Google search has an impact on just about every business model on the planet.
If you have a service-based business model, it’s very likely your target market is going to go to Google and search for your products and services on the Internet.
They will take out their mobile phone and in most cases do a voice search for example:
- Chiropractor in Atlanta GA
- Hair dresser in Raleigh North Carolina
- Best mechanic in Birmingham AL
- Dentist in Shreveport LA
You get my drift here.
Your business being in the top results of your Google search means you will get new customers or patients organically.
What’s great about organic? It means leads that come through natural results in Google’s search, versus a lead you paid for through for example Google Adwords.
How Long Does it Take to Get On Page One of the Google Search?
The most popular question I get asked is how long will it take to get to page 1 of the Google search?
That is a loaded question because the response could be VERY different from business to business.
The length of time it takes to get there and the process involved depends on demand and geography.
How large is your city? How competitive is your niche? Are people in your niche savvy when it comes to marketing?
All these factors and more come into play when deciding the difficulty and time frame.
When a new client comes into my practice here is our beginning process:
Step 1: Search Equity
We determine the top keywords and what their Google search equity is.
Search equity meaning for example, there are 40 searches a month for a keyword or in a much larger city there could be up to 400. The larger the city, the higher the competition and the more difficult it is.
Basically, we want to know how much search is available for a specific keyword.
Step 2: Current Ranking
The next step is to determine where or if the business falls in the organic Google search already.
To decide this we merely go up to 10 pages into the search and document where the business ranks for each keyword. We make notes as to what page they are currently on so we can show progress in an evolutionary process which we show to the client each month in their reporting.
Step 3. Determine Competition Factor
Once we have an idea of the search equity available and where the business currently ranks, we now need to determine competition.
What businesses are in the top 3 positions on page 1 of the Google search? This is where all the magic happens.
Once we know all the businesses that are on page 1 we then evaluate each website. Are they there by default or by purpose?
Here’s the thing – in most cases websites just by default are on page 1, if that is the case they are easy to beat. If they are there on purpose and their websites are built well, that is a bit harder and calls for a different strategy.
The whole idea is to evaluate the situation and decide what strategy we have to use to get our client to page one and in one of the top 3 positions.
Step 4. Time and Strategy
The million-dollar question –
How long will it take until we are on page 1?
This is the most popular question I get asked and interestingly enough the answer to this question is the reason why this type of marketing is sometimes overlooked.
The answer is, it depends on all the factors we learned in our research weighed out together. I will then make an estimation of the time factor which is usually quite conservative.
I have been in situations whereas I had a business in a somewhat smaller demographic and I was able to rank them on page 1 in less than 60 days.
On the other side of the spectrum I have had a client whereas it took 11 months.
Once you get to page 1 it is now time to get up to the first 3 positions which could also take some time, it’s just depending on all the factors.
This time factor is what discourages most business owners from investing in search marketing. They want a quicker fix and tend to focus on only purchased Internet traffic.
The fact that most business owners don’t invest time or money in search marketing is double-edged sword for me. On one hand it irritates me, but on the other in many cases it makes my job way easier and my client’s victory much faster.
What is the Value of Being on Page 1 of the Google Search?
The most important thing to remember is every great marketing strategy is comprised of two factors:
- Short-term gains
- A long-term growth strategy
Your website is a part of your long and short term strategy.
Focusing on your website and being in the Google search for top keywords your target market uses to find your business on the Internet is a very important part of a long term strategy that when accomplished will also be short term. Short term because after you rank in Google search it will bring leads to your business every single day.
A website’s job is to make your business money and if it doesn’t it is broken – bottom line.
When a website is designed well and strategically used it provides a financial reward that is literally like compounded interest – it will give back to your business year after year.
The answer here goes back to how much is a customer or client worth to your business?
According to an article published by Search Engine People:
Research has proven the first position will receive 33% of the clicks, the second around 15%, and the third around 9%, then it drops off from there.
Basically 57% of clicks goes to the top 3 results.
So, if you have a keyword that gets about 1,000 Google searches a month, and you rank number 1 for that keyword, you could expect roughly about 300 extra visits to your website.
Let’s say out of those 300 visits 20 people contacted you for more information or whatever your sales process is. Let’s also say you converted 5 of those 20 to customers.
