Not blogging? Think Google doesn’t matter to your business?
If you have all the business you need, then maybe you’re right – unless you have competition. What if your competitors learn how to get the search engines working for them, driving more prospective customers to their websites?
Blogging is an easy way to get more search engine traffic and connect with your marketplace, becoming an online newsletter, sales brochure, and discussion forum – all rolled into one. Yet many business owners have told me they don’t see the need to have a blog: They feel spending money on networking events, golf outings, company-sponsored dinners and the like should be enough. They hand out lots of business cards, have nice brochures printed up, and do a lot of traditional business development. And, they feel that blogging is a waste of time and energy. Is this you, too?
Are you showing up on page one of Google already?
There are many companies I know that one can’t find by searching on their product or service on Google; you can find them only if you input their company name or, in a few cases, a name of one of their officers. But their business development guys are out there, hammering away. Are they blogging? No.
Certainly, building a relationship is part of the equation in selling one’s products or services, but how are you found when you’re not in the room?
A few months ago I searched for a specific cloud-based service for a project.
I found no results that fit the needs – and I went through perhaps 3 pages from the search engine results. Ugh! There were no service offerings that I felt had the stability and features that this company needed. I even made inquiries (last resort) of several tech friends and support vendors, even speaking with salesguys at AT&T, Dell, Verizon, among other firms, but found nothing that I would put my name behind and recommend. So I modified my strategy and completed the initiative.
Some time later, I ran into a sales guy from a mid-sized brand name technology company – a name I immediately recognized from the 90s. Of course, it came out in the course of conversation that this company did indeed offer just such a service. He offered to send me a brochure, but I declined: Too little, too late… I couldn’t help myself but to ask him why his company’s name hadn’t come up in search results, to which he replied that marketing was thinking about doing something with social media. Huh?
Could you be missing the boat?
If I search for your product on Google, will your company come up in the search results? Have you tried this – using words your prospective customers would likely use?
If you’re not showing up on the first few pages on Google – frankly, you want to make page one, at least for local searches – then you might as well not exist. You’ve probably just lost your opportunity. Do you think that it doesn’t matter, your prospective customers know what you sell? After all, they know you, they’d always call you if they had a need. They’d never go to Google and search. Right.
Searches via Web Has Increased Dramatically – Doubling Since 2004
The Pew Internet Organization is well-regarded for their research and reporting. Their report of March, 2012, illustrates that search engine use is on the rise.
For more than a decade, Pew Internet data has consistently shown that search engine use is one of the most popular online activities, rivaled only by email as an internet pursuit. In January 2002, 52% of all Americans used search engines. In February 2012 that figure grew to 73% of all Americans.
On any given day in early 2012, more than half of adults using the internet use a search engine (59%). That is double the 30% of internet users who were using search engines on a typical day in 2004. And people’s frequency of using search engines has jumped dramatically. [Source: Pew Internet, March 2012]
Further, their analysis reflects that college-educated people use the web for searching even more frequently – which should be of interest to businesses in the B2B marketplace – but the analysis really impacts all businesses, B2B and B2C alike.
Can you afford to ignore the power of the internet and search engines?
Takeaway for your business?
Unless you’re already on page one, perhaps it’s time to consider doing more to support your marketing efforts. Worried about the effort? It’s not that difficult and it’s easy enough to get started. My next blog post will focus on how a blog helps in driving competitive advantage, with a future post providing more resources on mechanics and some great resources. Have you subscribed to my blog yet? By the way, if you are already blogging, want to share some results you’ve seen in comments here?