As a small business owner, it can sometimes feel like David facing Goliath when there are so many well-known big competitors in the marketplace. However, the Internet opens a multitude of sales opportunities for many small businesses. It all comes down to reaching your ideal customers – which is just a matter of knowing the right tactics to use.
It's vital the right customers easily find you when searching. What many small business owners struggle with is how to accomplish that effectively.
In this post, you'll learn how to show up in Google search results with tactics like SEO, SEM, and content marketing. These are the trifecta to get your business at the top of search results pages at crucial times in the consumer journey.
Showing Up in Searches at Crucial Times
It's your job to give customers what they need when they need it to help guide them along their customer journey. That means you need to respond to customer intent. Understanding the user's intent enables you to shape your online messaging and site to reach people at crucial times when they're looking to purchase or need further information.
Customer intent refers to the reasons the user entered the search terms. In other words, what did the user hope to achieve with their query? Were they looking for something specific, like a site, product, or brand, or were they searching more broadly to understand what products or services might fit their needs? The keywords they enter can provide insight into their intent.
There are four primary types of intent:
- Informational - For instance, "How to show up in Google search pages"
- Navigational - A specific location (often including a brand name), such as "McClatchy home page" or "Amazon chat"
- Commercial - A list of popular choices, like "best gifts for teens" or "top-rated local media companies in the US"
- Transactional - This is cutting directly to the point, such as "Apply for an LLC in Texas"
Show Up Using SEM, SEO, and Content
To explore this a little deeper, let's look at how the types of customer intent help inform the medium used to show up more prominently in searches. It is all about what type of marketing tactic helps serve up the content the user needs based on the search terms or data they enter.
Commercial and transactional intent works well with search engine marketing (SEM) because it denotes products for sale. Informational and navigational intent works well with search engine optimization (SEO) and content, like blogs and videos.
Get Your Business at the Top of Search Results Pages
Unless you've not been specific with your search terms, chances are you rarely venture past the first page of the search results page (SERP) when entering a query in a search engine. That's why small business owners must take the time to understand the mediums, technology, and terminology required to get them highly rated in SERPs. Even if you choose a media partner to help you, it is still essential for you to be familiar with all relevant digital marketing terminology.
Here are a few of the techniques to further shape your methods for getting your business to show up higher in search results:
- Optimize keywords based on intent – Create a keyword list and note the user intent behind them to align with the best strategy. Research top search terms to get started.
- Create quality content – Develop engaging blogs and video content to inform and benefit your customers. Remember to use relevant keywords in titles and meta descriptions.
- Incorporate local SEO in your homepage – Make the address and service area available on the home page if your business is local. Use your neighborhood, town, county, or state name as keywords.
- Maintain a high-performing website – A quick, clean, easily navigated website is crucial in search efforts because it earns site visitors. It also helps promote your business in SERP rankings.
- Ensure your website is mobile-friendly – More than 50% of all searches are on mobile devices, rising to almost 75% when the query is about food or beverages. Making your website mobile-friendly helps you effectively reach people wherever they browse and helps them find you while they're near your store.
Choose a Trusted Partner to Show Up in Search Pages
When it comes to choosing a media partner, aim for the top. McClatchy has the tools and capability to help develop and optimize your campaigns. We are the nation's second-largest local media firm with a national reach. When you are ready to gain a competitive advantage by showing up higher in search results, reach out to our team today to find out how we can help.