WSJ Review of their Google Search investigation
How does this article affect you and your small business?
Well...this article was very much eye opening to say the least. While reading it, I just got more and more frustrated.
Summed up the Wall Street Journal released an article on Saturday Nov 16 2019 that identified how Google catered to Big Businesses with HUGE marketing dollars. It was eye opening, but at the same time it all makes sense. Big corporations like eBay have a $30 million Google advertising budget. Their search engine ranking dropped, they complained, threatened to pull their marketing dollars from Google, a few months later, ranking back up and doing great.
So, what does all this mean for small businesses out there...
Here is what I suggest you work on to improve your search engine ranking:
1. Don't pay for Google Ads
This is where the BIG corporations spend millions of dollars. Small business can't compete when paying for generic keywords. If you want to use Google Ads I highly recommend paying for targeted keywords. You will not get a huge quantity of clicks, but you will get quality. If you are a small business in Norfolk, VA and sell 'swim lessons' I'd recommend paying for keywords like:
'Swim lessons in Norfolk, VA'
'Swim school in Norfolk, VA'
Also make sure to use phrase or specific match. If you don't you will be competing against big swim schools that spend $$ on the generic term 'swim lessons' and 'swim schools.'
If you really want to do Google Ads consider advertising on Google Maps as it is better targeted to the area that people are searching. If you are a local business with a shopfront and have really good Google reviews this would be the way to go.
2. Increase your Google Reviews
Google reviews are great to show online customers that you are a business that can be trusted. Google reviews do help improve your overall search engine ranking. Additionally, if potential customers hear about you through Word of Mouth, they will then Google your business, see your reviews and this can assist in leading to a conversion.
3. Video MARKETING and SEO
Google ranking on the first page is very hard! Now with paid advertising at the top, bottom and on the Google Map it only allows for a few businesses to show up on that first page. So what do you do...go and rank high on
youTube video. Google are now embedding YouTube videos on the first page of Google Search. Get ahead of the competition and set your business up with a YouTube account, SEO your videos and make sure they have relevant content. This is a great opportunity to not only appear on YouTube search but Google as well.
4. SOCIAL MEDIA
Social Media - grow organically. Build your own loyal trusted brand through your social media channels.
On Twitter become an information leader.
On Instagram become a fun, popular and personal brand.
On Facebook show off your customer reviews and your portfolio of products/services
Use YouTube to present professionalism, quality and necessity to have your product/service
LinkedIn execute your professional, respectful and passionate business model
5. Look to other search engines
Google is not the only search engine out there. Work on optimizing other search engines. DuckDuckGo broke 9 billion searches in 2018 and it continues to grow. Their focus is on building a privacy-focused search engine. You can advertise on their search engine through creating a business account with Bing Ads. It's easy and can be synced from Google so it only takes a few minutes.
6. Referral Sites
Search keywords that you'd like to rank high on, find out if there are any referral sites that have great ranking. Contact these referral sites and see if you can get your business on their for free or for a fee. We do this for our remodeling company in Virginia Beach. Houzz, BBB and Angie's List show up on the first page for 'Kitchen Remodeling Virginia Beach' we pay a subscription to appear on these pages and it has definitely paid off.
7. Be relevant
As a small business you might not to be the biggest and most popular website that appears on Google Search but what you can be is the most relevant. Write relevant blog content, market locally, use highly targeted meta descriptions and titles and present your product/service on an easy to use mobile friendly website. Ensure you have clear call to actions, easy online purchasing options and then communicate it out on all your advertising and marketing channels.