Tags: Business

Why You Should be Googly-eyed about Google

Posted 05.09.16 by Lori

If you’ve ever wondered why Phoenicia Café, Pita Jungle and Hummus Xpress are the only three businesses that turn up on your phone in your Google query for mediterranean food tempe as you are walking back from a meeting at the Tempe Transportation Center at 5th Street and Forest, you’re probably like me and thought it’s because those three businesses have paid big bucks to Google to make that happen – but that is not the case at all.

These businesses have simply used the free tools Google makes available to businesses to get found by customers looking for mediterranean food tempe.   

So how can you make sure you are in the top three businesses when customers are looking for you?

Luckily, I can tell you (in spite of the fact that you did not have the pleasure of attending the May 4th installment of the Marketing Symposium Series supported by APS) – because I’m a great note-taker and I’m writing this while eating the Trio Hummus from Phoenicia Café. See? The search results worked.

First off, let me just say that Google is a smarty-pants.  And so is Gabe Ramirez from Sitewire. He presented the marketing symposium, he really knows his stuff. He started his presentation with data and ended with a mysterious date: August 6, 2015. 

First the data – did you know?

  • 97% of consumers use the web to find LOCAL goods and services
  • There are now more mobile than desktop searches.
  • Google has 65% of search market share in the U.S.
  • 95% of all search traffic comes from page 1 (hence the joke, the best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of Google search results).

This data demonstrates why you need to make sure your business can be found on Google – you can’t stay in business if you are not found by 65% of the market looking for you. So let’s get started.

Step One: Ask yourself the following questions about your online mobile site or app:

  1. What do consumers want to learn? Do YOU answer their questions?
  2. What are consumers doing? How can you help?
  3. Search for topics about your brand. Are you there?  Do you like what you see?
  4. How long does it take your site to load? How does your site look on a mobile device?

If you answered “I don’t know” to one or more of these questions, then you are not being found by customers looking for you. They are going to your competitors.

Step Two: Use the following tools to find answers to the questions.

  1. What do consumers want to learn? Do YOU answer their questions?
  2. What are consumers doing? How can you help?

To answer the first two questions, you have to know that CONTENT is KING. You need to identify what your customers need and want (I want to know, go, do, buy, etc), identify what your brand goals are (opening a new location, launching new products, higher margin offerings, etc.) and then integrate the two for purposeful content. Your content should be useful and connect customers to answers. Remember: user needs + your brand goals = purposeful content.

  1. Search for topics about your brand. Are you there?  Do you like what you see?
  2. How long does it take your site to load? How does your site look on a mobile device?

This one is easy: Google yourself. Not happy? Try ubersuggest.org (Free!) to find new keyword suggestions, get content ideas, Google trends and more. Then use Google Adwords Keyword Planner to plan your Search Network campaigns, get performance insights and see keyword ideas.

Then, use Google’s PageSpeed Tools to help you analyze your site performance.

Step Three: Get Local

Finally, back to the mysterious date from Gabe’s presentation: August 6, 2015. I thought it might have been his birthday or day his puppy was born, but it’s even more important than that: it’s the day the 7-pack went away on Google. You see (and this is where this all comes together), when you type in a query on your phone like mediterranean food tempe, Google used to feature 7 businesses in the results. But now only 3 show up.  August 6, 2015 is the day that the 7-pack disappeared (it’s a big deal, go ahead – Google it!) and now features the “Local Pack” of 3 results – intentionally designed to fit within a mobile user interface, thus identifying 3 results right by you (= Local). Now do you see how important it is to be found, get local and show up in the top 3 on page 1?

So how do you get local? Pursue local links for your website from locally relevant sources (lots of them). Next, ask your local customers for reviews. For maximum impact, get at least 10 great reviews. And lastly, make sure you’re listed in local directories (Yahoo!, Yelp, etc.).

Learn something new by reading this?  You can learn more about a variety of topics designed to take your business to the next level in our Marketing Symposiums supported by APS. See you in class!