Who doesn’t want their website to be highly listed on the first page of Google search results? Below are a few tips that small business owners can use to help their company get more business and to look more credible online.

You absolutely have to have a Google Places listing for your business

In most cases if you search Google for a basic type of service in a city or town you will get a map with pin points on it along with a few businesses listed beside it.

Since local listings are shown before organic or “regular” search results, not having a Google Places listing is losing you money and free advertising.

If your local business is not listed on Google Places, stop reading this article and do it now. Potential customers may be looking for you right now. It is a very simple process and will not take much time at all. Create and verify a local business on Google.

Create, maintain and monitor your local business listings

Directories such as reachlocal.com.au, truelocal.com.au, yellowpages.com.au and hotfrog.com.au should be maintained and monitored. Many companies move locations or change phone numbers and never update their information listed on the local business directories resulting in confusion and disappointment for customers trying to get in touch with your business.

Customers might also leave negative reviews about your business that may be false, fictional or otherwise detrimental to your reputation. Monitor these reviews and make sure a competitor or past customer is not tarnishing your reputation with unwarranted bad reviews.

Monitor your company’s primary email address

Although this tip is not related to SEO, we thought it was important to bring up as we have recently run across this issue with our clients. Believe it or not, there are small business owners who are still stuck in the 1980’s and do not use email communication at all or on a very limited basis. If your website displays an email address or you have a contact form, you must monitor your email inbox so not to miss important business enquiries. This may sound very elementary and obvious, but many owners still do not check their inboxes regularly.

With the number smart phones, tablets, internet enabled TVs, and every other gadget that has internet access growing, the need to stay on top of your email becomes just as important as turning on the shop lights when you open for the day.

If a potential customer sends your company an enquiry and they do not hear back within a reasonable amount of time, you can bet they have moved on and enquired with you competitor and at worse shared their frustrations about your lack of communication to their friends or co-workers.