Representation Management - Why Are So Many Businesses Not Doing It?
I've just done a google.co.uk search for CCTV Installers. I'm not looking for one so if you are one and you pick up on this article read on, but don't ask me if you can quote.
The reason I did this search, and many others like it, is because I want to understand how Google is serving up search results for this query. This is the only way I can determine what opportunities a client has to be found when a search is performed that relates directly to what they do. This is so simple to do I am genuinely surprised when I speak to a business owner and find they rarely, if ever, do searches. If they do it's most often using their business name or site name. You absolutely want to be popping up on the first page of search results for your business name and site name but you very definitely want to be found for what you do as well.
A Search Reveals Much More Than Results
Your prospective customers will perform multiple searches and when they do they'll get some different results. What you should be looking for are the different types of information Google is including on the search results page. In the case of CCTV installers I can see that the majority of organic listings are influenced by location, even though I haven't qualified my search with a location.
I can see Pay Per Click adverts above and to the right of the organic search results.
On this occasion Google has also served up a map in the top right and a listing of map pins splitting the first organic search result from the rest.
A listing for Yell appears at position 5 in the organic results.
My client doesn't appear anywhere, yet.
I'm interested in the Yell listing because I want to see if my client appears in their list of CCTV installers, relative to my location, which happens to be Liverpool. The Yell first page reveals a sponsored listing for one of the businesses showing in the map results served by Google. This represents a second easy presence for that business.
My client is again not appearing anywhere.
Simple Steps Achieve Swift Results
From one search I've spotted three opportunities for my client to be seen. One is to create a Google business listing. The second is to create a free Yell listing. The third is to create a PPC campaign so my client will have an advert running.
All the above will produce almost instant visibility for my client. One will involve some advertising spend but it will be very modest.
And Then There's Search...
The final opportunity, relative to how Google is presenting search results for CCTV Installers, relates to organic search rankings. A thorough look at the strengths and weaknesses of the top ten sites indicates that my client can achieve a page one listing and this will be assisted by the other three actions. Some additional work will be needed but it won't involve a great deal.
But There's Something You Won't Know
What you won't know by doing a search is how many other people are searching everyday for CCTV Installers. I already knew because I'd researched this term, along with over 400 others. According to Google there are an average 390 searches a month for the term CCTV Installers. It can be argued that being listed for search terms that are rarely used is not worth the effort. Without doing some form of keyword research you won't know if you're technically wasting your time.
Representation Management Simply Makes Good Business Sense
From a straight forward search I've been able to help my client see very clearly that they have been missing opportunities to be seen. Being seen is vitally important for every business. For many businesses the web is increasingly the only place they can be regularly and freely seen. It makes no commercial sense to not take every opportunity to be seen when a prospective customer uses a search term that directly relates to what your business does.
Keep It Simple - Pointers
Here are some practical pieces of advice:
- Don't over complicate the task and don't make it bigger than it needs to be.
- Ask your customers what they would search for.
- Build a list of the searches your customers say they would conduct.
- Add to the list with your own queries - think about search queries that suggest action.
- Use a keyword research tool to check how many searches are being conducted for the terms in your list - Google Adwords Keyword Planner is free to use but you will need to open an Adwords account. This is free to do. The keyword planner will return other keyword suggestions that will not be on your list.
- Perform searches for each term and identify if opportunities exist to be seen on the search results page in areas other than the organic search listings. Invariably you will be able to create adverts but there may well be other opportunities.
- Pull together an action plan and then act.
By doing the above you will find your representation on the web will be measurably improved. Do make sure you check your site analytics to see how much more traffic you are receiving and do keep a note of how many more phone calls you are getting. This will encourage you to keep doing what are very simple actions.
Of course you can engage a business like WD4T to do all the above or you can have us coach you or a member of your staff to become super proficient at it. It only takes a phone call or email to get the ball rolling.