Let’s also assume you have a customer or patient which has a lifetime value of $1,500. That means in 30 days you brought in an extra $7,500 of revenue to your business.
These numbers could be much higher or lower.
The idea is to figure out what your top keyword search equity is, then of course incorporate your customer value to the equation.
Being at the Top of the Google Search is Just One Piece of the Pie: Let’s Talk About Conversion
Once you get to the top of Google search and get people visiting your website that’s just half the battle.
In my marketing practice once I evaluate what it will take to get my client to rank for their top keywords and what the strategy is going to be the next factor is conversion.
Is their website properly designed for a visitor to find what they need QUICKLY before they decide to leave? Also, is it enough to get them to take the desired action – whatever that is.
Over the past 8 years of having my own marketing practice EVERY SINGLE CLIENT has had a poorly built website.
This is not necessarily the client’s fault, as they rely on website developers and uneducated marketing companies to make decisions on their behalf.
What can you do?
As a result, it does take a bit of work to get their website up to par. It also takes a bit of educating to get them to understand the broad picture and what is really important.
Once You’re in the Top Google Search here are 5 Website Conversion Factors
The first consideration is to ask yourself this question:
When people get to your website what do you want them to do?
- Do you want them to call you?
- Do you want them to purchase something?
- Do you want them to fill out a form of some sort or download something?
You can have the most gorgeous website on the planet, but if it lacks the ability to get people to take the desired action it’s a fail, pure and simple.
Top Conversion Considerations
First Consideration: Your website must be mobile.
Most people are going to view your website from their handheld.
As a matter of fact, this is now also a ranking factor so your website being mobile not only impacts your visitor, but it impacts your Internet ranking position as well.
Google has now updated their algorithm so that it has mobile-first indexing.
This means all mobile-friendly websites will rank first ALWAYS.
So basically, websites that are not mobile are being suppressed and pushed down in the rankings.
Second Consideration: The Customer Journey
Now let’s talk about the customer journey – a good practice is to take out your mobile and go to your website and try your best to have a very unbiased perspective view.
Try to look at your website through your customers’ eyes. Is your content based on what you want to tell them versus what they need to know?
Yes, there can be a difference. I have found many businesses have a disconnect in communication with their target market and this can cost a business a lot of money in lost revenue.
Here are some questions to start with:
1. Is it user friendly?
2. Do they easily find what they need or answers to questions they may have?
3. Is your contact information easily accessible?
Go through all your pages one by one and see how your visitor views them. Especially check out your contact page, how easy is it to navigate?
Is there a click-to-call function? That means with one click from their mobile someone can call you.
Everyone loves convenience and if your website is the most convenient you are the one most likely to get the call!
Third Consideration: Call to Action
When people get to your website what action do you want them to take?
Whatever that action is you need to make sure there is a clear path to make sure they do.
For example, if you want them to sign up for something or send you an email there needs to be a form of some sort on that page in the top right hand corner. That is typically where the eyes go to first.
What incentive to they have to sign up or to call you?
Put yourself in your customer’s position, what would make YOU take that action?
Fourth Consideration: Your Website Must Be Secure
Google is now requiring all websites to have an SSL certificate. (SSL means Secure Sockets Layer)
SSL is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser.
This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral.
Google makes the user their number 1 priority and as a result coming up with every possible way to make them feel secure on the Internet.
As of July 2018 Google started flagging all unencrypted websites – which can be a bit of an alarm to the user.
This means if your website doesn’t have an SSL certificate; it will display a ‘Not Secure’ alarm in the URL bar. This could really freak your visitor out, as privacy has become a top concern to searchers.
Once you get an SSL certificate your URL will change from beginning with http to https which means your website is secure and the danger signal will no longer show.
Fifth Consideration: Website Speed
Another very important factor is website speed – a slow loading web page is the kiss of death.
These days people have 2-second attention spans, they will leave your website and go to the next one in a heartbeat.
You can test your website using a on a free Google tool https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/.
You should test each page on your website separately – especially the critical pages or what I call “the money pages“.
There are certainly tons of other factors when it comes to the profitability of your website but these are the most important to get a handle on.
Always remember your website is a valuable asset and if you rank for keywords your target market types into the search it will pay you back dividends year after year.