Whenever I meet with a new prospective digital marketing client, one of the first things I ask them is:
“Who are your toughest competitors?”
Unless two or three “big dogs” come to the client’s mind, the response will be one of the following two statements:
“Oh, we don’t really have any competition around here.”
“Nobody does what we do, so I don’t think any other companies are really our competitors.”
The next thing I ask from them is to share a few search terms that summarize their business: what services they offer, what products they sell.
After a quick screen share and search, my point is made clear to them.
What’s Actually Happening in Search
Let’s you and I try a search on Google, shall we?
Type in your business category and search.
Add “near me” or a city name if your location is essential for delivering your services.
- IT services near me
- financial advisors san ramon
- biotech product development company
Did your website appear in those search results (also known as “SERPs”)?
If your answer is “yes”, congratulations, you’ve risen above the fray!
If your answer is “no”, you’re like 99% of the other businesses out there.
(NOTE: Beware of “search personalization” if you do appear first!)
Which brings me to the key takeaway from this article:
Everything that appears in the Google search results ahead of your website is your competition.
The search results you surfaced with your query represent the “noise” that interferes with your marketing message.
These SERPs could be (and often are) totally unrelated listings, having nothing to do with the services or products your business offers.
Nonetheless, these results are in the way of you getting the eyeballs of your ideal customers.
Your message will never reach anyone’s eyeballs or ears until you can rise above this noise.
Search engines simply reflect what’s going on in society.
For example, just think about the “noise” in your own life. How difficult is it to focus on your must-do, life-sustaining activities with all the news distractions of 2020 out there?
You need to stay laser-focused and cut through the noise just to function.
So does your business.
Do You Know Your Enemy?
What is preventing you from being more successful than you’d like to be?
Anything that’s ahead of you in the search rankings.
Many studies have shown that 91% of people who search on Google only look at the search results on the first page. In fact, Google is getting so good at what it does that if someone is looking further than the first page, you may wonder as to their motives.
The latest statistics show that 82% of Google searches are unbranded searches. That means the vast majority of people are looking for a service or product from a business that they do not know the name of.
They don’t know the business exists.
Of course, looking at your own search analytics may convince you that you’re crushing it with regards to branded searches: just look at all my visitors who came from branded searches!
Well, to what other website should those branded searches go? The truth is, if those branded searches are not going to your website, there’s something terribly wrong with your SEO.
Google is a question-answering machine, and they only care about one thing:
Which web page provides the best answer to the searcher?
If Google thinks that your page answers a searcher’s question best, your website may appear on the first page of the search results.
If not, your business is buried in the noise and may never be found.
Rise Above the Noise
If your business listing is buried in noise, it’s time to do some digital marketing.
The best way to do some DIY SEO (search engine optimization) if you are a local business with a physical location is to enhance your Google My Business listing.
Here are a few tips to help you:
- Make sure your business name, address and phone number (also known as NAP) are consistent with your website, right down to punctuation. Google may see “Ste.” and “Suite” as two different addresses. Make it easy for them to consume your data and understand that it’s consistent across the web.
- Make sure your most essential business information is clear and complete. Many people don’t even bother to fill out the 750 character Description. This is prime web real estate!
- Add your services or products to the associated areas. You can write as much as you like in here. Best advice is to make these listings “evergreen” if possible so that you only need to do it once per product or service.
- Add Posts and Offers. These are essentially the “blog” of Google My Business. Add short customer success stories, or create a special Offer (“Only available on our Google My Business listing!”) An Offer at the time of this writing can be for up to a year, whereas a Post expires after 7 days.
- Ask for reviews from your best clients, and always respond to them, even if it’s just a quick “Thanks a lot for your support!”
Need Serious Help Rising Above the Noise?
If your business is a Service Area Business (in other words, with no physical location) or a B2B technical business providing products and services in a national or global marketplace, contact David Victor at Boomcycle Digital Marketing today.