To grow your business, you need to attract new customers. And since most potential customers will search for your products or services on Google, you need to distinguish yourself by ranking higher than your competitors in Search Results. That said, it’s important to understand any obstacles that may be working against you. For example… – 75% of Google users won’t look past Page One of Search Results. This means you’re fighting over a finite number of chances to grab the attention of potential customers. – How ‘finite’? There are only 10 spots available in the organic listings (of Page One) plus 3 additional spots in the ‘Map Pack’. If you fail to grab one of those 13 spots, you’ll be bumped down to Page Two of Search Results (or worse).
And who’s competing with you for those coveted ‘Page One’ spots?
Direct competitors, of course. Local businesses within your geography who offer similar products / services to you. But that’s not all… – Depending on your geography and the nature of your business, you may also be competing against larger entities. For example, local garages might also be competing with national Quick-Lube locations. Local burger spots might be competing against McDonalds, or other larger fast-food entities. Local plumbers might be competing against the likes of Roto-Rooter. In other words, well-established national chains and franchises may snag one or more of those top spots, and… – Your chance of grabbing one of the remaining spots may be lessened by the presence of third party aggregators. These are non-affiliated sites that compile existing content, serve it up to users, and generate leads and/or traffic for other businesses. Expedia (or any number of similar travel sites) are perfect examples since they generate business for airlines, hotels and car rental businesses. This highlights the importance of a comprehensive organic and Local SEO strategy. Local SEO optimizes your search signals to ensure that you rank higher in Local Search results and earns your place in the Map Pack. Without it, you may as well be handing business over to your competitors. And it’s important to understand who those competitors are. Perform Google searches for the various products / services you offer, and see how you measure up against them. Even if you don’t modify the search by specifying your geographic area (or by using phrases like “near me”) you can get a better understanding of how you’re viewed by Google, while gaining valuable insights as to what is being done differently (and better) by those who outrank you.