Author Archive: Sherry Lane

How to Make Google Maps Work Better For Your Business

The easy part is adding your name and business brand to someone else’s listing. The hard part comes when you try to rank high enough to matter in Google searches. Here are five tips to help you achieve this goal.

1) Talk to your customers. Collect their reviews. You need to focus on the reviews that are either 4 or 5-star reviews. Any review less than a 4-star is not going to help you out. The more reviews you get from your customers, the higher your rankings will be. You do not have a limit. Get as many as you can.

2) Photos tell you a great deal about a place. Are you putting up photos of your business online? You need to start doing this. Add 2-3 images. You need to upload a real photo of your business. Google is going to reject any image that is fake. You may need to wait a few hours for the image to load. Do you have a logo you can use as part of the image? Copy and paste it into your browser and upload.

3) Is your business verified? You will need to do this. Click on the claim button and submit. Clicking on it will verify through the search engines that you are real. You can add some personal touches afterward. You may need to do some additional verifications over the phone or by phone. The more you verify your business online, the more your customers will trust you.

4) Do you have some keywords? You can add them to your name or title. You optimize your standing in Google maps by using keywords in the name and title.

A Quick Example 1

Steven owns a candle shop. Steven uses the words “candle shop” in the title. Steven uses these two words for more optimization. Steven’s business goes from being non-existent to becoming a major player in his local business district.

5) How many of you have access to a computer? How many of you currently have a site for your business online?

A Quick Example 2

Steven has his site up and running right now. Michael has a business similar to what Steven has. The only difference is that Steven has an active website and Michael does not. Steven will outrank Michael in the competition. We can learn a great deal from Michael and Steven. You want to be more like Steven and less like Michael. Any business that has an active website will automatically blow the competition out of the water and do well with Google maps.

City Council Moves to Decriminalize Marijuana, will future legalization offer opportunities for Atlanta entrepreneurs?

As many people already know by now, Marijuana legalization is spreading throughout the country. States like California and Colorado have already made the decision to fully legalize Marijuana and treat it like alcohol. More recently – Atlanta, Georgia has made the decision to decriminalize Marijuana with a 15-0 vote. This means that anyone caught with an ounce or less of pot can receive a maximum fine of $75. It is very important, however, to understand that decriminalization is different from legalization. States that have legalized marijuana for recreation or medical purposes will open dispensaries that sell the pot, and the act of doing so will be government regulated.

States or cities that choose to decriminalize Marijuana will not open dispensaries and will not regulate the sale of pot. Decriminalization only essentially means that the punishment for possession will be less harsh. Dealers, however, are not off the hook, as one caught selling pot will still face criminal charges and possibly earn themselves a felony.

The market of Marijuana has the potential to reach $20 Billion in the next few years. Whats so special about this little plant? The big thing with pot is that it can tremendously help those with certain medical conditions. People suffering from diseases such as Cancer and Parkinson’s have shown great results and improvements from using Marijuana. The components within it are believed to do a lot of amazing things for some people. Another reason that pot is on the rise of legalization is because it has been found to be – well, relatively harmless. Scientists have noted that the smoke from Marijuana does not lead to cancer formation in the lungs like Tobacco smoke does. The drug has a history of creating a calm, relaxed feeling within its users. Unlike alcohol, users are not likely to act violently or with erratic behavior. Additionally, it has been noted that there are no documented deaths due to the consumption of Marijuana alone- none.

All in all, the decriminalization and eventually legalization would probably be beneficial to the city of Atlanta. Not only will users in the area not have to worry about trouble with the law, but also there will be a number new jobs created. Colorado alone generated over $1 billion in legal Marijuana sales in 2016. People are willing to pay for this wonder plant, and states should take advantage of that.

Why Is Social Media So Important for Your Local Business?

There are several reasons why social media is so important for a local business. The first reason is that it can establish brand recognition. This is because it is going to drive more customers to come to the business. The social media is going to help to give you a voice to the brand. Therefore, you will have the opportunity to establish a brand for your business when you keep a meaningful relationship with all of your consumers.

The second reason is that you are going to be able to get more valuable custom insights when you connect with your audience. This is because you are going to be able to understand your targeted audience better so you will have a better relationship with them. Therefore, the social media will allow the business to gain the insights that are going to be valuable to the behavior and interests of the customer. You will be able to understand the needs and demands of the customer.

The third reason is the enriched customer service. In other words, the customer service of the company is going to be a lot more enhanced. Since the social media has so many communication channels, it can provide a way for the customers to give their feedback immediately. Therefore, the company will be able to address any of the issues and complaints of the customers. Most of the time, the company is going to publicly apologize to the customer and resolve all of the issues immediately. This is because you are going to be interacting with the customers in real time, which allows you to build confidence and trust in your brand.

The fourth reason is that it can increase the chances to drive the targeted traffic. The goal of your company should be to get more people to view your website so that you can get those people to buy products from your company, so this is where the social media is going to come into play. You will need to engage with your followers and make sure to have interesting posts to drive more traffic to your website.

The fifth reason is that your company is going to have access to a more local and global audience. This is because you are going to have followers from all over the world. Plus you have the ability to search for new customers while connecting with old customers.

Top 5 Tactics To Market Your Local Business

If you want your local business to grow quickly, you should become familiar with the wide range of opportunities available online. Because the Internet is great for launching effective marketing campaigns without shelling out large sums of money, you should utilize this competitive edge to your benefit.

With that being said, here are the top 5 tactics to market your local business.

1. Create Your Google My Business Listing

When you develop your online marketing plan, you cannot miss some of the privileges that Google is offering. One, in particular, is creating your own business listing since it will direct clients and customers to your place. This strategy is a great one for the traffic that you will get comes from search terms like ‘closest restaurant near me’. Without this listing, Google cannot find you and the business will go to whoever does have a listing set-up. Therefore, you need to create your business listing as soon as you can by providing the following info, name of the business, address, telephone number, days of operations and the like.

2. Optimize Your Compan’s Website with an SEO strategy

Deploying a website is also beneficial to those customers who need to find you too. However, not just any site can take advantage of the traffic that a business will get. To make sure that your site can easily be seen, your site needs to be SEO optimized correctly from the start. Google has a lot of information online that you how.

3. Build Your Reviews on Google Listing

After you have added your business to Google Listing, there are some additional recommendations that you follow. One of which is to build your reviews. These reviews are great for driving traffic to the site. This is especially true in cases where you receive a lot of positive reviews from your customers. The positive reviews will not only build customer confidence and reliability but also give the search engines what it needs to place your site as priority ranking for the top.

4. List Your Company on other Directories

It is also important to note that Google Listing is not the only directory that you should be concerned with. In fact, there is a long list of other directories that you should consider as well. Some of the more commonly known are provided below.

  • Yellow Pages
  • Industry-specific online directories
  • Yelp
  • LinkedIn
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Angie’s List
  • Local.com

5. Generate Useful Content

Another way to keep people coming to your site is to provide useful and engaging content. Engaging content will not only keep customers coming back again but also provide Google with a reason to feature your site regularly as new information is posted.