Is your website positioned at the top of the Google results? Did you know there are 4 separate places on Google pages where your website can show up….all at the same time? There is no qualified lead better then someone who just searched for YOUR specific product or service and founds YOUR website. So, dominating the major search engines at a local level for your related keywords should be your #1 priority.
Getting ranked at, or near the top of Google listings for primary keywords on a national or international level takes an incredible amount of work, time, and money. But, why even worry about national rankings when most or all of your customers come from your surrounding communities? Getting your website ranked on the 1st page of Google, Yahoo, and MSN in your local markets is much easier, but it takes a special understanding of how Google works locally Vs nationally. We know how to do that.
New internet marketing tools make it possible to market products and services to LOCAL customers over the internet. Website visitors that come from other states and other countries doesn’t help most local businesses like plumbers, hair stylists, doctors, and builders.
Definition of SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the technical term for positioning your website results on a higher position on the search engines for the keywords you want than everyone else. It basically means “tweaking” your website code and content in order to more easily be “seen” by the search engines. This “natural” method of getting traffic is more difficult, and takes more time than AdWords, banners, or Pay-Per-Click ads. But it is far less expensive and, in the long run, much more permanent and credible in the minds of those looking for your products or services. Think of it this way. Which gets your attention more when looking for a plumber; an advertisement in the newspaper or a local article about how great this particular plumbing company is? The credible news article wins ever time.
Understanding Google Pages
- Here’s a quick overview of how Google lists local businesses:
Google Statistics Bar
Google Statistics Bar is located at the top of search engine results. This informational area describes your particular search, including the number of results on the current page, an estimate of the total results, and the time your search took to display. The bar includes dictionary results, which are the blue underlined links to the right.
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Prime Positioned PPC (Pay-Per-Click)/Sponsored Ads
Google’s prime positioned paid ads that are paid for by companies using Google’s pay-per-click service called “Adwords”. These can be cost effective is properly tailored to your specific business and limited to a narrow local trade area. About 15-20% of users click advertisements in this section.
These listings appear when someone searches terms that include a geographic location (like Plumbers in Charlotte). These listings are free by signing up with Google and entering your information. But, where on the list a business shows up depends upon where your website ranks and how your website is structured and linked.
Boogle Natural Search Results
Organic Search Results
Google’s “natural” listings that are posted by key factors of relevance to the search words entered. Websites rank high that Google finds best match. A website that is search engine friendly, provides rich content and external optimization, such as links search popularity. About 70% of users prefer to click these links versus sponsored links.
Prime Positioned PPC (Pay-Per-Click)/Sponsored Ads – TOP BAR
- Google’s Prime Positioned Sponsored Ads are located at the top-most left portion of the page. These paid advertisements are the product of Google’s pay-per-click service, “Adwords”. The ads here must be fairly relevant to your search criteria entered by the person as well as attain a superior level of performance, measured by CTR (click-through-rate – the number of users that click the ad), to be featured in this section. Nationally, this can be very expensive. But, when limited to local trade areas and high-value key words, this can be a very effective portion of your advertising campaign. An estimated 15-20% of users will click advertisements in this section.
PPC/Sponsored Ads – SIDE BAR
Google’s Normal PPC (pay-per-click) ads within Google are located to the right of the search engine results page. These ads are also the product of Google’s pay-per-click service, “Adwords”, but can be a bit less expensive than Top Bar Position ads. The ads here must also be fairly relevant to search criteria and are ordered based on CTR (click-through-rate – the number of users that click the ad) as well as the price paid by the advertiser. The more you pay, the more people that click, the higher you r ad ranks on the page.
Local Listings – MAPPED RESULTS
Google’s Local Listings will typically appear on the first page of search results when search terms include a geographic location (Atlanta Air Conditioning Repairs). Similar to organic listings, Local Listings are essentially free listings because they involve no click through fees. The criteria for rankings are based on a number of considerations: search engine optimization, proper geographic information listed on your website, and getting positive “reviews” through third party websites. Most people use this to get a rough idea of what’s available in their local market and about where they are located. They also go down the list, from top to bottom, to see what’s available. Notice I said from “top to bottom”. So, where should your posting be ranked?
Organic Search Results – NATURAL LISTINGS
Google’s organic, or natural, listings are achieved by key factors such as internal (on-page) optimization efforts including making your web site search engine friendly and providing quality content as well as external optimization efforts such as link building. Google also looks closely at click volume and how long people stay on each site. It is estimated that 70% of users prefer to click on these results versus the sponsored listings on the right. And 80% of people click on the first page. So, getting your website ranked high in the local market with the most important keywords is essential to your market domination success.