How to Research & Prospect a Local Business (with nothing but Google)

Dew Smith
5 min readJan 10, 2018


(this is step two in my How to Slash Customer Acquisition Cost piece, check it out to improve your ROI!)

Let’s “Dew” this!

If you want to close deals with prospects, you need to get personal.

That means you need a strong prospecting strategy that lets you effectively research your prospects, customize the sales pitch, and close that deal.

The more personalized and customized your sales pitch to your prospect, the more likely they are to close. Yet, 40% of salespeople say that prospecting is the most difficult part of the sales process.

Before you pick up the phone and call a prospect, you need a sense of their current business state. Think about selling your products as offering solutions to their problems. You have to know what their problems are in the first place, right?

You can build a custom marketing report on your business prospects by utilizing tools like PageSpeed Insights to determine their overall website performance, the SEO Web Page Analyzer to get a sense of their SERP visibility, and good ol’ Googling to explore the meat of their online presence.

How to prospect a business in 5 easy steps (with just Google)

Don’t know how to research your business prospect? Get started with a simple Google search!

0. Open a new doc to take notes on the business’ online presence. Throughout this process, fill out your notes with answers to the questions below!

  1. Search them on Google (both through organic search and Google maps)

This first step is critical in telling the state of their online presence. Do they even show up when you search?

Googlin’ a local cafe with buns to die for

2. Review their Google My Business profile

  • Is it optimized properly? Check for the correct business name, address, photos, reviews, and a keyword-rich description of their business.
  • Check their reviews. How many do they have? What’s the sentiment (positive or negative)? Are they fresh?
Looks like other people agree, they’ve got great buns!

3. Check out their website

  • Is it optimized properly? Check if it’s mobile friendly, review the website’s speed and performance. Check for crucial business information such as name, address, and contact details.
  • Check for relevant, keyword-rich content such as descriptions of the business, photos, and even a blog feed.
Looking good!

4. Check out their social profiles

(Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Yelp, Google+, etc.)

  • Are their profiles optimized properly? Do their “about us” sections have keyword-rich business descriptions, hours, contact details and more? Do they have a branded logo and banner?
  • Check for activity and content. Do they frequently post behind-the-scenes updates? Do they post photos of their products/services? Do they make posts about sales and discounts? Are they engaging with their users in the comments and reviews?
  • Check their reviews. How many do they have? What’s the sentiment (positive or negative)? Are they fresh? Is the business replying?

5. Check out their business listing visibility on the top directories

  • Search for their business on main online directories like Google, Yelp, YellowPages, Facebook, and more. Do they show up on all the main sites?
  • Check vertical-specific sites like Zomato for restaurants, Zillow for real estate, TripAdvisor for Travel etc specific to their business industry. Do they show up on those sites?
  • Check for accuracy and consistency. Do all of their listings across the major and vertical-specific sites have correct NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) data? Do they include additional information such as hours of operation, list of services, photos, and branding graphics?
Even their listings are on point!

What to do with what you find

Remember that doc you opened in step 0, and hopefully filled out throughout the process? Time to take that and make personalized, relevant outbound marketing material for this business to get the attention of the owner prospects and reduce door-to-door prospecting.

With laser-focused, custom marketing material, you’re drastically increasing the chance of success with your prospects, rather than toting generic blanket sales material.

For example, if a business’ social presence is old and out-of-date, you can start the conversation by emphasizing the importance of social media and offering social media management services. They have 0 online reviews? Mention that more than 88% of online shoppers incorporate reviews into their purchase decision, and offer solutions to generate more reviews.

Introduce an automated needs-analysis tool

You can streamline this prospecting process by implementing an automated needs-analysis system into your sales team’s prospecting process. This will take a large part of the heavy lifting off your sales team’s plate as it’s an easy-to-digest information packet about a local business’ online presence, and why it needs to improve.

Use the Vendasta Snapshot Report to automate your prospecting research and identify the digital needs a business has.

Hyper-customized marketing report

Keep that CAC low with the rest of our steps in How to Slash Customer Acquisition Cost!



Dew Smith

Written-word fanatic, Managing Editor, and (un)certified internet explorer diving deep into the internet abyss.