You've probably searched for a local business on Google loads of times. Whether it's your nearest coffee shop or somewhere to get your hair cut, we expect to find what we need pretty much instantly. Business website, photos, opening times, phone number and directions are all needed right there to not only improve user experience but your own business visibility too.
Having a VoIP system with a virtual landline number is an effective way of doing this.
How a VoIP virtual landline number can help people find your business
Google Map locations are ranked, just like everything else in Google - and some are more 'appealing' to Google than others. The ones that are deemed most worthy of being at the top of Google search results will have the best Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and rank higher. In other words, it's well worth understanding what Google is looking for, to give your business the best shot at being at the top.
A good way of doing this is why having a virtual landline number attached to your VoIP system. In Google's eyes, it gives your business a more legitimate and complete look. Furthermore, by using a local VoIP number, Google will class your business as 'local' to that area (even if it isn't).
A VoIP system can frequently come with a virtual phone number. This phone number can have the same area code as a specific geographical location. In other words, your business could have an 0207 or 0208 number for London, to make it look like it’s London-based, when in fact it’s really located somewhere else entirely. This is totally legit, and can in fact be a useful tool in attracting local customers.
The trouble with mobiles (and freephone numbers)
It's tempting to just use your mobile all the time, especially if you're a sole trader. But this can give your business a less than professional look to potential new customers as it looks like it’s just you and your mobile phone.
Think about it: you're a customer who's trying to choose between one two hairdressing salons. One has a website showing just a mobile number, whereas the other has a website showing a local number. Which one would you choose?
Google doesn't look particularly favourably on Freephone numbers either. This is because it considers them as call centre numbers, and potentially spam.
The take-home message here is that if your business has a local telephone number with an area code, your Google ranking will be improved. It helps people find you in search results and helps to verify the legitimacy of your business too by matching it to a geographical location.
What are the other benefits of VoIP?
VoIP comes with a whole host of extra benefits that can drastically cut costs while improving customer service and business efficiency. By signing up with a VoIP provider, you also don’t need to worry about the landline switch-off that’s due by 2025.
VoIP packages are typically charged inclusive of line rental and calls as low monthly payments. This means you can save some serious money on things like separate phone lines and international calling.
For example, calls to the USA from the UK using a BT line can cost up to £1.55 per minute. However, with bOnline you can add on an unlimited international calls package from just £5 a month. A huge saving indeed!
VoIP phone systems generally come packed with extra VoIP features that enhance communication capabilities. These include voicemail, call forwarding, call waiting, video calling, call analytics data and more. Not only can these features mean your customers speak to the right members of your team at the right time, you also don’t need to worry about missing calls - particularly out of hours.
Mobility and flexibility
As long as you have an internet connection that’s stable enough, you can use your VoIP system from anywhere in the world. You can also access it on a number of different devices, including laptops, IP phones, smartphones, PCs or tablets. This is ideal for maximising flexibility, enabling you and your team to run the business from anywhere.
VoIP systems are incredibly scalable, so that as your business grows it’s much easier to add new lines or extensions - or remove them - as required. This presents a great opportunity to simplify management and cut costs, without making any big infrastructure changes.
Integration with other systems
VoIP typically integrates well with other business systems, including email, customer relationship management (CRM) software and instant messaging services. This offers a fantastic opportunity to streamline your data sharing and communication across various channels, improving collaboration and efficiency.
Advanced call routing
VoIP systems are able to route calls intelligently, according to set rules and criteria. This means that incoming calls can be more efficiently routed to individual team members, devices or departments, in turn improving customer service levels and response times.
Essentially, VoIP can bring a range of business-friendly features, flexibility, huge cost savings, integration capabilities and scalability that increase productivity and boost communication across businesses of all sizes in all industries.
If you would like to try out a bOnline VoIP system, why not sign up to a free 7-day trial? You’ll be able to access all the cutting-edge features on offer with no commitment. Once your trial ends, you can then easily upgrade to one of our low-cost monthly packages via your online dashboard, if you want to.
Setting you up with your new VoIP system is all done remotely by us so there’s no technical knowledge required by you. Plus there’s no down time.
Got any comments or questions? Feel free to call the bOnline team on 0203 617 9950.