Here at Grow.Online, it’s our ambition to become a global, affordable online marketing tool for small businesses. We want to guide the small naive fish through the shark infested waters.
Taking on big brands is a daunting prospect for any small businesses, especially online. Google can appear to be a huge mountain that tradesmen, florists, independent restaurants and coffee shops never dare to conquer.
Google has made some changes recently as reported here : http://searchengineland.com/google-no-ads-right-side-of-desktop-search-results-242997. In short, Google has reduced the amount of paid ads they show on a given page. This now means the following:
Positions 1 – 4 are now prime positions on the page
Natural SEO results have been pushed further down the page
Google appears to be favouring big brands
Small businesses and affiliates are being priced out of the auction as bid prices are rising
Google shopping results are taking up a large chunk of the page
All doom and gloom right?!… NO! Advertisers and small businesses just need to shift focus. We need to ensure that we protect our budgets, target traffic with the right intent and service users requirements. How do we ensure we do that I hear you ask… Here are some great tips.
Setup a Google My Business Page
It’s so simple and it’s FREE. If you have a shop or business address, it’s simple to get verified. Google My Business allows users to find your business through Google Search, Google Maps and also Google+. If you search ‘hairdressers lichfield’, you should see something like this:
This is prime position on the search results page and displays some key information about your business, such as; address, opening hours, phone number, your website, customer reviews and a brief description. We can’t stress how important it is to be visible to prospective customers, 86% of consumers use Google to research local businesses.
Sign up today – https://www.google.com/business/
Only Target Local Traffic
Google Adwords can seem like a complete minefield. It’s heavily dominated by big brands who deal directly with Google Account managers and have huge marketing agencies acting on their behalf. Let us let you in on a little secret… Having worked with some of the worlds biggest online marketing agencies and some of the world’s biggest brands, we can tell you, for a fact, they are not that smart and not that scary after all.
Local businesses have an advantage in the battle to top Google. Local businesses are lean and agile and don’t have a board of directors or a brand director to please. Local businesses have only a few core services or products to offer to customers. Local businesses operate in specific locations. What we are saying is, that local businesses can be the master of one trade and not a jack of many.
Local businesses have the ability to target specific locations, i.e. a county or even a town such as Milton Keynes. Local businesses can target these locations and ensure all of their budget is being spent in the right places. By ring fencing/geo targeting a specific location, this reduces wasted spend users that you can’t service and allows you to target users close by, who are likely to use your products or services.
Ultimately by doing this, small businesses can increase their relevance, improve click through rates on ads, reduce cost per clicks, boost targeted traffic and increase sales, leads or customers through the door.
By targeting a specific location, it frees you up to target broader terms, for example; ‘bricklayer’, ‘florist’ or ‘coffee shop’ – especially relevant for mobile searchers. Target mobile searchers who are out and about and direct them to your store.
Try these little tips and see if you can’t increase leads, traffic, orders or people through the door. Just remember who told you ;).
Co Founder Grow