If you are presently reading this guide, chances are that you already know about Google. You probably have Gmail as your primary email and use the search engine from time to time. In fact, in 2002, the American Dialect Society announced that the term “Google it” was the most useful word on their list. Although there are a couple of other search engines out there, Google has made so great a tremendous mark that “Google it” made its way into the Oxford dictionary in 2006.
All this is to show you a bit about Google. On several scales, the search engine has made a huge impact in today’s world of internet connections. However, many business owners today still only see Google as a search engine, and know very little thing about how to use it to promote their business and get it in front of prospective customers. If this sounds like you too, it’s time to get another perspective about the big-G.
Yes, you might want to argue that you have been using strategies like Search Engine Optimization to increase your website rankings. But there are so many benefits your business can enjoy from Google today than there were in a couple of years ago.
If you desire to see your business grow and get a leap above the competition, this guide will definitely be of help. In the course of the guide, we will show you many ways you can use Google to brand your business, connect with prospective customers, build credibility, and generate more revenue for your business. Read on to learn all that we have for you in the guide.
If you have been using some SEO strategies to build your web presence, you probably know some things about Google already. The biggest concern in the mind of Google is to serve the users, and so it always places them as a priority. Google prioritizes users experience more than any other thing. The search engine wants to see that it consistently brings the users what they are searching for in the shortest time possible. That means they want to see that their users have access to the most accurate information available.
This unique trait of Google towards its users should also come as a bonus to your business. Just like Google, you also want to make sure that people finding your website on the search engine are people who are looking for your products or services. That means you can enjoy lots of qualifying leads from Google.
To make this even more interesting, Google has also provided you with some tools to help you better control the information associated with your business. These tools make it easier for people to find your business. And this time around, these are not just any people, but the ones that are looking for your products or services.
Since Google is looking for a way to present its users with the closest and most credible business when they search for businesses related to yours, you should see Google as a great tool that can help connect your business to the right people. So, you should think of how to develop your website in such a way that Google can prioritize it above your competitors’.
Fortunately, this is nothing difficult or impossible. The first thing you will need to do is to understand how Google considers local businesses when looking for which business to recommend to searchers. There are four local search signals that Google usually considers in this case. They include:
This is a very important factor to local businesses. Google will always recommend the closest businesses to the searcher. That means companies in the same location or geographical area as the searcher will be considered first when recommending businesses to them. For instance, if the searcher searched for something like “roof replacement in Sacramento, CA, Google will not likely direct such a user to a company located in Ohio.
Google doesn’t want to direct its users to a company that is out of business or inactive. It always wants a relevant and recent source of information for its users. So ask yourself how often you update your content. Do you regularly update your website with new information about your business? When Google sees fresh content on your website, it tells them that your company is active and won’t have any problem recommending it to their users. That is the same way users feel when they see fresh content on a website too.
Google wants to see that its users have the most likely answers to their queries. This process has gotten a bit more advanced in recent years. But as a business owner, your part is to leverage the several tools Google offers to help the search engine better identify your business so that it can always recommend it to ideal searchers.
It is no longer news that, at all costs, Google is looking for credibility. So let it see that it can trust your website by having quality links back to your site and a good deal of high-quality content. That is the way to gain prominence with the search engine.
On a daily basis, the number of sites that Google is indexing keeps growing. But you don’t have to lose your head worrying about all the sites Google is indexing. Your major concern should be on how you can build a reputable web presence that sets you apart from other businesses in your industry and the area you serve.
Again, Google is not just a search engine. Developers, over the years, have made Google a great tool for helping businesses connect and interact with their ideal customers. Thanks to the different tech offerings added to the search engine. Some of Google’s offerings include:
This is just to mention but a few of what Google offers. If there is anything in technology that you are presently using, chances are that Google has an offering in that niche. This is a win-win for both users and businesses. For users, it means their information stays connected, hence making it easier to find their favorites faster. For businesses, it comes as a great advantage to help them tailor their ads and online information to reach the right group of people.
Using all these tools that Google offers helps you build credibility for your business in the fastest way possible. For instance, updating your information on Google Maps and contributing to the efforts of local guides to review other businesses will help you get noticed by Google and hence help make it easier for searchers to find your business.
