For many equipment rental stores, the busy season hasn’t let up yet. You’re probably still on your feet from the moment you open straight through closing time. So here’s a quick — but incredibly important — tip that’s not time-consuming and can help you attract new customers in a big way. Here's a hint: it involves everybody's favorite search engine, Google. Because when Google loves you, the rental world is your oyster.
In a prior blog post, I’ve talked about the importance of creating online business listings. There are additional reasons to create a Google listing in particular. Many searches done through Google are local—meaning somebody may search for “Compressor rental near Springfield, MA” Or “Rent a bounce house 01103.” We’ll never know exactly how Google’s algorithm decides which businesses show up in search results first (that’s their secret sauce). But we do know that by creating a My Business Page, you'll have a better chance of showing up in the first few local search results. And if someone searches for terms closely related to your business, your listing may also be featured with a map and other information directly on the search results page. But those aren’t the only benefits. Creating a page is also a great way to make sure you’re getting potential customers the right information about your business, including your hours, phone number, location(s) and website.
Since there are only a few weeks left of summer, we'll look at Herrell's, an ice cream store located in Northampton, MA, as an example of a company with a Google My Business page. Now imagine your own listing: instead of showcasing photos of scoops of ice cream and customer reviews about the vanilla flavor, you'll display a handful of photos of your equipment and rave reviews about your customer service. What a way to bring in new (and old) renters!
To claim your business, you’ll need to create a Google account. Once that’s done, Google will verify your business to make sure you’re not trying to hijack somebody else's listing. This is done in one of several ways, commonly through a phone call or a postcard. After you’re verified, you’ll be able to go in and edit your listing. Be sure to add pictures of your logo and store, edit your phone number and address, and get customers to review your business. There are a whole lot of other settings and features you can explore in your listing. To add the minimum information just takes a couple of minutes, and you can get through it before you finish a cup of coffee.
But let’s hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. Here’s how Google explains the importance of claiming your page: “Playing hard to get: good for dating, bad for business. Use Google My Business to put the right info about your business on Search, Maps and Google+ so that customers get in touch.” It’s as simple as that. Here’s a short intro video that’ll show you a Business page in action. Follow the link at the end to get started building your page — and making the rental world your oyster.
Written by Kate Miller, Marketing Manager at InTempo Software