Back when I first started doing marketing on the web – around 2003 or so – if you played your cards right you could get into first page search results all over the country, even if you were not a national brand. The right keywords and some “pixie dust” and a Oklahoma plumbing contractor could show up as search results for a Cincinnati homeowner. Google saw that as a huge “customer service fail” on their part. They have been changing the rules ever since.
The battleground for attention thru search is local. It is the smallest division of geography that the search engines can carve out. It is enabled by technologies that knows where you are and has amazing understanding of what you want. If you have 10 searchers typing in the exact search string in 10 different zip codes you will get 10 different results. There might be shared results depending on proximity but the overall makeup and order of the results will be different for each searcher.
Now, think on this the next time you are told that a person or company can get your company or product on the front page of the search engines for $$$. Close your eyes and go thru this list;
- For a search term is your company the best in your area?
- Do you describe that term (exactly) in your text and explain yourself in detail.
- Are you consistent over all the web in your contact information.
- Do you have customers giving you references online?
- Do you look professional in all web related marketing?
Google has but one job regarding search – Give the searcher the best possible answer to their question. Google can see thru scams and invented expertise. Your best bet is to keep your focus – build a great business, backed by great customer service and fair pricing. Then get a professional to tell your story online. Except for that last part it is just like it has always been.