Improve Findability on Google for Free
When you start up a business, there are various costs involved just to get established. So how do you start marketing your business online when your cashflow is low?
Did you know that there are free options available from Google? I’ve come up with 5 ways to improve findability on Google for free.
GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
The best form of free advertising that Google provides is a listing that appears on Google Search (including Maps).
Log into your Google My Business account to update your address, phone number, website, open hours and more.
This help customers find and connect with your business.
Keep your profile fresh by posting updates, photos, special offers and promotions to attract customers and show that you are in business.
GOOGLE WEBSITE BUILDER
Don’t have a website yet? No problem! Google has a free website builder that links up with your Business Profile and even auto-updates as you make changes to your profile. It is a very basic website builder but can be useful as a temporary or additional website.
Once you’ve signed up, you’ll receive a free domain name with .business.site on the end instead of a custom domain, which you can purchase later.
While you can add products to your Business Profile, they won’t appear in the Shopping section of Google which is a tab located beside Google’s other apps like Images, Maps, and News. The products in the Shopping section will also appear at the top of all the results when someone enters a search which matches the product.
To advertise on Google through google shopping, firstly, you must create an account with Merchant Center and then you can set up your shop and add the product information. Once you have an account open, verify important details like your business and contact information.
Prepare your product information to submit through a feed, or automatically sync your data from a supported e-commerce platform like Shopify.
Last year, Google made this option available for free to select countries after the pandemic forced many businesses to move to an online model.
GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE
Google Search Console is a part of Google Search Central (formerly Google Webmaster Tools). It is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your site’s presence in Google Search results.
Search Console offers tools and reports for the following actions:
- Confirm that Google can find and crawl your site.
- Fix indexing problems and request re-indexing of new or updated content.
- View Google Search traffic data for your site: how often your site appears in Google Search, which search queries show your site, how often searchers click through for those queries, and more.
- Receive alerts when Google encounters indexing, spam, or other issues on your site.
- Show you which sites link to your website.
- Troubleshoot issues for AMP, mobile usability, and other Search features.
Following on from Google Search Console, is a standalone free tool (no sign-up required), the Mobile-Friendly Test can check your website using the URL or code to test it against Google’s mobile accessibility and usability guidelines.
Most searches are now done from mobile devices, design your site for all devices including laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Ensure all your content is optimized to load quickly and display properly on all screen sizes.
Use the Mobile-Friendly Test to test how well your pages work on mobile devices, and get feedback on what needs to be fixed.