How to generate more sales leads with SEO for your Small Business
As a business owner or manager you want to be at the top of Google.
Many website owners are confused because they thought that having a site would mean they automatically got placed high in Google.
And most are still wondering where is that extra business that they were led to believe would appear once they had a website.
It’s all very frustrating for business owners, especially in these tight economic times.
And if you knew how essential Google is to your business success, you would be horrified.
How significant is a top place in Google?
Imagine what you do when you are looking for a new product or service provider. Chances are you go to Google like most people do.
• 81% of potential customers go on-line to find out more about a business. (Neilson_online.com)
• 85% of websites are found by search engines rather than being typed into the address bar. So if you think people know your name or web address, that’s a dangerous assumption.
• 91% of people only use Page 1 (google.com) so if you are on Page 3, you may as well not have a website.
• 42% of clicks go to Number 1 (google.com) so even being on Page 1 doesn’t help you much. 10th position gets less than 3% of clicks.
• “Small businesses who use the Internet have grown 46% faster than those that do not”. (International Business Journal)
Yet few people know how to get up there and worse, they are sold websites that have no chance of being ranked high in Google
Yet it needn’t be that way. There are 3 simple steps to getting high in Google but very few web-designers use them, leaving site owners high-and-dry or is that low-and-wet?
What gets a website high in Google?
It’s helpful to think what Google’s primary service aim is.
To deliver the best product (a search result) to their customer (a searcher).
There’s lots of technical stuff behind that but if you want your site to be ranked higher by Google, just give your customers the best match to their searches.
That means if your Home page says, “Welcome to our site. We’ve been in business for…and have .. employees” that’s why your site is low.
The technical term for the getting higher in Google is Search Engine Optimisation or SEO but I like to think of it as a translation service – translating what you, the expert, knows, into what your customer wants.
You might think you know what people are searching for. After all, how difficult is it to describe your business?
You’d be surprised. Most clients are amazed at how many variations of their business people use. Some examples of different Search-terms people have used for the same industry.
• Business consultant and business consultants.
• Book-keeper and bookkeeper.
• Event manager, events manager, event management.
• Panel beaters, panelbeaters, panel beater, panel beating, smash repair.
• Tree surgeon, arborist, tree services, tree pruning.
Clients haven’t included all of these different Search-terms on their websites. And, in most cases, they have been using the wrong Search-terms.
What makes a wrong Search-term? Each of those phrases has a different quantity of searches and different numbers of competing pages. And more competition means it’s harder to get to the top.
The key to success is finding the combination of reasonable traffic with less competition.
So now you know your site needs to match what people are searching for, how do you find out what they are typing, how many people are searching for them and how much competition you might have?
The three steps are….
First, learn to speak your customers’ language.
Google actually tells you what people are typing in their Keyword Search Tool. It’s free to use but, as with most things free, it comes at a price….. understanding what it all means. And there is a ton of data there to learn.
Frankly, many people who regularly use the data, don’t use it properly. That’s why so few websites make it to the top.
Second, use that language everywhere, even off-line. After all, it’s what your customers are saying when they think of your business or service.
For your website, it’s essential to use that right language in the right places in the right way. Again, very few web-masters or designers know what or how to use it.
Third, don’t rely on a sexy web-design to get you top rankings.
Google doesn’t care what shade of red you have, where the images are or whose face is in the picture. It only cares how close your words are to the searcher’s.
So make your first priority finding out what people are looking for rather than spending your dollars on a design which people will never find.
Make SEO the foundation of your site, not an afterthought.
Bill Gates said, “In the future there will be two types of businesses. Those on the Internet and those out of business.”
It’s safe to amend that to those on Page 1 of Google and those out of business.