Google is the leading search engine, with a comfortable 90.73% UK market share on Google.co.uk and Google.com as of June 2012. It’s the first destination for users as they decide what they want to buy, who they want to buy from and what price they’re willing to pay. So if you’re not on Google, where exactly are you?
Here are 5 simple ways to promote your business on Google:
1. Google Shopping
If you’re a regular Google user, you should have seen the shopping results aggregated on the first page of Google as you search for a particular item. Google Shopping is a much dismissed feature of Google for many SMEs, and it can generate significant amounts of traffic to your site if utilised properly. It’s currently a free service from Google, although it will move to a paid-for version in the coming months. That said, it’s well worth signing up now and seeing what difference it could make to your website traffic before Google launches the paid-for version in the UK. Once signed up over at Google Merchant Center, you can generate a data feed for your website products to display. To do this, you should generate an xml file. It will need to be uploaded to Google Merchant Center to start running and its good to keep regular checks on the quality of your data feeds to ensure all products are being found. A good idea is to optimise your product feed before uploading, ensuring the product titles, descriptions, images and categories are all appropriate and optimised properly. If you need any help with creating and uploading your Google Shopping feed, get in touch!
2. Google Adwords
The sponsored links you see in Google search results can be a great quick way to get your website the visibility it needs. Unlike search engine optimisation which is a long-term process, Google Adwords gets you to the top of search results for the keyphrases you want to be found for. Cost-wise, it will vary based on competition and bid prices. You could be willing to pay £50 per click for a really competitive keyword but your landing page quality is also important if you want to make the most of Google Adwords. It’s best to invest in some on-site optimisation before jumping straight in with PPC so that the cost per click is kept as low as possible. It can be quite straightforward to set up a basic Google Adwords campaign, but the successful management of such a campaign is crucial. It needs regular monitoring, bid adjustments and testing new features if the campaign is to generate good ROI. The best part is if you run Adwords and Google Shopping together, you can integrate your products into your ads to attract the user and improve visibility.
If you currently use a PR agency, have you considered how they are really promoting your business online? Are they assessing brand reputation and placement techniques online? Many traditional PR agencies don’t utilise features such as Google News and other news aggregators which could help to drive traffic to your site in a very positive way. Brand engagement is key and this can be improved through the use of PR promotion online. By submitting a press release through sites such as PR Web, your content will be publicised in Google News, a feature which is generating increased prominence in Google’s search results due to the “fresh topical content” benefit which Google craves. Unless you use a PR distribution service, chances are that you won’t appear in Google News and reach a wider audience with your content. As with most things Google-related, they are very selective regarding sites they choose to place in Google News.
When Google bought YouTube, it was predictable that we’d start to see greater importance placed on YouTube videos in search results. Now, if you search for a product or information, if a relevant video has been uploaded to YouTube then chances are it will show at the top, middle or bottom of search results. With over 60hrs of new videos uploaded to YouTube each minute, embracing video is key in helping to promote your business on Google and across the social web. Invest in quality video production to showcase your business in the best light possible; a company overview, product demonstrations and more. Use YouTube to your advantage and you will find that it helps to increase brand awareness on a super fast scale. If its “shareworthy” content, it will make an impact. Whether you’re an SME or a large ecommerce site, video can give your brand the personality it needs to generate brand awareness and increase conversions. Here’s a great example of how video is executed well – even for a product like knives!
5. Google Places
We hear big name clients say they have succeeded online and they don’t need a local presence on Google, but Google Places does more than it says on the tin. It’s easy to assume that only SMEs need a pretty map with their address details on, but did you know that Google can use local results to merge with organic listings and help your search engine visibility? By having a local listing you are telling Google that you’re trustworthy, and that’s the real buzzword in all this. Not only that, but after the Google Venice update hit in 2011, the importance of Google local increased tenfold. If you’re searching in a particular city, Google delivers results based on the websites which are local businesses. These could be displayed as organic listings or as Google Maps results. Google displays its local Maps results to help users find a local business related to the product they are looking for. Utilising the free Google Places feature could help to promote your business and generate targeted local traffic which you could otherwise be missing. Recently Google merged the Google Places feature with Google+, their social media service, so you would need to have a presence on Google+ to help the local visibility through Google Places.
For more advice on how to get the most out of any of these Google promotion techniques, get in touch and we’ll guide you through it.