Connecting With Customers Using Local Search

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Connecting With Customers Using Local Search

If a tree falls in the forest but no one hears it, does it make a sound? I say yes, but feel free to disagree.

If my business is open in Rushville (or New Castle, Richmond or wherever) and no one knows about it, does it exist? You and I say yes. Google is not so sure . . .

Why should I care about Google?

For the uninitiated, Google is the 800-pound gorilla that currently controls a very important segment of the internet, which is organic search. By (an overly simple) definition, organic search is the process by which a web browser (usually Google, sometimes Bing) delivers relevant content to a searcher who has just typed something in a “Search” bar. If you are looking for plumbers in Connersville, Google delivers on your request – ads for plumbers, listings of plumbers with red dots (showing their location) and organic search results. If you are a plumber in Connersville, would you like to be on the list when someone is looking for a plumber? If you are not on the list, do you even exist, especially in the minds of your customers?

source-of-traffic-brightedge copyWhy should I care about “search”?

As this chart illustrates, a significant amount of traffic is driven by organic search, and Google controls an estimated 68% of the search market. To put it simply, if Google can’t find you, neither can anyone else – at least online. Further, search drives 10 times the amount of traffic as social media, so your feverish Facebook posting and tweeting may not be having the desired effect.

What should I do about it?

If you agree that it is important to be found by Google, here are three steps to help you move forward:

  1. Do a self-assessment. Don’t Google your company name, search for your business type or category. Search for wedding dresses in Muncie or pizza in Winchester. See what comes up.
  2. Put yourself in the mindset of your customer. Would you call you or visit your website, based on what Google returned from your initial search? What if the customers searched from their cell phone? Why would a customer call you instead of the other companies that are listed along with you?
  3. Regardless of what you found when you searched (unless it was super awesome!), resolve today to “get right with Google”. Business is hard enough without doing it with one arm tied behind your back. Get every advantage you can, especially when it’s an advantage that won’t cost you anything.

The East Central ISBDC is helping area businesses “Get on the Map” with Google. We’ll take you through what you need to know to make sure your business can be found when your customers search online. Here is a list of our upcoming workshops:

Anderson- September 14, 8:30-10:30 am    Register here

Pendleton- September 20, 9-11 am  Register here

Richmond- September 26, 5:30-7:30 pm  Register here

New Castle- October 14, 9-11 am  Register here

Knightstown- October 17, 5:30-7:30 pm  Register here

Yorktown- October 25, 2:30-4:30 pm  Register here

Liberty – November 7, 9-11 am  Register here

Scott Underwood

Scott Underwood holds a Bachelor’s degree from Ball State university. He has experience with various aspects of small business and entrepreneurship. He enjoys working with entrepreneurs in various stages of business, from feasibility to start-up to growth. His ability to consult with clients and ask the “hard questions” helps provide a different perspective to business owners and opens new avenues for success. He also has industry-specific experience in the franchise industry.
Scott Underwood can be reached at sunderwood@isbdc.org.
Posted in: Marketing

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