Small Business on Google

How to Rank a Small Business on Google

If you are a small business looking to be found on search engines, then optimizing your site and brand online is crucial.

Before we get started, I just wanted to make a couple of points clear. First, there is no quick way to get ranked on search engines. Doing SEO takes time, dedication, and consistency. Second, always keep in mind that the goal of a search engine is to show the most relevant results and to deliver the best user experience to a searchers query.

It is important that we start with those two points as I will reference both of these throughout the article.

So, if you are reading this article, it means you want to be found by consumers when they search for a product or service that you offer. For small businesses, your goal should be to found on the “local 3 pack” and search engine results.

Local 3 pack

Local 3 pack refers to the maps that show up typically after paid ads and just before search results. Google usually shows the top 3 local businesses that they deem the most relevant based on what someone searched for. Efforts to optimize your online presence and show up on local map results are often referred to as local SEO.

Search engine results on the other hand give searchers a set of links to web pages that Google deems the most relevant to the user’s query. These can be links to company websites or articles posted on blogs. It can even lead to directory listings or even job postings. Once again, Google will deliver the results based on what they feel the user’s intention was when they made their query.

Now that we know what we are trying to accomplish, let’s get to it!

Here are some steps on how to rank a small business on Google:

1) Assess your Current Digital Marketing Presence

Before you start making all of these efforts to rank on Google, you should really take a step back to assess where you currently stand.

Do you have a website? If no, that would probably be a good place to start. We wrote a previous article on how to establish your online presence.

If you do have a website, you need to make sure that it is mobile friendly and that your speed load times are at a good level.

Google provides tools to check these out. Mobile friendly test here, and load time test here.

Why are these important? As stated at the top, Google wants to deliver a good user experience. Fast load times and being able to access your website on a mobile device both equate to good user experience.

Fixing these two areas can make big improvements in how you rank.

Next up, if you are a local business looking to rank on the local 3 pack, let’s make sure you have your Google My Business (GMB) page created and filled out accurately. Create your GMB Page here.

2) On-Page Optimization

Since Google wants to serve up the most relevant results to a search, let’s make sure first off, we are actually delivering the best and most relevant content.

If some of your content is outdated, now would be a good time to update it. Always layout your content to satisfy questions that your potential customer might be asking about your products, services, and even your company.

If you sell multiple products or have various services, it is always best to have separate pages for each one. If for example, you are a mortgage broker, you’ll want to have a separate page for mortgage renewals and another page for equity lines of credit. The idea is to attempt to rank each service separately and cater to a searchers query appropriately.

Now that you have your website setup up and ready for search engines to find you, it’s time to optimize the page for Google to better understand what is on it.

There are certain on-page components that Google looks at to better understand what is on this page:

  • Slug: This is the URL extension of the page (ie
  • Meta Title: this is what Google shows as the title on their search engine results
  • Meta Description: this is the description under the title that Google shows on their results
  • H1, H2 and other H Titles: These are titles and subtitles found in your content that your visitors will see
  • Alt Image Tags: This is a tag that lets Google know what these images on your page is about
  • Content: pretty straightforward, your content
  • Contact Information using Schema Markup: (often called Schema) is a specific vocabulary of tags (or microdata) that you can add to your HTML to improve the way your page is represented in SERPs. (source:

When optimizing your page, you want to make sure there is consistency between your meta title, description, tags, and in your content. Don’t make it spammy!! Find the right balance between designing for your audience and making sure search engines can read it. When stuck, always go with the design for the audience before the search engine.

3) Directory Listing and Social Media Registration

Previously, we stated that you should want to set a goal of ranking in the top three for your business category. We instructed earlier as well to claim or create your Google My Business (GMB) Page, which is what gets listed in the maps for local searches.

Once your GMB page is created and optimized, you want to now be found by both consumers and search engines. In order for Google to confirm who you are, they search the Internet to match up your name, address, and phone number (often referred to as NAP) with as many creditable sources as possible.


A lot of the creditable sources include popular directories like Yelp, Foursquare, Yellow Pages and Better Business Bureau. It is also good to register local business directories. Google also uses social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and so on as credible sources to confirm who you are.

