Today I want to talk to you about Google and how it works because we’re often asked “why isn’t my business appearing on the first page of Google’s results”.
So the first thing I would like to clarify is what an internet browser is.
This is the software program that is installed on your computer or phone which allows you to connect to websites on the Internet.
The most popular Internet browsers are Safari on Macs, Internet Explorer on Windows machines, Firefox or Google’s very own browser Google chrome.
The problem is that with only a browser you would either need to know the exact website address or have the link in order to go there, such as https://www.news24.co.za.
Think of the browser as an empty classroom at school. It would be pretty pointless unless you knew what you want to learn and knew where the textbooks were. So all your browser is is the infrastructure or technology.
As you can imagine, this is not very practical since many of us don’t actually know what we’re looking for and this is where Search Engines come in.
In the past you looked in the phone book when you needed a product or service, but these days you either ask for a recommendation on Social Media or head straight to your internet browser and use a search engine such as Google to find what you want.
A search engine is actually another website which knows everything there is to know out there. The way it works is search engines send web crawlers all over the internet and build up an index of what is where and how relevant the information is to search terms so that when someone opens the search function and asks them something, they know what and where the answer.
The most popular search engines are Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Think of the search engine as your school teacher entering your classroom who has been to Varsity and knows pretty much everything you could possibly ask or could send you to the right place for that information.
Search Engine Results Position
In South Africa Google owns the market outright with a 96.65% search engine market share and this is why we have our very own in-house Google Guy, Novi, who is a Certified Google Expert. His job is to stay on top of the google algorithm and keep our clients on the 1st page of Google.
So what does this mean for your business?
Well, there are so many companies with great products and services, but if your company is buried in search results to the point that potential customers can’t find you online, you essentially don’t exist. In fact, some say that the 2nd page of Google is the best place to hide a body as nobody ever looks there 🙂
By now you must be wondering what your options are in order to appear on the first page of Google?
Well, there are 3 different options in order for you to achieve this which we’ll look at below.
Option 1 is Google Ads
Think of it as “bribing” Google as the way it works is we bid against your competitors for the search terms that you want to rank for.
So Google Ads is like paying your teacher to makes sure they give you great marks and here is why…
Known as PPC, Pay-Per-Click is a form of Paid Advertising with Google where you buy your way onto the 1st page of Google search results. It appears at the top or bottom of the first page with a little block around it displaying the word ‘Ad’ in it.
To begin, we set up an amount that you are willing to pay each time someone clicks on your ad to go to your website.
The company with the biggest budget will always win the bid for that keyword, so it’s important to check your market to see if Google Ads are feasible for you.
The benefit of choosing PPC is that it works pretty much immediately, unlike the free alternative, Organic SEO.
The next option up is the Teachers Pet… Organic SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Search engines rank websites based on specific parameters they deem most important and they do so at no cost to the website owners. These organic search results appear between Google Ads and is the best option for long-term results.
Where Google ads can be seen as “Bribing” for your teacher or Google, Organic SEO is like that teacher’s pet we all had in class who did everything perfectly for the teacher and in turn always got great results. Google loves it when you listen to its algorithm and this results in higher rankings for your website.
What this service includes is us making sure that your website is always ticking all the boxes that are needed to get you on that 1st page organically.
Although this is often thought of as the free alternative as you are not paying Google, it actually does work out more expensive as it involves a lot of input from the person running it.
In some cases where you have a niche market, it happens quicker than in others but SEO is all about the long run for the win, where results can take up to 3 months to start showing. So it is not a quick fix but more so a long-term investment.
This service would start off at around R3500 and goes up with the number of keywords you are wanting to rank for.
Last but not least is Google My Business
Google My Business, which is often referred to as GMB, is Google’s tool for you to manage your business’s Google listing. You would probably know it as Google maps which shows your location and contact details, as that is what it started out as but has since grown to include features such as reviews, operating times, promotions, images, and recently even the ability to post things.
Think of this as the classroom register that has the information which your teacher or Google needs.
Now by default, this information gets assumed by Google but the great news is that you can actually confirm this by doing a once-off setup. All you need to do is Google your business and then in the GMB result it will have an option that says “Own this Business”?
This will allow you to follow the steps which involve a verification process where Google sends a code to either your number or your physical address.
So that’s an overview of what your options are when using Google as a salesperson for your business.