The Local Aspect Of Google Search Is A Huge Advantage To Your Business
26 January 2017 | NORM MCCONKEY
If your website tells the world you are a managed print services provider, you could show up in about 5 search results in Google this month. If your website can sell printers, ink and toner, you could show up in 50,000 search results. Translation: the only people that know what MPS is are those that work in the MPS industry. It’s time to stop talking like an industry insider and start talking like your customers.
Where did I get these numbers? The Google Keyword Planner is an important first step when you are trying to increase traffic to your site. It took me about five minutes to find out that:
• Up to 10 million times per month, people search for printer, ink, or toner.
• ‘Managed Print Services’ is searched for about 1,000 times per month.
• ‘Managed Services’ is also a bad SEO term.
• There are less than 1,000 searches per month with the term ‘Managed Services’.
• There are over 10 million searches per month for ‘Computer and Laptop Repair’.
Before we get too excited about these numbers, keep in mind that they represent all of North America. Google restricts websites to what they determine is your service area. If, for example, your office is in Detroit, Michigan, and your business is selling office technology, they will likely restrict you to roughly a 60-70 mile radius of your business address. This is a good thing—I’ll expand on that later, but in our Detroit example, your geography encompasses about 2 million people. That number of 5 searches for MPS and 50,000 searches for printer, ink, and toner is derived by dividing your geography into the total population. The Keyword Planner will give you more accurate numbers for your geography.
Here’s another important number to consider: more than half of Google Searches are now done from mobile phones. If your site has been deemed by Google “not mobile friendly”, your site will be banished from the top SEO results.
Those telemarketing calls you get almost every day to increase your ranking are likely going to add in missing titles and page descriptions, keywords, links and other metadata to your website. They might help create some initial traffic increases, but if your content does engage visitors and they do not click other pages, or they stay for less than three minutes on a page, your site will start to slide down the Google search rankings. What does it all mean? Having a poor website is now even worse than having no site at all.
Understanding if your website is performing well can be daunting. Some simple-yet-effective monthly web statistics you should be paying attention to are:
• Total visitors to your site (be sure to filter out internal employees).
• Average duration spent on your site.
• Number of page views (three page views is an engaged visitor).
• Bounces/Bounce Rate (people that only view one page).
Much of SEO is controlled by Google. Every other search platform is a rounding error by comparison (sorry, Bing user(s). Google's business is advertising and if they start to serve up bad results to their users, they lose money. As e-commerce continues to increase, your ability to transact online will also increase your appeal to Google users.
The local aspect of Google search is a huge advantage to your business. Your company can rank every bit as high as Staples or CDW in your territory. Google LOVES local businesses. They know that local businesses become great advertising partners, and they want you to be successful. You may not be able to compete against Staples nationally, but in your geography, you and your team of sales and service professionals can compete and win.
It may not be quite this simple, but it’s also nowhere near as difficult as industry consultants would have you believe. The starting point for all of this is a functional e-commerce website. A website that can be used by computer and mobile phone users with equal success. A site that reflects what you do in terms that customers understand. I can help.
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About the Author
Norm McConkey has been involved in the print, imaging, and software/tech business since 1993. Holding executive level positions in a number of emerging technology firms, he founded PrintFleet in 2003, and Tangent MTW in 2009. A founding member of the MPSA, an award winning author and presenter, Norm has spoken at various industry events around the world including the Lyra Imaging Symposium, Photizo confernece, ITEX Tradeshow, Regional BTA conferences, Remax Europe, and World Expo. He has been contracted to consult and build go to market and sales training programs with several OEM manufacturers such as Canon USA, and HP, and distributors such as Parts Now and Supplies Network, as well Resellers including Office Depot. Norm’s current project, MPSToolbox (www.mpstoolbox.com), is a software platform which helps technology dealers develop and maintain e-commerce websites.