As your customers start giving you reviews on these directories and you are staying active on social media with relevant and sharable content, Google will begin to recognize and understand more about you. The better they understand you, the better your chances are of getting listed on the local 3 pack.

4) Link Building

Imagine telling a room full of people that you are a great basketball player. If nobody knows who you are, likely nobody will take you seriously either. But as soon as one or two other people in the room confirm your claim, the more creditable you become. The more creditable you become, the more Google trusts you, and the more likely you will be chosen by Google to be a relevant source.

That is basically what you want to achieve with link building; you want more people to create links pointing back to your website. When Google crawls the Internet and finds all of these links pointing to you, it is the equivalent to my analogy above of people in a room confirming you are the best basketball player.

Now, if your mom is the one confirming you are the best basketball player, you might not gain too much creditability. If Michael Jordan on the other hand confirms your claim, you can be sure that people, including Google, will listen.

So how do we get authoritative sources to link back to your website? That’s an article on its own, but what you do want to focus on is what you are in control of; creating great and sharable content.

Let’s make sure your website has a blog where you can teach and educate people or your product or service. In those blogs, you can create what is called internal links pointing back to relevant areas of your website. Search engines love when they serve up a relevant article that a user reads and continues to click through to links as opposed to hitting the back button on their browser.

In these blogs, give credit where credit is due. If you referenced an idea or took a quote from someone, create a link for them. Good karma will eventually come back your way when others reference your great content.

Share these blogs on social media and make sure your content is search engine friendly. The more people that read your articles, the better chance you get on either converting the user to a customer or getting a backlink to your website.

5) Submit sitemaps to Google and Bing

Both Google and Bing have tools to help them understand more about you. We wrote a guide on Google Search Consoles here. Bing has a similar tool called Bing Webmaster tools.

Basically, these tools allow you to submit a sitemap, which is essentially a list of the pages on your website. You can even speed up the crawling process of your website with these tools.

There are a ton of other resources available on Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools which can help optimize your site and give valuable information like search queries, impressions, click-through-rates, and average position on rankings.

6) Analyze and Make Necessary Adjustments

All of these efforts you make to be found by Google can be exhausting. Worst yet, if you are not making progress, it can be frustrating.

It is crucial that you track your progress and make necessary adjustments. Google provides great tools to make sense of your SEO efforts.

Google Search Console, as mentioned above is a great tool to track everything about search results. Google My Business has a dashboard that gives great insights into how users interact with your GMB page. Google also has an extensive analytics tool, appropriately called Google Analytics, that gives a lot of in-depth information on user behavior and demographics of visitors coming to your website.

There are also a ton of SEO analysis tools available to check out. did a good summary here of 5 of those tools.

As you can see, doing SEO yourself can be daunting but it is totally doable. You don’t need to be an expert or have a bachelor’s degree to rank high on search engines. All you need is time, dedication, consistency, and follow these steps.

About Retailors Group

The team at Retailors Group has over 15 years of retail sales and field marketing experience. Retailors Group takes the time to understand your brand and align your core values into a tailor-made solution that builds a long-lasting relationship with your consumers.

We offer services in Experiential Field Marketing, On-site Sales Assist, Retail Management and Digital Marketing.

Benefits of using Experiential Marketing for your Next Campaign

Engaging consumers with all of the different media options available has never been more difficult. To ensure your consumers remember your brand with all of the marketing noise around them is a challenge every company faces. That is where experiential marketing can help.

Benefits of using Experiential Marketing for your next campaignExperiential marketing is a marketing strategy that involves direct face-to-face engagement with consumers in an interactive way. This strategy works most effectively in high traffic environments like retail and events.

So with a tight marketing budget, why would you consider this strategy for your next campaign?


Traditional marketing strategies like digital marketing or print are essential for day-to-day marketing but nothing beats the interaction with a brand in person.

Consider this, the goal you want to achieve in the customer journey is a long term relationship. Meaningful relationships are established, developed and maintained far more effectively face-to-face than any other medium.

Stand out

As mentioned earlier, competing for your consumer’s attention is very difficult. Using experiential marketing is the perfect strategy to help you stand out.

When experiential marketing is done correctly, it is fun, interactive and engaging. Put the experience in experiential and you have a recipe for a memorable campaign that will allow you to stand apart from the competition.

