Imagine how your business could grow if you had all the customers you could handle. That really is possible now by creating a strong web presence and literally dominating the local search results.
So, Why is Search Engine Marketing So Important?
Here’s a shocking pair of statistics from Nielson: a full 82% of consumers now use the Internet to search for local businesses, and 54% of consumers have abandoned the Yellow Pages altogether. Yet despite these trends, local businesses on average only spend 10% of their marketing budget to increase their web presence and market themselves online.
As shocking as this is, it also presents a tremendous opportunity for our clients to jump in now and seize control of the flow of the local search traffic in their niche. These early adopters will have the opportunity to build an almost insurmountable lead over their competitors. Those who jump in now will get a huge long-term competitive edge.
How to Begin
Understanding your customers’ searching behavior on the Internet is the key to generating new business and growing your profits. What is the dialogue that searchers are having when they type into Google, Yahoo, MSN search or Bing and hit “search?” Do people search the way they talk? Or do they use more formal language when trying to find services, products, and information? The key to tapping into this massive flow of customer traffic is in understanding this language.
The truth is: we can’t ever really predict how people will search for a given term. But, we can do even better… we can know EXACTLY what search terms have been typed in each month, how many times per day, from what areas, and at what times of year. Think of how powerful this information is. No more guesswork. Find and Analyze Highly Relevant Keywords/Phrases
The next step is to decide which search terms are relevant, have high traffic numbers (number of searches per month) and are the least competitive. An experienced interactive marketing agency can research and analyze the data and expose weaknesses in the competition. This process requires experience, expertise and a variety of diagnostic tools in order to make sense of the volumes of numbers. Only the most savvy interactive marketers have that special ‘sixth sense’ which tells them if a search term is worth targeting or if it might be too difficult.
Dominate the Results Page with Your Presence
We have just talked about ranking a business website for high traffic search terms, but this is just one aspect of dominating a niche. Small business owners can show their presence in several other places in the search results. Everyone has seen Google Adwords, but many people still don’t know what they really are. I am talking about the three line advertisements that show up to the right of your search results. By managing a successful geo-targeted Google Adwords campaign, small businesses can have a second presence on the same search results page that they show up for with organic search, only with Adwords, the results are immediate and businesses can begin driving targeted traffic to their websites with a few hours. Google local business listings offer yet another place for businesses to show their presence on that same results page. These are the maps that show up at the top of the results page with drop pins for location and business names and contact info to the right of the map.
Dominating your market doesn’t end there! We just discussed three ways a business can have a presence in search results for a high traffic search term, but there are countless other ways to continue the hostile takeover! Your interactive marketing agency can continue to add your presence through a number of other vehicles like YouTube videos, micro-sites, press releases, online articles… and the list goes on.
Imagine seeing your business show up in five or six different places on the first page of results for a high traffic, highly relevant search term. Imagine being able to connect with customers from within a 50 mile radius in such a powerful way. And the best part is – they are looking for you! No hard sell, no high-pressure sales language necessary.
Rinse and Repeat
Once you’ve done this successfully for two or three search terms, start targeting others. No guesswork, no wasted marketing dollars on conventional advertising campaigns that can’t be tracked, no frustration with building expensive websites that no one ever visits. Unlock the hidden potential of your online presence and dominate your market.