Fight for Advertising Dollars
For the small business owner, you want to spend where you know your audience will find you. Build a great website and while Yahoo, Google Fight for No. 1; a Great Website Always Wins
Yahoo in 2012 was closing in on Google’s grip of the online advertising market. But that changed and Google went to the top offering its AdWords campaign to every business in the country.
As an aside, Facebook announced it had 850 million users logging in which isn’t an alternative or a competitor but it is something to consider and make sure that your business includes in its’ marketing plan.
Yahoo, Google Fight for No. 1; a Great Website Always Wins
Google offers multiple products behind its service as a search engine. Whichever search engine has the most website searches on it, has the most traffic. It doesn’t mean it’s the best search engine. It could mean that Yahoo had more searches because users had to go back multiple times to get what they wanted in a search, thereby causing people to search longer.
At the end of this discussion, regardless of who is considered best, business owners please take note: Google and Yahoo are not a friend to small business. Google and Yahoo’s only job is to provide the best search results for visitors. NOT provide page one results for businesses.
Yes, advertising and search engine placement is a secondary business. But the reason the battle for search engine users is occurring is so that one can say to advertisers that it has the most traffic. This way, advertisers will choose the one with the most traffic to advertise with.
It’s Not Fair, It’s Business
The small business owner battles big companies for the coveted spots on Page One of search results. NO way can a small business owner combat that. What they must do is in addition to the Internet, hit as many marketing outlets/media to advertise their product or service. Internet advertising is No. 1. But small business owners can’t compete with the bigger budgets that large companies have.
So What is the Answer to Search Engine Roulette?
Build the best, most complete and well built website you can afford and then pay someone to manage it for you. Why pay someone? Because unless you’re a computer scientist, a designer and an advertising expert, photographer and videographer, social media whiz and an amazing writer, you cannot maintain your website.
Just because you sit at a computer looking up things online or “work online” all day, does not deem or relay computer programming skill. Doctors go to school to learn their trade. Electricians, plumbers, realtors, construction professionals are trained to do what they do. So are website builders.
You want a website that drives business you’ll have to pay someone a lot of money to do it. You want a website that has errors, looks like a kindergarten project and gets hacked, do it yourself.
What Makes a Website Come Up at the Top of Search Engines?
Websites are advertising tools. They are complex and take a long time to construct. They have to be based upon a marketing plan from the business owner and an ad strategy that is approved by the business owner.
A website is a marketing showpiece for every business today. There is no escaping it. There are always businesses functioning off of referrals, products flying off the shelves, shipping around the world. But there are just as many businesses and products that mandate a website.
All clients of The Marketing Square are told they need 3 things for online website traffic success in order to come up in search engine results. It’s not a secret.
3 Things a Business Must Have to Be Successful Online:
1. CONSTANT original content that clearly sells your brand
2. A clear target market that demands your product or service
3. The highest quality product or service out there
There isn’t a magic magnet that pulls visitors to websites. Websites are found by search engines for pretty basic reasons. Sit down and think about what you want to find when you punch in a word or phrase on Google, Yahoo or Bing. What kind of website experience do you expect?
Website Search Results Must Be
–Quick and functional
–No technical errors
–Provocative visuals with photos, videos that grab attention
–Easy to use, read, view, find or buy
The functional website providing an excellent user experience will undoubtedly place it at or near the top of the search engine organically–that is–without paying the search engine to place it up there.
The Search Engines’ No. 1 Job: Best Results
At the end of the day, the only thing people want when they’re searching online are the results that they type in. It’s that simple. It’s the search engine’s job to provide an array of options.
Your site becomes a top option–a search result–when it continually provides good, better and best information and content that can be accessed quickly and easily.
The perfect website? That’s a completely subjective question. Offline, business owners need to research their target and then the strategy goes beyond search engine control. Know your target audience and what they need. How they use your product or service. What makes them choose you over a competitor? What makes your product unique?
Know Your Target and Your USP
What’s your USP? Unique Selling Proposition. If you’re a business owner and you don’t know it, you’d better figure it out.
Small businesses need to stay focused on building the best website they can afford and then, feed it constantly with expert information, video and content to keep it new, better, different showing off their USP.
This way, biz owners can avoid paying any search engine for Page One placement. Yahoo’s just going after Google’s ad dollars. Users will still visit and use Google more than they will ever use Yahoo. It’s an icon and a way of life that people will continue to use.
But the small business owner can know its business and its target well enough to put out there on their website the items, information and relevant content that their target is looking for and remain successful.
The key is not to DIY the website. Websites need computer scientists, designers, programmers and advertisers to expertly position their brand online. A website is still the primary advertising piece today. Beyond TV, radio and certainly print or any other offline medium. The Internet is the No. 1 place that a business should be.
But don’t assume that because you sit at a keyboard that you can write an ad for your target audience. Unless you’re trained, the ad will suck.
Let Yahoo and Google battle it out, maybe their ad rates will drop. Good to see the leveling of the playing field for small businesses sucked in by Google to pay for placement at the top of search engine results.
Yahoo is just flexing its results muscle to business owners who were spending it all with Google. Now, with proof that it’s as successful a search engine and traffic portal, maybe Google will have to drop its rates and also increase the number of easy to use products for busy small business owners.
Yahoo and Google Free Business Products: Not User- or Owner-Friendly
Yahoo’s products are still labor intensive and the wait for the approval by Yahoo is shameful when talking about the free products offered such as business listings.
Google’s free business listing products offer a postcard verification system. Yahoo, on occasion offers phone, text, e-mail, postcard. But after verifying the business listing it takes MONTHS to be approved. It’s horrible and unfair. At least Google does this in a matter of weeks.
Google has a knack for being sneaky and changing products that had already been verified, needing to be reverified. Not fair, not cool. Unknowing biz owners have to check free Google products constantly–which means it’s not being done. The free listing is pulled from use until verified which sets the business back to square one.
Products like Google Local, Google Maps, Google Places, Google Local for Business, YouTube, Google Plus for Business pages….all ask for original verification and often a second or third verification. BUT Google doesn’t send a courtesy e-mail. Instead they ask for it, pull the item from search results and wait for the business owner to re-verify.
Dirty play. So on that end they’re equal. Free listings are free for a while. Then you have to go back and check them regularly to be sure they haven’t expired.
OR business owners can start paying Google and Yahoo and simply get billed for paid services. Like I said, I hope the battle lowers the costs for business owners who don’t really understand that Google, nor Yahoo, nor Bing is a friend to any business. They’re big businesses, relying on ad dollars.
Building a website is a step toward self-reliance and brand control online. When you create a website you’re controlling what your business looks like online. If you don’t have a website, you’re at the mercy of the search engines, ratings websites and your competitors who are out there online grabbing new clients 24 hours a day.