We often work with retailers who feel that their location is holding them back. High street and prime location rents mean that smaller businesses are frequently located down quieter side streets or tucked discreetly out of sight. This reduction in footfall unfortunately means that some of your potential customers will not spot your store without a little help. It’s important that you do everything you can to help them find you!
We live in a digital age, and people are increasingly using technology to find their way, so it’s well worth taking a moment to put yourself in their shoes and see how easy you are to find. Try approaching this from a number of angles. Initially try searching for your business name - this should automatically bring up your store as a Google place listing. Even if you’ve never signed up for this service or contributed in anyway, it’s highly likely a listing exists unless you are a brand new business. If you haven’t ever populated your Google place listing, there are clear instructions to follow once you claim it as your business. You’ll have the chance to correct your address and make sure it points to the correct area on a map, as well as add your opening times and a few images of the store. You may notice also that people have been able to leave a review of your business! The more information you can provide here the better.
The next step in helping new customers to find you is to carry out the same search, but worded without your business name. For example, if you are in the business of supplying widgets, and you’re based in Exeter, try searching the term “widgets Exeter” and see where you rank in comparison with your competitors, or indeed whether you rank on these results at all.
There are a number of things you can do to improve your ranking. Start by populating your listings with as much information as you can. Ensure this is consistent and look at other business listing sites like those listed below and ensure they all have your business name, address and phone number in the same format. Encourage your customers to write reviews on your Google place listing.
Here is a list of free UK sites to get your independent business listed on to raise your profile and bring new customers through the door. Creating your listing on each should only take a few minutes and will only need updating when you change your business address, phone number or opening hours.
Business Magnet (B2B)
Make sure to search for local community based listings and register your business with as many of those as possible. If you have a website for your business, visit freewebsubmission.com and register the site with as many search engines as possible.