Google is now the ‘go to’ place for the vast majority of people looking for information on goods and services so it is extremely important that your business website appears when someone searches using Google.
88% of UK online searches now take place on Google, 7% on Bing and only 4% on Yahoo and Yellow Pages has become very thin..
People search using ‘keywords’ – these could be single words or in the form of 2, 3 or more words or phrases. The simple fact is that 90% of people searching on Google do not look past the first page of it’s results so basically if you don’t appear on page one of Google’s result pages potential customers will be going to your competitors.
There are three areas on Google’s results page where you could appear and each works in a different way – ‘Adwords’, ‘Organic’ and ‘Google My Business’ as shown on the screenshot below.
‘Google Adwords’ otherwise known as ‘Pay Per Click’ or ‘Sponsored Ads’
These results are shown at the top and bottom of the page with a small green ‘AD’ symbol on the left. This is where Google makes it’s money and why it’s worth billions. The simplest explanation for how this area works is that you pay Google everytime someone clicks on your link and visits your website. It gets a bit more complicated because you actually bid against your competitors on the keywords – basically the higher your bid, the higher you appear on the results pages.
Google also gives your ‘Ad’ a ‘Quality Score’ based on the relevance of your ad, keywords and your landing page and history. This is also taken into account in deciding your eventual position.
You can choose to display your ads on Googles network of third party websites that agree to display it’s ads but this is optional. You can limit your budget to so much per day – after that figure is ‘spent’ Google will switch you off until the next day.
The main Adwords interface looks a bit daunting but there’s also an ‘Adwords Express’ which is much simpler and easier to understand, more limited in it’s functions but can still work well.
Google adwords can be an extremely effective way of driving visitors to your website where people are searching for your goods or services. But it does not work for everyone. I would only recommend this if you have a niche product or service worth at least several hundred pounds and if you are struggling to appear in the next section – The ‘Organic’ results.
The ‘Organic’ Results
These are the results in the main body of the page (not marked with an ‘AD’ symbol). There are normally 10 ‘Organic’ results on each page as shown in the screenshot above. Google does not charge for this – it’s robots visit your website and automatically grade it for your keywords.
There are a lot of factors which Google takes into account when deciding where to place your website on their results page for a particular keyword. This is often referred to as Google’s Algorithm. Some of the main components are as follows :-
How and where your keywords appear on your webpage.
How many, and the quality of, links to your webpage from other web sites.
Whether your keywords are contained in your domain name.
The number of pages on your website.
The age of your website.
How often your website is updated.
It’s said that the algorythm contains over 200 factors, some much more important than others but nobody really knows the current version which is updated on a regular basis.
The organic area requires ‘optimisation’ of your website for your keywords which when done correctly should display your website on Google’s results for several keywords.
Google My Business (previously known as Google Places)
This is essentially for Local businesses and appears on the right side of the page usually when you search for a specific business. Google is producing it’s own ‘free’ entries for as many local businesses as it can find.
So your business will either already have one of these or it won’t. If you don’t have one you can register for one and if you do already have one it may be either already ‘claimed’ by yourself or it requires ‘claiming’ by yourself. Once you have ‘claimed’ it, you can edit the information displayed.
Google My Business entries can also appear under a map on the left side of the results page – there are often three results under a local map (as shown in the screenshot at the beginning of this article). These are the ‘top’ three most relevant results as decided by Google’s algorithm. Businesses situated most local to the person searching are considered ‘more relevant’ so will more likely appear here.
You can also encourage satisfied customers to write a positive review in this area. Positive reviews result in golden stars which can also appear in your Organic results but be aware it is impossible to get bad reviews removed from this area unless you can prove to Google that they are malicious – which dosen’t happen very often !
If you would like help with any of these Google options :-
- Google Adwords Express
- Optimisation of your website for your keywords
- Setting up ‘Google My Business’ entry or claiming/editing an existing entry
Please call be on 01625 858860
or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
and I’ll be happy to help or advise.