KEY TAKEAWAY – Understanding HOW prospects search online for your business will show you where to concentrate your marketing efforts.
The internet has dramatically changed the way the world buys, so it’s important that business owners understand the mechanics of this new online buying behavior.
Today, it all starts with one of the top 4 internet search engines and someone using a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone equipped with a web browser.
Last year, over 1.3 trillion searches were handled just by Google, the world’s 8,000-pound gorilla of online search engines. Since 2 out of 3 people use Google as their primary search engine, that’s the one we’ll be focusing on here.
People search for your business in 3 different ways:
- Generically. They’ll use search terms like “plumber in San Antonio” or “cosmetic dentists in Boerne”.
- Targeted. They’ll use specific business names like “Acme Plumbing Company in San Antonio” or “Dr. John Jones Dental Clinic in New Braunfels”.
- Combined. They’ll search for “plumbers 78209” or “cosmetic dentists northwest San Antonio”.
These keywords are individual words or phrases searchers use to find what they’re looking for. A search engine’s mission is to give them the most relevant search results based on those keywords and make the searcher’s online search experience easy and successful.
Depending upon the business niche & city you’re in, anywhere from dozens to thousands of potential clients are searching for your type of business every month.
Many of them are “ready-to-buy” prospects looking for legitimate, local and trustworthy businesses to give their money to right now.
Listen, if you haven’t done this yourself recently, you really need to – simulate your prospect’s search process just to see what other people see when they’re searching for your type of business online.
Go to Google.com, enter the type of business you’re in and the city where you’re located, and see what comes up. Or enter your business name and city.
This is what your prospects do – and this is what they’ll see first when they’re looking for you. Now stop and take a look around. What do YOU see?
For business owners, marketing executives, and internet marketing consultants, this is Ground Zero. Google calls it the “Zero Moment Of Truth” or ZMOT.
This is where your first contact with new online customers is usually made. Focus here first on:
- claiming and optimizing your company’s free Google+ Page
- populating it and other directories with 5-star client reviews
- opening up a YouTube video channel.
There will be more about those later on in this series.
It’s clear that if you want to attract new customers to your business, you must become as visible – and as attractive – as possible to this steady stream of new prospects actively looking for you online.
So, the idea is to build your online web as broadly and strategically located as you can in order to get the most high-quality visitors / prospects into your sales funnel. Then continue the sales conversion process as they emerge to call you or visit your business.
NEXT UP: We’ll look at the typical centerpiece of any internet marketing strategy, an important stop along the way for your online prospects.