2020 has been a year like no other and many small business owners have had to adapt their business models by moving their services online. You may have a decent website but find that your company doesn’t rank very highly in Google Search so your competitors end up getting more business.
Damian Donnelly, Principal at Ad_Man Creative Marketing, is one of our E-Merge consultants and is an award-winning advertising, marketing, digital marketing and social media consultant with some 27 years’ experience in helping businesses attract new customers. Damian outlines some simple steps to help boost your ranking in Google Search and ultimately win new business!
In January this year, following a referral, I was commissioned to work with a great client who wanted to raise the bar on his business. He knew he offered a great service, had a decent enough looking website, but reckoned he was all but invisible in Google search for the things he needed to be found for. He was right. He was nowhere. He asked me to help fix that.
Six months later I received an email from the same client. He wanted to thank me and shared with me how amazing it was to rank #1 in Google for some of the services he provided and that he was now outranking some serious big-hitters in his sector. I checked and he was right. But it was much better than he thought: he was now ranking #1 for all his main search terms.
So, what happened here?
Perhaps, the best way to find new customers is for them to find you – for most of us that begins with a simple Google search. The premise is simple enough: we google whatever it is we’re looking for – be that artificial flowers for a wedding, drain unblocking services, or a new garage door – and Google shows us a ‘list’ of businesses that offer just that.
If ‘your name is on the list’, you may well get the phone-call, email or visit that you want. And by and large, the higher your business ranks in Google search, the more clicks you get to your website. And the more clicks you get to your website, well the more enquiries, leads, and sales you’ll get, too.
The opposite also holds true: if your business isn’t there or doesn’t rank highly enough, then that phone-call, email or visit is sure to go elsewhere – to the competition.
So, how do you get found?
The sort of things that make the most difference on your visibility in search include:
- Well-written, keyword-based, customer-focused web-page content
- Properly structured, keyword-based meta-tags
- A claimed and verified Google My Business listing
- Quality links from other sites to your site
- Fast load speeds
The great thing is, most of these are reasonably quick and easy to implement.
Get the click
Not every business that ranks well in Google search will get a click through to their website. Many don’t: often because how their business appears in search doesn’t look as relevant or compelling as the search results for other businesses.
So, how do you get the click?
For the purposes of removing some of the mystique around meta-tags: title-tags and description-tags (meta descriptions) are the little bits of text that show up in Google search like this…
Created in your website’s content management system, compelling, keyword-based search result snippets like this that match the searcher’s intent and which actually invite a click can make all the difference between getting the click and not!
Get the enquiry or sale
Let’s now assume that your business has been found in search and that the ‘googler’ has clicked through to your website. What next?
Not every visitor to your website will result in an enquiry or sale – a ‘conversion’. That’s just the way it is. While this can be for a number of reasons, it can often be something about the website itself that’s creating barriers to conversion.
Before we look at the sorts of website ‘road-blocks’ I encounter on a weekly basis, please let me emphasise here again that the absolute best way to keep visitors on your site is to give them great, easy to navigate content that solves their problems and/or answers their questions. For that there is no substitute.
So, that aside, how do you get the enquiry or sale?
The sort of things that make the difference between someone staying on your site or going off to another one include:
- A poor use experience (UX)
- Non-existent or counterintuitive navigation
- Slow load speeds – especially on mobile
I’ve deliberately held back from mentioning ‘search engine optimisation’ (SEO) until now. My guess – from experience – is that if I’d mentioned it earlier you’d have run for cover! Thing is, everything I’ve been talking about in this short article is about SEO and what it can really mean.
I hope that I’ve gone some of the way to demystifying SEO. More importantly, I hope that I’ve helped you recognize what ‘good SEO’ could mean for your own business.
Never has there been a better time to get found, get the click and get the enquiry or sale than during the current health and economic crisis. InterTradeIreland’s E-Merge programme, offers fully funded consultancy support to the value of £2500/€2800 to help businesses like yours develop online sales, marketing and e-commerce solutions.
Support is provided in a range of areas including E-Marketing, website management, product packaging and labelling, pricing/price matching/batch offers/discounts and much more. Our focus is on no nonsense, no jargon practical ideas and actions that make a real commercial difference.
Find out more about the E-Merge programme and how it can make a difference to your business.