The key to driving more sales is to position your brand where your prospects are. Search is an excellent starting point as today’s consumers increasingly go online for product research. Google is the most popular search engine which takes a huge slice of the global market share.
Ranking for relevant terms increases visibility for your products or services. That kind of visibility means more opportunities for prospects to connect with your brand and more opportunities to close sales. But standing out in a competitive digital landscape is a real challenge that many businesses face. Simply throwing up a website isn’t always an effective strategy.
Here we look at several ways you can increase the visibility of your business in search and reach more prospects online..
1. Improve Your Site’s SEO by Optimising On-Page Factors
A study on click through rates in Google found that the first page of the search results attracts 71.33% of all clicks:
Click through rates gradually dropped for lower positions. Meanwhile, pages two and three only received 5.59% of clicks. These numbers illustrate an important fact—Online users rarely click past the first page of the search results and illustrates the importance of a well optimised site.
Google looks at all aspects of your site to determine its relevance. On-page signals are easily one of the most important. Optimise the following factors of your pages to improve their visibility:
- Title tags: Optimise your titles to include your target keywords and your city name to target local searchers. Emphasise a clear benefit with an engaging title to get more visitors to click through.
- Meta descriptions: These are short snippets of text that provide a brief description of a page. Include your target keywords and make it relevant. Be sure to keep your descriptions between 150-160 characters as Google automatically truncates text that is too long.
- Headings: Headings improve readability by breaking up large blocks of content. They also provide additional context to search engines about your page so use related terms.
- Content: Quality content is ultimately what gets ranked. Optimise your content to include your target keywords as well as related phrases. Spend time covering a topic in-depth to outrank your competitors and aim to provide as much value as possible.
- Images: Relevant images not only increases engagement but adding them can also lead to more shares of your content on social media according to data from BuzzSumo. Be sure to also optimise their ALT text with relevant keywords.
Here’s a good example of how to create well optimised pages:
Optimising all on-page factors can be tedious especially for larger sites. But doing so will dramatically increase the visibility of those pages in search.
2. Start an AdWords Campaign
SEO is a viable strategy that’s been proven to drive more traffic. The problem is that it can take weeks or even months to rank for competitive terms.
AdWords offers a more immediate solution to reaching your prospects. Advertising on this platform allows you to bid on relevant keywords and display targeted ads in the search results. Here’s an example of search ads for a local query:
Advertising on AdWords means instant visibility for your brand and more traffic to your landing pages. Follow these steps to get your campaigns off to a profitable start:
- Conduct keyword research: Use tools like Keyword Planner (found within AdWords) to research potential keywords you can target and get traffic estimates. It’s also a good idea to familiarise yourself with the different match types so you can narrow your targeting even further.
- Group related keywords: Google assigns a Quality Score to your campaigns which affects how much you pay and your ad positions. Group related keywords together to increase the relevance of your campaigns.
- Write targeted copy: Ad copy can mean the difference between a high click through rate and a low one. Highlight a clear benefit in your ads and make it specific to your audience. Be sure to also test your ad copy to increase clicks.
- Use ad extensions: Ad extensions help get your ad noticed and have even been shown to improve click through rates. They’re also free to add and you’re only charged for actions that users take on those ads.
- Monitor and evaluate: You’ll want to keep a close eye on your campaigns as the last thing you want is to run through your budget with little to show for. If certain campaigns aren’t doing well then it doesn’t make sense to continue running them. Constantly test and evaluate to maximise your return.
Advertising on AdWords provides near instant visibility in the search results. Together when using SEO services, you’ll be able to capture even more search engine traffic.
3. Create a Google My Business Profile
If your business targets local prospects, you’ll want to a create a profile on Google My Business—a tool that makes it easy for businesses to manage their listings on Search and Maps. When prospects search for your brand, Google features a large profile to the right of the search results with relevant details about the business.
Here’s an example when searching for a local cafe:
This large feature provides better visibility for your business. Potential customers are also able to quickly glance key details without having to click through.
Start by creating an account on Google My Business. Be sure to completely fill out all details about your business and select an appropriate category. The information you enter here should be consistent with other profiles you have. Note that you’ll need to verify your location which is typically done by postcard.
Meanwhile, take the time to completely fill out all aspects of your profile. One of the key findings from a study by BrightLocal found that 60% of consumers were more likely to notice local results with images. So be sure to include quality images that reflect your business or hire a professional photographer to take some.
Write up a short description of your business and include your target keywords to increase the overall relevance of your profile. Finally, remember to verify your profile as soon as possible.
4. Optimise Your Facebook Page
Your website isn’t the only way to reach more prospects. With more than 2 billion active users, there’s a good chance your audience is on Facebook. Creating a profile on this network means more gateways for prospects to find your business as these profiles can also rank on Google.
Here’s an example of a local query that has a Facebook profile ranking on the first page:
Not only does this business get traffic directly from Facebook, but ranking on the first page means that it also more than likely generates traffic from Google.
Follow these steps to rank your Facebook page:
- Optimise your titles: Just like with your landing pages, the titles are incredibly important. Craft your title to include both your primary keywords and brand name. This will help search engines find and index your profile page.
- Fill out your business details: Contact details are essential especially if you’re a local business. Include details like your phone number, address, email address, URL, and opening hours. Be sure to also optimise the description to include your target keywords.
- Include images: Upload quality images to your profile to make a first great impression to anyone who lands on your page from search.
- Build links: Just like ranking a landing page in the organic search results, you’ll need to build relevant links to your Facebook page to get it ranking. This will boost the relevance of that page and get it ranked for your keywords.
Facebook isn’t the only social network that ranks in Google. Search for your main keywords to see what other platforms rank and create profile on those sites. Some examples include:
- Yellow Pages
- Trip Advisor
Create profiles on the ones that are relevant to your business and optimise them to boost their rankings in the search results. It’s entirely possible to take up multiple spots on the first page.
One of the most important aspects of any business is reaching new prospects. Search is an excellent starting point as data shows that more consumers turn to search engines for product research and local business information. Implement the strategies above to reach more of your prospects online and drive more sales to your business.