The way customers journey along the purchase funnel has changed significantly over the years. Before they can become active leads, they must have seen you several times online. This might mean seeing your ads pop up on their social media, find your listing on Google Maps, or come across your business name in a search. All of these send a strong message of credibility both to Google and also the audience. Therefore, it is important you pay special attention to the many ways available to you to build a presence and digital footprint for your business.
So what are the aspects to consider when it comes to helping your site rank higher in Google? Below are the tops ones:
Your structured data includes how pages are arranged on your site, your categories, and tags. You need to structure these data in such a way that they help Google better understand your website so that it can push it to the right people when they search. One important aspect is that you use geo-specific SEO and codes to help Google know the proximity of searchers.
When Google looks for which business to rank top on the search result for a particular query, it often considers reviews. Another important thing about reviews is that users also trust them. Consumers say they check review sites and read more customer reviews about a product before they make a purchase decision.
So if you have not been considering reviews in your marketing strategy, now is the time to do so. Focus more time on locating where your business is listed and encourage your customers to leave reviews for you there after a positive experience. With every additional star in your rating, your sales will increase by 5 to 9%, so reviews are an important asset to help you increase revenue and achieve your business goals.
However, don’t just encourage your customers to leave reviews for you but also dedicate competent people on your team to manage these reviews. Let them respond promptly and productively to every review to improve the customer experience.
Another thing is that you should always respond to every review dropped on your business listing – whether it is positive or negative. That is why you need to commit the task of review management to competent people on your team – people you know can respond in the most professional way to resolve any form of concern a customer might express with a negative review.
There are lots of tools out there to help you get the numbers that matter for your business. Use your Google Analytics, Search Console, My Business, and Webmaster Tools. Your social media also has analytic tools to help you evaluate the numbers you need to improve your brand message and better target your leads.
These tools will help you easily identify which keywords users are using to find your business and where the traffic is coming from. This will provide you with a roadmap on how to keep improving your marketing outreach to get the right bang for your bucks.
Many people wonder why we always recommend WordPress. Well, it is because WordPress is open source, and so it provides you with a lot of options to personalize your site. WordPress also has many developers working tirelessly to ensure the platform is updated with new changes and developments. This is a plus for you because it makes it easier for you to manage your web presence without having to hire a dedicated programmer.
There is a reason Google is now ranking mobile websites first. Users now use mobile devices to search the web more often than not. Three out of four searchers today search using their mobile devices. That is why every business that has a presence online needs to give special attention to making sure their site is well optimized for mobile.
Making your website mobile-responsive will put you on the good side of both Google and the users you are catering for. You can also consider AMP version for mobile. That will make your website load much faster on mobile devices.
Voice search is increasingly becoming popular. And as a local business, you need to consider that in your SEO and marketing strategies. It is possible that you have been using SEO keywords, but have you ever think about catering to voice search too? Now that majority of users speak their search into their phones, voice search is becoming even more important than traditional SEO. Furthermore, search terms and phrases for voice search are different from those you would key into a search field.
Searchers using the search engine have one thing in common; they want to find a solution to their challenges right away. That means making sure your business prioritizes optimal user experience – whether they are accessing your site via a cell phone, desktop computer, or tablet. Every time you make changes to your site, you need to test it for quality across all browsers and devices.
It is important to always update your blog and social media presence with fresh and quality content. This will give you more credibility and higher relevancy with your audience. However, make sure your content is relevant and valuable to your ideal audience. Also, make sure your content is tailored in such a way that it showcases your product or services
Update images to include new offers or sales, and consider adding more local content so you can easily reach more people within your community. Remember that you are a local business, and your ideal customers are people in your local area.
To gain the trust of people in your local area, you might also need to do more than just posting local content on your blog and social media. It might also include supporting local causes or appearing in local events. When a business is being mentioned in print or online, it inspires a follow back and consumer loyalty.
If you are looking for an effective yet easy way to reach primary audience in your local area, you should consider using Google Ads. That is what it is specifically built for. If you have been using Google Ads to get yourself more views and conversions, let’s see how you can tailor your ads to help you generate sales.