Give your social media a boost

Trying to get your social media accounts for some fresh and exciting content? Nothing gives your social media a better boost than experiential.

Whether you want to get your consumers to interact with your brand on social or just simply post engaging photos and videos of your event, experiential marketing gives you the platform to get creative with your other marketing mediums.

Showcase your products and services

When your company launches a new product or service, the awareness and value proposition needs to be properly conveyed to gain maximum traction.

Everybody learns through different mediums. Some like to read, some like to listen, while others need that explanation from a real person.

Put together an interactive experiential campaign to allow your consumers to touch and feel your product or get a proper explanation of how your service can benefit them.

Generate sales and leads

Getting leads from social, print, tv or radio allows you to get a great reach, but at the end of the day, a trained professional will generate far more sales and leads vs any other medium.

Leveraging an opportunity at a high traffic event can generate sales immediately if that is what your strategy involved, but creating a memorable experience can still be enough to influence someone to buy in the future.

The various marketing strategies that your company currently uses are great for communicating, but the experience from experiential will get your consumers talking and those conversations will lead to loyalty, awareness and sales.

7 Reasons Social Media Marketing Is Still Underrated

7 Reasons Social Media Marketing Is Still Underrated

The numbers on social media marketing are impressive. More than half of small businesses in the United States are planning to increase their social media marketing budgets in 2017, and the number of businesses using social media marketing has increased, year over year, for more than a decade.

7 Reasons Social Media Marketing Is Still Underrated

Still, social media marketing remains underrated. Business owners and marketers frequently treat it as a second thought—something for an intern to handle, rather than a strategically deep mode of building your reputation and attracting new traffic. Some have even abandoned the idea altogether, refusing to spend any time or money on a strategy that nets a positive ROI for up to 92 percent of businesses that use it.

So what’s the deal? Why isn’t everyone on board with the strategy?

The "fad" angle

Believe it or not, some people still believe that social media—or its use as a marketing strategy—is still a fad just waiting to fizzle out. This is an argument I could have understood back in 2007 when social media platforms were only in use by a small percentage of the population. But now that Facebook has reached more than 1.2 billion users and is still growing, with a corporate foundation that rivals those of Apple or Google, it’s a hard argument to defend. Users have gotten used to the idea of socially interacting online, and platforms keep evolving in new ways to maintain their interest.

You get what you pay for

Psychologically, people tend to place more value on things that cost more money. For example, in a blind taste test of identical wines whose only difference is the price, people claim that the more expensive (yet compositionally identical) wine tastes better. Take this principle to social media marketing; it’s free to claim and build a business profile, and to post regularly (as long as you aren’t leveraging paid advertising). Because of that, people don’t value it as much as they do paid advertising. They’re also less likely to pay a professional to work on a social media campaign, knowing that—technically—anyone could do it for free (even if they never actually do it).

Unmeasurable effects

The return on investment (ROI) of social media is hard to measure, and I’ll be the first to admit it. One of your biggest goals is attracting a large following of people who are enthusiastic about your brand and improving both your brand’s reputation and brand awareness. These aren’t as objectively measurable as on-site conversions, but they can and do lead to greater consumer interest, which manifests as sales eventually. Trying to pin down an exact value for all these benefits is next to impossible, even for the pros, so the value of a social media campaign is almost always underreported.


People also use anecdotal evidence as a basis for their opinions about the strategy. For example, they may know of another business that used social media and didn’t see any results, so they stay away from it in the present. However, these anecdotal examples often don’t examine the types of tactics these businesses used, and they certainly don’t represent the average across multiple businesses.

Related Story: How To Boost Your SEO Using Social Media

Apples and oranges

Ironically, these same business owners often cite the fact that anecdotal evidence can’t prove a strategy’s effectiveness for everybody. They point to major influencers or big businesses in the social media world and explain that social media works for them because it fits naturally with their industry, or because they have the resources to invest in a heavy campaign. It’s true that some industries may be naturally inclined to perform better on social media than others; tech companies and consumer-facing businesses are two good examples. However, social media marketing can be used by practically any company—it may just require an adjustment to your approach.

