Google. The search engine that started in a dorm room has now become a worldwide phenomenon. Generation Y, those born in 1980-2000 has turned the term into a verb – “Google It” – and it’s not uncommon for your Google history to contain some pretty unique topics. My own latest history includes everything from “Hillary Swank Movies” to “breakfast in Quincy” and “Capital of New Mexico.”
However, Google and other search engines can do more for you than just answer every day, insignificant questions – they can help generate serious traffic to your business’ website.
The way Google searches work is through complex algorithms and web crawlers that — you know what, no, I’m not even going to try the explain it here. It’s super-complex and even plenty of people who work for Google don’t totally understand it. It’s sort of like when you’re at a restaurant and you eat an incredible meal. You never really understand the ingredients or the cooking techniques but you know that it’s delicious!
In 2012 there were more than 5 billion Google searches per day. What is your business doing to make sure you appear in those search results? Search Engine Marketing (SEM) can actually target your exact customer demographic and help your website appear on the first page of not only Google but any search engine.
First, choose selective keywords and specific geographical locations that most represent your business. Take my “breakfast in Quincy” search query for example. Restaurants in the Quincy area who serve breakfast can choose that keyword phrase and then their establishment will show up on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) targeting their exact customer!
Alternatively, businesses can set negative keywords. What does that mean? Negative keywords allow you to not appear in search results for certain keywords (or services) you do not offer. Let’s say a restaurant only served lunch and dinner, they can set their parameters to ensure if someone types in “breakfast” they will not show up. With this technique, you not only target keywords you want people to call you for, but also can eliminate those irrelevant to your business.
Now you’re probably thinking about price. Well, the good thing is that SEM is commonly called “pay-per-click” which means you only pay when someone clicks on your link. And since you can carefully target who sees your ad, those clicks are meaningful and lead-generating! Ultimately, the end goal is to convert casual visitors into paying customers and drive new sales to your business.
Finally, a nifty trick to keep track of all the leads you’ll be receiving from your SEM campaign is to use Call Tracking. Tracking numbers can be set up and placed on your search ads, which forward to your business line. Keep track of the quantity and quality of leads brought in by your search campaign, separate from all other calls made to your business. Take this one step further, and you can record the phone calls! Use the records for quality assurance, employee training, and more to continue to improve your business, and gain a better understanding of your customers!
All in all, Google is an incredibly useful tool for businesses in a “Google It” world. Put your name where your customers are searching and you’ll guarantee that the right people are clicking on your link, visiting your website, and delivering you quality, prospective customers.
Want to know more about SEM campaigns? Propel can help! Learn more here.