If you serve customers at your premises - whether you're a chandlery, a boat brokerage, an outboard repair shop or a marine sparkie - you need to get your business on Google Maps.
Why? Because of the way people are now searching for your type of business - by using their smartphone to find what they're looking for in their immediate area.
Put yourself in your customer's shoes for a minute. You've just noticed your bilge pump has crapped out right before you head out on the water. Or you've decided you need a bigger boat and you want to view some right now. Where do you look? You look local.
And that's what more and more people are doing when they turn to Google. The number of searches that include a place name, or the phrase "near me", has skyrocketed in recent times. These are what Google calls 'local searches', and they now make up nearly half of all the searches on Google.
You should also know that 50% of people who do a local search on their smartphone visit a store they've found via that search within a day. And 18% of local searches result in a sale within one day.
That's a whole lot of business going to those who are capitalising on the local search trend. And Google Maps is one of the simplest, easiest and quickest ways you can make sure your potential customers are finding you when they search local online.
Head to Google My Business to add, edit or claim your Google Maps listing. There's a whole lot of information you can include, and the more complete you make your listing, the more likely you are to show up above your competitors in Google Maps search results. But if you do nothing else - make sure you have your business address, phone number and opening hours filled in, as these are the pieces of information that local searchers look for most frequently.