Have a few designers that need some projects to work on?
Have a salesperson or 2 that need more leads?
Some of the best leads are those that just walk right in to your showroom.
So why aren’t they already?
Well, first thing to do is make sure those homeowners looking for design options know your showroom exists.
That’s where every search starts today. It’s ridiculous, but true.
Luckily Google knows it, and they want to be good at it, and they are. Since it’s inception in 2005, Google knew its Maps tool was a great place to add in its directory of local businesses. Lots of evolution steps happened since then.
The first and still widely name is Google Places.
However, the current name is Google My Business (funnily awkward name I thought, until I thought about it… then it made sense… “Google” “my business”. Because “Google” is a verb also).
So when someone searches for kitchen showroom, and local business results show up on Google Maps, your gateway to that is GMB, Google My Business.
Which takes us to
Step 1: Optimize your Google My Business account
It’s free. google.com/business
Why is it free? What’s the catch?
Well, because ultimately Google wants you to spend money on their ads. Also, the more information they have, the more powerful they get.
Pause here for a moment for those who hate Google and think it’s some kind of conspiracy or gimmick to trick you. If that’s you, you should stop reading now. This guide isn’t for you.
Onward for those that want to be found by homeowners looking for kitchen and bath showrooms.
Go to the free Google My Business account and verify your business google.com/business
Once they send you a postcard and you do the verification, then go to this page and I provide all the tips you need to get the most out of it.
Break here for a note on device usage.
People search from their phones. Gone are the days of printing out MapQuest directions. I know… feels like that was yesterday.
With that said, the 2 types of phones are iPhones and Androids. By default, Androids use Google Maps and iPhones use Apple Maps.
Step 2: Claim and Optimize your Apple Maps Profile
Click here for a video walk through how to do this complex process.
There’s some really cool device synchronization going on with vehicles today too. If your prospect looking for you has a 2016 Honda, chances are their built in GPS is utilizing their Android phone’s Google Maps. Pretty Cool!
But, chances are they could also be using a TomTom or Garmin suction cupped to their windshield.
Step 3: Claim and Optimize “Data Aggregators”
If that’s the case, a quick way to make sure you’re covering your bases with all those stand alone GPS devices is to update your business information with InfoGroup’s Express Update, Neustar’s Localeze, and Acxiom’s My Business Listing Manager.
You can find video walkthroughs for those here.
*Word of caution here, this adds your business to some hot new calling new lists. But don’t fret, if you do get an influx of sales calls, they’ll die down and be replaced by real leads.
That covers getting your showroom on every popular online mapping tool.
An important thing to address when you’re completing these profiles is ensuring you’re getting your categories right.
Have you looked in that free Yellow Pages that comes annually to your door lately?
That’s what online directories like Google Places (My Business) replaced. And they do it with categories.
There isn’t a category for “kitchen showroom” but instead you want to be listed as “kitchen remodeler” and “bathroom remodeler”. Google and the other major search engines and directories will make the association, as well as with renovation instead of remodeling.
All the major players want to be the source of local business data.
It’s competition for them. It’s another avenue for your prospects to find you.
Step 4: Create your Facebook Local Business Page
Yup, Facebook has a local directory. If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s worthy keeping your eye on it. They want people leaving reviews and using it (they also sell ads, which is definitely their motivation to improve it).
And, although it makes me cringe a little, Yelp drives traffic.
Step 5: Claim your FREE Yelp Profile
That’s correct. Yelp is not just for restaurants.
The cringe-worthy part about it is their salespeople are PERSISTENT AND CONVINCING. But, do not by any means pay for their paid listings. If they’ve convinced you otherwise, give us a call and ask about the comparison between that and Google AdWords.
The best part is the rumors floating around that they’ll hide your good reviews and showcase your bad reviews (if any) if you don’t “pay to play”.
Regardless, it’s a powerful presence tool.
Do those 5 things and I guarantee you’ll get more traffic to your showroom.
All these tasks, considering your and your admin staff have other things to do, will take you a month or more to complete. However, within 3 months of all of it being done, all the info will be distributed around the Internet enough that Google and the other search engines will know who you are and what you do and will show your info to those oh so valuable homeowners looking for kitchen and bath design options.
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