Yes, I know you do business in a small town and all the locals know where you are. But if you also do business with visitors and tourists, it’s up to you to make yourself easy to find.
2. Check different mobile map systems and phones.
3. Claim your business listing in Google Places.
4. Have at least a basic website.
5. Write extremely clear driving directions.
Extremely clear. Here’s our take on how to write better directions for tourists.
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The sound you hear is thunderous applause for this article. It always surprises me that every business doesn’t follow these 5 things, none are difficult and each is useful.
Lara Dickson says
If you’re biz is in a downtown-ish area (or not) I would add claiming your Foursquare, GoWalla and/or other location-based app ‘place’. You’ll pop up in the ‘nearby’ listings. Also make your website mobile. Like MissDazey says…easy!
Becky McCray says
Miss Dazey, many of the most useful things are not difficult. It’s simply a matter of finding time to do them.
Lara, Yes, you are right. We talk about those services so much, I didn’t want to hammer them too much here as well.
Marc LeVine says
Very good points, but #4 should really be #1 and some consideration should be given to SEO, search engine optimation so that local consumers can easily find you.
Remember that most people can’t look you up, because they don’t even know who you are, yet. When they search for you it is likely that they do so by using your business category and your location (Plumber AND Plainsboro New Jersey).
You want to make sure that you rank high in the results, which are usually brought up right beside a map of your area.
Since they don’t know anything about you, they’ll land at your website, where you only get one chance to make a good first impression. Be sure the site has a professional look and offers the customer rich content, which is also helpful for your SEO.
Director of Social Media
Becky McCray says
Thanks for adding your thoughts on this. We talk about the very basics of SEO in How do you get found in search results.
question: I live in the country, rural, nearest neighbor 1/2 mile. when people look for me to find me (even if I would give them my exact address) I cannot be found. I have submitted my information (and tried to update it) several times-and I am still not found or it places me 1 hour (usually north) of where my actual location is. my postal codes spans 4 counties (although only 3 of them are usually recognized, the 4th, my county, is often times not associated with my postal code). Depending on how I am searching for ‘me’ I can sometimes be found if I put in the other town that is nearby and their postal code. That is great if I am giving directions to someone, say, using a gps to get here as they can plug in the ‘false’ information and get here; but if they don’t know I yet exist there is where the problem is.
have you ever heard of this issue? any suggestions on how I can get on ‘the map’?
Becky McCray says
Julie, I recommend you create a custom map on Google. That will let you place a map pin on your exact location. And you can make it public and searchable.
that will just give me a ‘visual’ map though won’t it? so if someone were to google/mapquest/etc. my address I still do not come up. This works to put on my website (or for family visiting) so they can have directions to my house, and could print them out but they would still not be able to search and find me. Or am I misunderstanding custom maps by google? I have reported the error to teleatlas so hopefully someday this won’t be such an issue for me!
I would suggest that to anyone having problems being ‘found’ to submit their issue at teleatlas (they do gps systems, google maps, etc, etc.) so hopefully sending in the one report will fix all of the issues, instead of trying to report the issue 1000 times over and over. I still haven’t been ‘found’ but it is worth a shot for others to try so I thought I would pass it on. I know teleatlas doesn’t update often either so I suppose I just need to be patient.
Thanks for all the great tips Becky and crew!