Poor targeting

Some businesses look at their own results and use those results as a gauge of the long-term potential of their campaign. But they may not realize that their strategic targeting is interfering with their results. For example, if you buy 1,000 followers using some super cheap follower-adding service, but only 4 or 5 of them ever interact with your posts or visit your site, it could be that the remaining 995 don’t belong to demographics relevant for your business, or that you haven’t been using the right engagement strategies to cultivate interest. Don’t underestimate the potential of a well-researched, strategically focused campaign.

Lack of investment

Effective social media marketing can’t be done on a whim. It needs to be planned, researched, and strategically executed. That means you’ll need to spend a significant amount of time or a significant amount of money to see results; and since many business owners aren’t willing to make that investment, they never see a fraction of their potential results. By that point, they’ve seen what a small investment does, and they’re unwilling to make the jump to a larger investment.

Social media marketing isn’t an “underground” strategy; it’s talked about heavily (and I should know), and there’s no shortage of content covering its feasibility and best tactics. But the perceptions of marketers and business owners are still lagging behind the evidence, and they’re only hurting themselves in the process.

The more you learn about the effective implementation of social media marketing, the more plainly beneficial it seems—but you have to treat it as a legitimate marketing strategy if you want to research it appropriately.

Article courtesy of written by Jayson DeMers

Find out more about how Retailors Group can help with Social Media Marketing.

6 Benefits of Pop-Up Shops

6 Benefits of Pop-Up Shops

Temporary retail establishments have been growing in number, popping up on street corners, in shopping centers, at events, in airports, and more, as more brands begin recognizing the benefits of pop-up shops. There are a variety of pop-up stores, ranging from modular retail establishments to those housed in shipping containers; regardless of the format, there are several advantages in setting up a pop-up establishment:

Because pop-up shops are often temporary in nature and smaller in size than conventional retail stores, the cost of rent is usually lower. This is especially advantageous for new businesses that don’t yet have the funds to lease a more traditional retail space and, if necessary, have the option of closing down the temporary location to avoid more costs from a low-sales location.

Pop-up shops allow for a more selective approach to selling and marketing. Instead of being locked into a long-term rental agreement, the brand is only committed for a fixed period of time, which means the brand is more able to adapt to changes in its business and marketing plans. What’s more, a brand can open up a pop-up shop only when traffic and sales are expected to be high, and then close it down during the slower months.

One of the primary benefits of pop-up shops is that they help a brand generate buzz. Pop-up retail establishments are often fantastic marketing tools because they tend to draw attention from crowds. People are interested in the sudden existence of a store, especially if they look unique — for instance, a shipping container. As Robert Humble of HyBrid Architecture, a firm that designs shipping container projects, says, “There’s a certain built-in marketing cachet that [container stores] have that other businesses don’t.” Big brands such as Target, Levi’s, Adidas, and the Gap have used pop-up shops to generate buzz around a product or promotion.

The low-cost and temporary nature of pop-up shops allow brands to engage in test marketing new products and promotions to gauge future demand. Major companies like BMW’s MINI have opened up pop-up shops for this purpose, while smaller businesses have used pop-ups to try out a new business idea, such as Softroom’s ‘Wahaca Southbank Experiment, a pop-up Mexican restaurant in London.

A pop-up store’s temporary nature creates a sense of urgency among consumers to buy now. Unlike traditional retail establishments, the pop-up store itself is presented as a “limited-edition” item that people must take advantage of in the moment or regret their inaction later. According to the co-founder of Think PR Claudine Gumbel, “There’s a certain passion about things that shout ‘act now!’ and that has transpired into the way we shop too.”

Pop-ups allow a business to extend its brand and build awareness. For online businesses, especially, pop-up shops provide a way to interact with customers face-to-face and also educate them about new products, services, and features. This can be particularly beneficial for brands that have complicated offerings or want to capture a market segment that would not normally visit the brand’s site or buy from the company online. For example, Google launched a pop-up store in Australia last year, called Androidland, to introduce and educate customers on the Google Android mobile operating system.

There are many benefits of pop-up shops, and an increasing number of businesses today are jumping on board to try their hand at opening a temporary retail establishment. Uncover more temporary and mobile retail strategies by downloading Trend Hunter's Retail Trend Report and by accessing our PRO trends database for trends like Pop-Up Eats and Portashop.

Article was courtesy of written by Katherine Vong

Find out more about how Retailors Group can help with pop-up shops.