How potential customers search for products and services

There is a common misconception among business owners regarding specifics on how potential patrons search for the services and or products their business provides. This falsity has created more than a few sighs and facepalms over the years. In fact, this particular misunderstanding often creates a false impression in terms of where a business thinks they are on Google, rather than where they actually are in search engine results.

People search by CATEGORY, NOT by the name of your business, UNLESS the potential customer is already familiar with YOUR business.   You heard that right!  Here come the sighs and facepalms!

I can’t tell you how many business owners have spoken the words:  “I’m number one on Google!”, only to find that the only reason they got this idea in their head was because they typed the name of THEIR  business into Google’s search bar, straight away.   I mean of course you’re #1 doing it that way!  What did you think was going to come up, a competitor?  Yes, there are people still doing that!  I hope you’re not one of them.  If you are, please stop!  Please!

I realize this may be extremely basic for some, but here is the way it works. Let’s say you’re in Phoenix, Arizona and you want some pizza.   Not the greatest place to be if you want real pizza, but hypothetical scenario here.  You jump on your smart phone, onto Google, and you enter “Pizza Phoenix AZ”.  What Google will do is populate the first twenty businesses that sell pizza closest to where you’re standing (If GPS in enabled).  If done with a PC, your IP address is used to locate you.   Keep in mind that we’re not talking about people that already know who and where you are, we’re talking about those that don’t.

Let’s face it.  There a lot more people who don’t know you exist than those that do.  Maybe someone local needs an address because they forgot it.  They punch in the name of the business (In this case “Stumpy’s”) and there it is, on 12th St. & Northern Ave.   No problem.  But say someone is on the side of the road in your town and they need a tow truck.  They’re passing through.  They punch in “24 Hour Towing, Phoenix, AZ”.   Google populates, they read some reviews and make the call.   They’re either going to call you, or a competitor.   What’s it going to be?   Now you’re probably connecting the dots on why your phone isn’t ringing as much as you’d like, or you’re smiling because you already know this stuff!  I hope it’s the latter!

Now it gets even more interesting when we throw in HOW specifically those first twenty businesses show up in search results, but we’re simplifying at this point to illustrate HOW folks search for the services and/or products your business offers.  While there are obviously many factors that determine search engine ranking, what is most important right now is that you understand how people are finding what you have to offer.

Before you send your threats of death, I want you to at least consider the fact that those of you that had no idea about this are now enlightened.  Would you rather know or not know?  I think most of you would rather know, so I’m glad you stayed to read what I had to say.  Thank You!  Until next time, I hope your business flourishes beyond your dreams.

Have a great summer and try to stay cool!

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