There are two types of content silos: physical silos and virtual silos.
When you are designing your ad, it is important you put the consumer’s motive at the top of the list. Translate what you do into how they search. Put yourself in their shoes, and imagine how you would search for your products or services.
When crafting your ad copy, some things to consider include highlighting any current offers and your own value proposition. State what that thing makes you unique. Add relevant keywords to the copy and also match the keyword to the landing page on your site.
If you are using a new account, this should not be a difficult thing to do. But if it’s an old campaign, you can also reorganize it. You can bundle related ads with similar keywords into the same Ad Groups.
The three types of matching are exact match, phrase match, and broad match. So before you use any of them, make sure you understand what each of them does. If you are using exact match, for instance, ensure you are not using awkward phrasing.
When you target exclusions and negative keyword lists, you will be helping yourself prevent your ad from being shown to people that use certain keyword lists. After running some analysis on your ad performance, you should be able to clearly identify searches that might have accidentally lead people to your ad unproductively.
Conversion tracking helps you fine-tune your ads. So always make sure they are set up. This will reveal to you the ads generating clicks, and with what search terms they are doing so.
Ad extensions make up some extras about your business that can be added to your Google Ad. This can include your contact information, business address, operation hours, business ratings, and more. However, you should know that Ad extensions are not usually visible to searchers, so you should keep the most important information in the text ad.
What can be measured can be monitored. Keep track of your search term reports by setting up your Google Ads with Google Analytics. This will allow you to have a deeper knowledge of how your keywords and exclusions are working. It is ideal that you regularly check your analytics – this could be every few weeks or once a month.
Majority of people searching on Google today are mobile, have local intent, and are increasing in number by the day. What this means to local business owners is that Google is all out to help their local businesses succeed by promoting it to the right people. Google’s basic mission is to organize the information available on the internet and make it useful for searchers.
With that in mind, Google is looking to achieve a few basic things, including:
Most part of a conversion today happens off the site. This is usually a direct result of your Google My Business and Google Maps. Google is working actively to ensure users have as much information as possible about a business without sending them off to other sites. That means most of your conversions will often happen even before the customers land on your site – most parts of their purchase decision were made before they click through to your site.
That will also mean you may not be getting as many organic clicks into your site. That makes it important that you take time to leverage the Google Maps and Google My Business features to make sure your information is robust and accurate.
Gone are the days when you only create a website to differentiate and highlight your business. Now, Google is providing you with lots of tools to help you reach your target audience while delivering the best information in the shortest time possible.
Interestingly, two out of three businesses haven’t even claimed their listing on GMB. That means if you quickly do that and give your business a good foot on GMB, you will be ahead of many businesses who are yet to claim their listings. Google is presently providing new tools to help your profile capture the attention of more people and include better information about your business.
Three of those tools are:
A Google post usually appears on the right-hand side of the search result page. Now imagine if you were the only local business using these tools, that means you will have your business show up in the results 100% of the time for relevant local search. That’s indeed a good thing for your business.
Howbeit, creating a Google Post is not something difficult. You just need to go into your GMB account and create a simple post there. That’s it – that’s what helps you earn additional real estate on search result pages for free.
Creating a post doesn’t take much time. You include a picture, message, link, and button type, and publish. That’s all! You can also update these posts any time you have new offers, important events, or seasonal changes.
Google also loves videos. So consider adding video to your GMB page. That can come in handy for users in search results.
This is a reflection of how well your ad is performing and how well you rank on Google. However, it is very important that you respond to any communications as promptly as possible. To help you be on top of this and respond in a shorter amount of time, you can consider adding it to mobile.
We have shown you important things you need to know about using Google to promote your business and give it an edge over the competition. If there is anything you should take away from the guide, it should be that Google is now much more than just a search engine. One thing that will continually be a driving force behind your brand, introducing it to new business and helping to reinforce it, is your digital footprint.
For your local business, this may mean leveraging many tools that are designed to help you connect better with your ideal customers. Luckily, Google provides most of these tools – with most of them being free tools you can use to take your business to the next level.