Updated: Jan 7
If you have ever wondered as a small business owner how to use Google as part of your marketing strategy then this blog will hopefully answer your question.
I am going to focus on the free uses of Google within this blog but there is of course the choice to pay for Google advertising if you have the budget and want to grow your audience more rapidly.
This blog focuses on ways to help your company make the most of Google and generate more interest. As small business owners, we all need more enquiries to convert interest into custom.
To find out your position on Google right now I'd recommend doing a quick search for your main company name, and maybe your own name too, if you want to know what your personal profile as owner of a business is like.
Being on page one is important
One of the first things I check when carrying out a marketing audit for clients is what comes up on page one of a Google search. If you have a website, it is really important to try and get yourself listed on page one.
A recent survey* concluded that the first page of Google receives 95% of of web traffic.
*Source Neil Patel
Next time you need a product or service ask yourself how often you search beyond the first page? Your customers will be doing the same thing. Like is short and people will not be looking hard for more than a few options.
But how do I appear on page 1?
It is true that being on page one is about getting several things right. You also have the choice between paying and achieving your rank through organic methods, which also means more work.
For the purposes of this blog I am going to focus on organic marketing, because that is what I tend to work with clients on first. But a quick google on how to appear on page one paid for, will lead you to lots of articles on Google Ad Words and paid SEO.
3 Free tips to try to get on page one of a Google search
1. Do a search for common problems your customer might have
For example in the context of this article I am assuming that many small business owners will ask " how can I get my business seen?" because visibility is one of the key issues small business owners have. When you make that search a box will appear at the bottom of your Google page (as pictured) with lots of helpful terms that your customers will have also used on Google. If you try to bring as many of these into your own content as possible this will aid your ranking.
2. Optimise your Google Business listing
Did you know that Google allow all businesses to list their services for free? They provide a tool called Google My Business. This displays your business information to users in a few simple ways. It brings your listing up as a search result, and it also allows people to see your location on a map.
It is really important to claim your business on Google, and optimise this important tool. You can post photographs to it, the more the merrier as far as your profile is concerned. And you can post updates too, in the same way as social media. You can sell products there and use it to provide a special offer to anyone who may happen across your profile.
Here is an image of a local business with a Google My Business profile. You can see how much information it allows you to display, from opening hours to a prime feature where you describe your business in a statement to your potential customers.
3. Build up links to relevant businesses
To increase your chances of appearing on page 1 of Google building links to high ranking companies can be a great strategy. For example, if your business is featured in a national newspaper or relevant trade publication then each time someone searches for your product category they will see the article and find you that way. This does require some thought on a PR strategy, but as you are the expert in your own field you will know which companies it is worth finding a way into. One quick tip on that is to visit Twitter on a daily basis and pop #journosearch and #prsearch into the search box. You will see lots of journalists searching for people to speak to about articles they may be writing.
Below you can see two examples of Journalists looking for people to feature for stories. One from Daily Mirror & Daily Express journalist Elizabeth Archer, for an article on lockdown. And one from Phoebe Frances Stone who is a Feature Writer for Delicious, looking for people who have made lifestyle changes this year.
If you are patient you can often turn this free feature to your advantage.
So that concludes the third in my four part marketing refresh series. If you have missed part one or two I've linked to them below.
Thanks for reading!
Looking for more help? My new book is out now
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 South East London.
Specialising in helping Small Business Owners and Freelancers with their Marketing.