inbound links we just touched on: the more insightful your content, the more likely other sites will link to it as an example in their posts.
Also, a well-written ‘About Us’ page is very important. Consumers want to get a feel for your business and the people behind it; they want to know they can trust and rely on you. The only way they can arrive at this trust is through information – so give them everything they need to know here.
Finding the time to write regular content can be difficult while running a business; we understand.
Fortunately, you can enlist a professional to assist you. For many years here at Infodec Communications, we’ve helped a myriad of businesses take their content to the next level and gain a wider audience. Contact us today and we can start creating engaging content that will garner actual results for your business.
Encourage Google reviews on your business
Humans are instantly drawn to places, products or services that other people enjoy. It’s in our nature.
Google reviews give a perfect snapshot of what people think about your business and can be a big source of validity if the ratings are good.
Encourage customers, family and friends to leave a review on your Google MyBusiness listing (which will appear in that box on the right-hand side of the search results if you’ve verified your business correctly).
Of course, bad reviews can be crippling and trolling can impact your star rating, but it is still worth giving reviews a try.
Make sure your business is HTTPS
All websites links either start with HTTP or HTTPS. As businesses, we want HTTPS for our website.
HTTPS, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, is an internet communication protocol that protects the integrity and confidentiality of data between the user’s computer and the site. Needless to say, this is a massive factor in building trust with your page visitors.
From July, all websites that aren’t with HTTPS will be flagged and shown as ‘Not Secure’. Obviously, this is the last thing you’d want a prospective customer to see, so get around to transitioning to HTTPS now if you haven’t already.
To do this, you’ll need to buy, install and activate a HTTPS certificate. Here’s a walkthrough guide to help you in the process. Trust us: it’s a necessary investment.