Who doesn’t want to make a good impression on others? When we meet people we never got the chance to meet before, we often feel the urge to impress them. After all, it’s rightly said that first impressions are last impressions.
The same goes for your business. You want to build a reputation and make a positive impression on potential customers when they first interact with your brand.
With an immense increase in ecommerce stores over the past decade or so, the buyer journey now usually starts online. When customers face a problem, they turn to the internet to find a product that solves that particular problem. Not only do they collect information about suitable products, but they also conduct research to compare different available options. At this time, reviews of past customers and product details help them make the right choice.
As a marketer, don’t forget that this research is mostly done via a search engine.
How Search Engines Work
You must be familiar with search engines. But do you know how they work?
There are over 1.8 billion live websites on the internet today and this number is constantly increasing. It’s not possible to organize such a huge quantity of web pages and find the information you need. Thanks to search engines, this is no longer a challenge.
A search engine is an online program that checks published web pages and ranks them to facilitate users. Whenever a user enters a search term, they go through these pages and list the most suitable items.
For this purpose, it performs several tasks. The first of these is Web Crawling and is performed by bots. This refers to the process of searching available content. Crawling is done to find new pages as well as review the existing web pages.
Next comes the Indexing. Did you read the index of chapters at the start of this book? You must have read chapter names and then accessed the chapter relevant to your need. Indexing works the same way.
Google bots and bots by other search engines create an index of published pages and display relevant results when a user asks.
The last step is Ranking. Do you wonder how search engines determine which websites are relevant when you enter a search query? Then let me disclose that this action is done via ranking. Published pages are ranked as per their relevance, quality, and originality. Whenever a user performs a search, these pages are displayed as per the ranking.
Top Search Engines
While there are many search engines available to internet users, the most popular one is Google. In fact, this paved way for a new phrase, Google it!
When a person wants to find some information, they usually turn to Google to find answers. It’s no surprise that Google holds around 75% of global search market share. Here are a few other popular search engines you can try:
- Aol Search
Google is the leading search engine and YouTube occupies the second position. And guess what? YouTube is also owned by Google.
Interested in capturing customer attention and convincing them to purchase your products? Then you need to ensure that they can easily find you via search engines. Hence you need to focus on increasing brand visibility.
Start the process by searching for your business on Google. You will notice a list of results. This may include your website and social media pages. However, you may be surprised that Google displays other businesses in the same list. And sometimes, other businesses are ranked above your own venture.
The next step is to improve the ranking of your business in search results. This way, more and more potential customers can find you online and you can convert them into loyal customers by making a good impression.
How to Improve Search Engine Visibility
Businesses are competing with each other to secure the highest search engine ranking because top 3 search results for any search query tend to attract visitors the most. Google evaluates businesses on the basis of over 200 factors to determine which of these are most relevant to users.
There are various strategies to improve ranking, be more visible, and impress customers. Let’s take a brief look at some of the most prominent strategies:
Search engine optimization is the process of gaining higher visibility in an organic way. Some sources claim SEO to be free, but let’s not forget nothing is free in this world. You have to pay a cost for everything. As for SEO, the price is your time and efforts.
SEO is a complex, on-going process. Since there are no hard and fast rules, you can learn SEO best practices through the trial and error method. Google also provides basic guidelines to facilitate business owners.
The best strategy for a business is to value customers and consider their preferences. An essential step is to have a user-friendly website. If you don’t have a website yet, it’s time to get a business website. These websites are not too expensive and some platforms such as WordPress and Wix offer free websites with certain limitations.
The interface or design of the website should be simple. The easier it is to use different functionalities, the better will be the treatment by search engines. Whether you design a website on your own or hire a professional website designer, getting a good understanding of design guidelines will assist you in implementing SEO strategies.
Search engines are very particular about content. They penalize websites that plagiarize content from other web pages. So, not only should you come up with unique content, but also add valuable insights that add value to potential visitors. Through quality content, you can attract higher traffic volume and significantly improve the search engine ranking.
Google My Business Tool
Now that you know how important it is to build impactful online presence, you can’t ignore Google My Business. It’s a powerful tool that enables businesses to create business listings and manage their appearance on Google platforms including Maps and the search engine.
Traditional marketing interacted with the audience through newspaper ads, billboards, and setting up promotional stalls in shopping malls. With this digital tool, interaction is now much easier. You can understand how customers interact with your business.
This platform facilitates businesses to attract potential customers via attractive images, useful information, and satisfied customer reviews. With the help of detailed analytics tools, it’s no longer a challenge to find out demographics, geographical location, and interests of target customers.
Run Paid Ads
Aside from organic marketing, you should also add paid advertisement to your marketing strategy. Search engine ads and advertisement on social media are effective in raising brand awareness, generating leads, and increasing revenue.
Although these ads appear at prominent positions on screen and increase visibility, you need to meet specific criteria. However, if done right, these paid ads can help you in achieving goals and customers will start noticing you through Google.
Around 78 million blog posts are published every month and receive over 77 million comments by readers. These statistics are eye-openers for marketers who want to gain attention and gain brand visibility through digital marketing.
Back in the day, marketing people wrote articles for magazines and attended interviews with reporters for better visibility. These methods are still a part of marketing, but blogging and especially guest blogging has made it easier for startups to compete with larger businesses despite limited financial resources.
You can set up a blog for your customers and share valuable insights about their areas of interest. For instance, you can write posts about how the business adds value and share valuable tips to build credibility. Digital platforms like Medium and LinkedIn are suitable for this purpose. Moreover, you can also publish guest posts on reputable websites such as Forbes and Inc.com to increase traffic to your website.
Remember the yellow pages directories that listed a myriad of businesses along with their contact information? Not much has changed today when it comes to these business directories. The only difference in traditional and digital marketing is that directories are now available online.
Online business directories publish information of businesses on websites. The most popular ones are Yelp, Angie’s List, Zillow, TripAdvisor, YellowPages, Foursquare, and many more.
It’s an effective way to let people know about your market offerings and share contact information. Furthermore, Quora is another great platform to communicate with potential customers by sharing answers to their questions and informing them about your products.