Guest Author - Jason Hodge
We all know that Google is one of the largest tools used online to find all sorts of resources, but we don't often know how to use it to help grow our brands and businesses. It's all in the process and the consistent efforts we put towards utilizing the search engines/people magnets that can determines our business building successes or failures in the online world.
Before you start your Google search process you have to honestly ask yourself this:
Who are my clients?
Once you lock in on that, then the most valuable questions you could ask Google are:
Where are my clients?
How are they looking for me?
How can I make sure they find me?
How can I sell them what they're telling me they want to buy?
Google has a wealth of information and resources that can be used to forward pretty much any campaign you're running. Let's start with the structure of how to go about it...
When I think about finding folks online the first thing that comes to mind is looking for where they would be; so, my clue would be to do a keyword search with familiar industry terms and their derivatives.
Go to Google's keyword search tool, plug in your topic and you'll have a whole slew of alternative search terms that come back to you with information attached showing how many times those terms were searched in the past two months. This will also give you an idea of how your potential clients think and search for you and the services you offer.
Here's where the power of this information comes into play...
There's not many things worse than creating and launching a campaign only to find that you've directed it in the wrong areas. From a logical standpoint you may think that people will search for things the way you search for them, but when you research it [plug in your keywords and find related searches based on your keywords], you may find the majority of your audience doesn't think the way you think or you think they think.
I just did a search for 'Personal Chef' and the results were all over the board, so I started looking at the related search terms included in the results: 'personal chefs, personal chef jobs, personal chef services, personal chef service, personal chef catering, personal chef business' and in the 'additional keywords to consider area': 'private chef, cooking chef, dinner party chef, home chef, professional chef, gourmet chef...' and found a wealth of idea leads to launch a marketing campaign to boost a personal chef career.
Here's where the fun part comes in [taking that raw data and using it to boost your business].
All of these results show you how folks are searching. All of these results give you a concrete example of how to position yourself to be targeted by your audience. All of these results point you to the variations of your industry [as your audience sees it]. Don't get caught up in the inaccuracies of the classifications, just be aware of where your audience is looking and immediately get in front of them.
If you know that the folks who should be searching for your business, "John or Jane Doe, At Your Service Personal Chefs", under that title, are searching for your service under "Jack and Jill Cooks, Ltd.", don't waste your valuable time arguing with them that they should be classifying you properly so they could find you; instead, get out there in front of them with your shingle that says "Jack and Jill Cooks, Ltd. - a.k.a. John or Jane Doe, At Your Service Personal Chefs". This is where you make an executive decision to determine if it's more important to lose your client, because you're so caught up in the 'what shoulds', or more important for you to retain your client and gradually educate them over the long haul. A lot of businesses, not just personal chefs, miss it on this point and leave a lot of monies on the table. Don't make that mistake. Your business will thank you for it.
Here are a few venues you can use to position yourself online:
blogs and blog posts
signing guest books
and the like, all filled with relevant content and keywords your audience is searching under. Bingo!!! You're on your way to being at the top of their searches and building your business.
As always, it's been my pleasure to share with you these business building techniques. Until next time...