Business 101: Three steps to making your new business succeed online
When our clients come to us it’s either because they want to set up their very first website, or because they have an existing one that isn’t working for them. They all want to get seen on Google within a matter of days, which is completely understandable. It’s our job as a web agency to manage expectations and let you know that the hard work has just begun.
Google doesn’t just rank you on page one the moment you have a new website. Google needs to test your website and you need to earn its trust. Think about it this way, Google has so much repeat business as it gives people what they want, when they want it. We’ve written a blog on how Google does this with their Web Crawler
So how can you get your business up the rankings and generate more enquiries? We have three simple steps to kick-start your business growth online that all SMEs should know.
Step 1 – Research your audience and find out exactly what they are searching for
It might sound obvious, but do you know what people are searching for to find you? It’s really common for businesses to have created their own jargon for their products. You’re the experts, you know what you’re talking about. Do your customers though?
We’ve had many discussions with our clients about what they think people are searching for versus what people are actually searching for. Insight from you as a specialist within your business area is essential. It’s also extremely important to gather data to confirm what you believe else you risk heading down the wrong path before you’ve even started.
Let’s give you an example. We recently developed a website for a cosmetic car repair company. They explained that they carry out SMART (Small to Medium Area Repair Technology) repairs and asked to rank for the search term ‘mobile smart repairs’. To the company, this is what they call what they do.
We got to know what the company’s services were before carrying out keyword research. The results showed that people aren’t really looking for ‘mobile smart repairs’ and so had we focused on this term, our client wouldn’t receive many visits to their website which would be detrimental to their business growth.
How can you research your key search terms?
The best way to research your key search terms is to set up a Google ads account and then head to Keywords Planner which can be found in the Tools & Settings menu.
From here you can either select ‘Discover new keywords’ or ‘Get search volume and forecasts’. If you want to explore keywords, the first option is the best route for you. This way you can identify new keywords to include in your website and messaging.
Discover new keywords in Google Ads
Once you click into ‘Discover new keywords’ you’ll see you can either insert a website URL or enter some keywords. Either option is great, so we advise you to do both. Find a competitor website that performs well on Google search results (SERPs) and this will give you a strong idea of where you should be going.
The results are a list of keyword ideas and average monthly searches like shown below. These came from a competitor’s website review by Google, but show us that for our cosmetic car repair client, ‘car body repair near me’ is a common search term reaching over 10,000 monthly searches on average.
Let’s compare this to the initial suggestion of ‘mobile smart repairs’ which came from the client. Monthly searches for this term average between 10 to 50 monthly reviews. Which search term would you prefer to rank for? The higher volume search term.
This isn’t to say you should focus on nothing but top level key search terms, as you could be going up against enormous conglomerates who have a digital marketing army behind them! If you see search terms that have less searches but are more specific to your product, try to rank for these. They can often be more fruitful which is why they are termed ‘low hanging fruit’.
Step 2 – Setup a Google Business Page and keep it updated
You have a new website, or you’ve just updated your website – brilliant! You ought to know the key search terms you want to rank for on Google search results, and the next step is to encourage Google to show you that little bit quicker. What better way than to use a product offered by Google! This certainly shaves off the typical time it can take for your website to work its way up the ranking.
We put our client’s website live and then we set up their Google Business Page. They started to appear for search terms just 5 days after our updates!
Once you’ve set up your Google Business page, adding your products and services, opening hours, area you cover and imagery, the next important step here is to keep it updated. Encourage people to leave reviews on Google for you as this will then show a star rating in search results when your business appears. This can be a huge benefit as it often confirms you are trustworthy.
Step 3 – Utilise Facebook
Although Facebook is at war with Google so neither promote each other, your business will need both as your ally if you want to grow your business. So just as you will be spending time maintaining your Google business page, you ought to do the same for Facebook too.
Make sure you create a business page on Facebook and not a profile page. If you don’t set this up correctly you could find nobody interacts with you, and you won’t appear as a result to people searching for your services. It’s important to note that Facebook are trying to push themselves more and more as a business directory as well as a social media site.
Once you have a business page created, ensuring you have photos added, reviews, relevant information such as products or services, are all essential aspects. One other element which is slightly more time consuming, is scheduling posts on your Facebook page. If you don’t keep your page updated, you don’t have a voice and will be missing out. Facebook needs fresh content to keep their customers engaged. If you aren’t posting fresh content, you aren’t entering into the lottery draw at all.
How many posts should you commit to weekly?
Well it’s easier said than done, we ourselves are guilty of forgetting to post, as we’re all so busy serving our customers, where can one find the time to update their flipping Facebook page? Well here is some good news – unlike Twitter, which ideally should have between to 3 to 5 tweets a day, Facebook engagement can still be achieved at a nice pace as long as you commit to at least 3 posts a week. If you’re struggling to find the time to manage your own Facebook page then speak to us – we specialise in creating unique content for our customers that actually drives results and encourages interactions.