Updated: Sep 26
Have you considered how people shop for your product or services? There are probably two ways roughly speaking.
Path One - The Customer has never heard of you before
In this instance a customer opens up google, types in their requirements for example 'hairdresser' and the google magic does the rest. It delivers a result to the customer of all hairdressers that are close to them based on geographical tags. However not all search results are equal and there are factors at play which will affect where you fall on the search results page.
Being on page 1 of a google search is vital.
Think of it from your own point of view, do you bother to look at search results beyond page one? Do you bother to look at search results beyond the first 3?
What can you do to influence at this point?
To increase your chances of being found by your desired customer you can
- Improve the load speeds of your website. Slow loading is counted as a bad show by Google & your site will be pushed down the list
- Make sure when your customer finds your site it is eye catching & the navigation of the site is easy
- Make sure your site is interesting to your target customer, think about them when you design it, not you
- Make your site useful to your customer, load it up with quality useful information, help them to choose you above the competition
- Make sure you claim your website on Google My Business which is a fantastic tool and free
- Make sure your website includes customer testimonials, social proof is so important
- Update your website regularly, google loves new information & this will genuinely improve your SEO results
Path Two - Someone refers you to your target customer
In this case someone you know has mentioned you to someone they know. You can imagine the conversation can't you.
Friend 1 - " I really need my hair done its been ages. I used to use this amazing lady but she is on maternity leave at the moment"
Friend 2 - " Oh, have you heard of Joanna Smith? She is amazing, and offers mobile services too. Give her a go!"
From here, Friend 2 is likely to jump on google as well and this time look your business up by name. When she does this you want your website to pop up first.
Believe it or not if you choose a generic website address you may not rank first as there could be another business with your name. So keep this in mind when choosing it.
Think of it from your own point of view, when you google a new business what do you want to see in the search results? Probably things like
- A website where you can find out more about the company concerned
- Social Media Links, preferably to up to date profiles. It can be offputting to find a company but their social media is 2 years old. It can make you wonder if they are still open for business
- Interviews in relevant media, for example an inteview with the company owner in a local magazine, or on a great blog. If you don't come up for interviews it can make your search results very dry and make it harder for customers to get a feel for you from a distance
- Blogs you have written that are helpful to your customer or showcase you as an expert on something
- Photos of you, helps the customer form a bond and hopefully shows a warm friendly individual they want to reach out to
- Other sites you may be selling through ( if they make anything on you being on the site you want them to come up after your own website or you will be paying referral fees for no reason)
My top tip is to open an incognito browser and have a look at all of this to see how you present to your customers.
Thanks for reading and I hope this is helpful! Let me know in the comments, or share with a friend if you found it useful.
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If you would like a book of 100 Marketing Tips written just for small business owners then do have a look here. I wrote this book to be easy to read cover to cover or to be kept as a reference to dip in and out of!
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Shona Chambers Marketing is a Marketing Agency based in Nunhead near Peckham. Specialising in helping Small Business Owners and Freelancers with their Marketing. Based at 61 Cheltenham Road, Peckham, SE15 3AF