Before we start, here are two universal truths:

1. Other search engines are, of course, available, but we all know that Google is the main player and it’s where we want to be found (assuming we’re a business) Agreed?

2. As the saying goes, if you want to hide a dead body, the best place to hide it is page two of Google because nobody EVER looks there.

There are various ways to increase your chances of being found in Google’s search results (sometimes referred to as SERPS – Search Engine Results Pages). The whole subject comes under the banner of Search Engine Optimisation – or SEO.

Ask anyone about SEO and the first thing they usually mention is keywords. While keywords are indeed an important part of your overall SEO strategy, and help Google to, amongst other things, index your site, there’s so much more to optimising your website’s chances of being found by Google than just carefully researched and implemented keywords…

Quick Question: How did Google get its name? (answer at the bottom this post)

Can Google help me to help myself?

Indeed it can – and even gives you free tools!

Google My Business

Have you claimed your free Google listing? Maybe you’ve claimed it but you’re not making the most of it? Your free Google My Business listing is the box that appears to the right of the search results page, which gives potential customers easy access to your business details – even directions straight to their phone. It’s also a major part of your SEO and the good news is you can update it with photos, blog posts and even featured products. That’s a pretty powerful route to market all for free.

The Google 3 Pack

Check out our video tutorial for a walk-through of the Google 3-Pack

Let’s search Google using the phrase “electricians Whitehaven”. Your search results page usually looks pretty standard; you see the paid ads at the top (you can try to pay your way to the top of the first page of Google – commonly known as Pay-Per-Click (PPC).)

Google’s PPC tool is Google Adwords, but that’s a story for another day. Suffice to say PPC is highly competitive and a bit divisive – ask anyone what action they take when they look at page one of search results. Around 75% of users admit they scroll past the paid adverts to the organic results below the paid ads, which is where the Google 3-Pack lives.

If you watched the video tutorial above you’ll understand how to get on to the Google 3-Pack and why it’s important to claim your listing. Bear in mind that the businesses that appear on the Google 3-Pack are location dependent. In other words, they change depending on where the person conducting the search is located.

What else can you do to get on the Google 3-Pack?

Make sure your Google My Business listing is complete and contains up to date information including what you do, your location and your opening times.

  • Upload recent photos and even video to enhance your listing.
  • Encourage customers to leave Google reviews. How? They can click on the ‘Write a Review’ button on your listing. These reviews and star ratings will be visible on the Google 3-Pack and your Google My Business listing.
  • Make sure any other site your business is listed on contains up to date info.
  • Research and cultivate relevant local links to trusted businesses and organisations to boost your visibility.
  • Any other reputable links you can build will help your organic results.
  • Build a strong, loyal following on your social media profiles, and make sure you interact with customers on social media and post relevant and engaging content.
  • Read this how-to guide from online marketing giants Moz to make the most of your free Google listing.

Action: Download the My Business app on your smartphone to manage your listing on the go. Available on Android and iOS

Answer: Google is a play on the word “googol,” the mathematical term for a 1 followed by 100 zeros!