I had a frantic call and several emails this week from a client who understands how much her business depends on good internet marketing. In a routine check, she had dropped off page 1 for several of her keyword phrases!
She’s a great internet marketer with 3 identified Perfect Customer types, excellent content on her website and a robust social media presence.
I googled one of her suspected keyword phrases, and there she was, in #3 placement on page 1!
What does this mean? How can searches done hours apart result in such different results?
There are several important factors you need to know about Google search results:
What you see when you search is not necessarily what your potential customer sees.
Google has the ability to compile search results that are based on a searcher’s past search history – their past searches and past interest in the subject.
What you see on Google page one for your search is determine by more than what you think you’re asking for.
The engineers at Google study search patterns and add features to their algorithm based on what they learn.
It turns out that they have studied enough searches to be able to determine the intention of a search: whether we’re searching for information, to purchase or to navigate to a specific place on a website!
We “unique” humans act in pretty predictable ways that allow search engines to know our intentions! This is good for us as searchers, because it means that the results that we get are more useful.
It makes life more difficult for we business owners trying our best to land on search page one for our most important keyword phrases!
What you can do to improve your relationship with Google.
You can’t afford to have an SEO on staff (yes, there is a whole class of experts that do nothing but try to keep up with Google! In the Middle Ages, we called them Alchemists.)
But, you can do some simple things on your own to stay on Google’s radar for your most important keyword phrases. Some of these things seem strange, but it is all part of proving your authority and legitimacy as a small business owner.
Remember, Google keeps tabs on every business of any size in every country in the world! Give them what they need to know you’re for real – it’s an important first step.
1. Set up your Google Local Business Page, filled out completely and exactly to Google’s specifications. (We teach you how in the first lessons here at Take Control)
2. Set up a presence at LinkedIn. This is the first time I’ve suggested this because I wasn’t sure about it’s importance. Now, I’m convinced.
Go to LinkedIn, and set up your profile – It will take you less than an hour to put in enough details to prove your legitimacy. While you’re there, join a group of two that is geared to your industry. I’ve discovered these to be useful and interesting. If you join in the discussion once in a while, that interaction contributes to your authority.
3. Set up a social media page for your business where your customers are congregating (probably Facebook to get started). Post information and newsy tidbits about your business, link to your website and reply to likes and comments made by your followers/friends/likers.
4. Have an “about” page on your website with your name, contact information and links to your social media pages. That is all for Google. For your customer, flesh out your about page with content about you and your business. For most microbusinesses – actually all – you ARE your business, so use that about page to talk about yourself and add a picture as well.
NOTE: Your contact information is also called your “citation.” It’s one of the ways Google tracks you so be sure your citation is exactly the same everywhere from you online presence to your business cards that customers use to reach you both online and off.
5. Join your local Chamber of Commerce and be sure your business is listed properly, with a link to your website. Join any trade or professional organization associated with your industry and do the same. It shows Google that you’re legit., and if you post those connections on your about page or somewhere else on your website, they add to your authority with your customer.
6. Here’s something you don’t have much control of, but over time, searches that specifically ask for your business name increase your authority.
How do you get that? Offline marketing. Is your website listed on your business card? Are you passing out tons of those business cards everywhere you go?
What about everything else that you produce? Labels? Receipts?
7. Proof of location and address – your citation. Easy Peasy. Your address should be everywhere.
Do these seven things and at the same time keep your website content focused on serving the needs and desires of your Perfect Customer(s) and you’ll do fine, no matter what Google throws at us next.
Photo by Thomas Tolkein