Search Engine Optimization - Is it Necessary?

Do you sit in your living room after dinner and search the internet to get answers to various questions? What is gold selling for today? When is the best time to plant my garden? Who has the best car loan rates near me? What is really happening between Russia and Ukraine?

Maybe you have downtime at work, and you need to research where to get the best laptop for an affordable price to replace the ones currently being used.

It is estimated that each person processes three to four searches each day.
Google processes approximately 63,000 search queries every second. That translates into 5 billion, yes billion, searches per day or about 2 trillion global searches per year.

Knowing this, your business must rank in the top three results if you want to be found amongst the menagerie of search results. Why? It’s one of the ways you gain new customers.

Years ago, you would compete with other businesses by running ads on the radio or television. Although these are still viable ways to gain attention and bring new customers into your business, there is no denying that people search the internet to discover what is available to them.

Without an eye-catching business website with good content or a landing page that uses keywords effectively to encourage customers to look through the website and eventually visit your business, you are missing potential customers.

A user or person searching on the internet is a possible lead, and a lead is a qualified lead if they engage. A qualified lead converts to a paying customer who can become a lifelong loyal customer.

Yes, search engine optimization is a must!

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization, SEO is the process of describing, characterizing, and giving an item relevance so that the search engines can find your content quickly and list it in the search results.

As a growing business, you must have an SEO strategy as part of your business strategy. Most business owners are so busy running the day-to-day operations of their business it is difficult for them to find time to look at their local search ranking so they can put plans in place to improve their search results. Without improving search results, your chance of losing leads because your business isn’t visible.

An Experiment

Take a minute and put your business name in the search bar. Do you come up in the top listings? How about asking a question like, “Where to sell gold near me?” Does your listing rank in the first few that come up?

How do you get started with improving your business strategy to include SEO Optimization?

Google my business which is Google “Your” Business! If you don’t show up, then leads don’t know you’re available to meet their needs for products and services.

First, audit your google my business profile.

Google my business is a free tool provided by Google that gives you as a business owner an opportunity to include details, phones, location, services, and products under your free business profile. Creating a free profile will increase yourvisibility across Google services. Information from your Google Business Profile may appear in Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Shopping. If you are trying to increase your visibility, Google my business is essential.

Start with the google my business dashboard. This is a one-stop-shop to effectively help you use your google my business account.

When you set up your google my business account, you need to use your actual business name in your business listing.

Sometimes businesses serve customers in a specific location or designated service area, and by having a complete business profile, your prospective customers can find you. 

Verified businesses on Google my business are twice as likely to be considered reputable.

Google my business will have you verify your account by submitting a code that is mailed to your business address. The more complete and accurate information is in your Google My Business account, the more likely it will show up in local searches.

Second, update any information on your Google my business listing and keep it up.

A physical address is essential so that prospective customers know where they can go locally to find what they are looking for. When you add your business address, you might be asked to position a marker for your location on a map.

To check if your address is correct, you can go to Google My Business and the business dashboard. You can then click the menu option and click share or embed map.

Keep the hours you are open up to date on goggle my business.

If the business hours change, update your listing. Don’t forget to add hours for holidays and events. A busy business owner often overlooks this, and you may have forgotten this as well. Nothing is more frustrating than going to a business thinking they are open because of the information contained on the business listing to find that the company is closed.

These small steps give customers confidence in your business listing.

Part of Google my business is google reviews.

When customers are in your store, they give you a review when they leave. You cannot turn off reviews on your google my business page.

Remember, google reviews show that your business is legit.

Manage your reviews often. This takes time but will also help you keep an eye on who’s saying what about your products and services.

You can’t decide which reviews to share, but you can make sure you respond to good and bad reviews. Prospective customers read business reviews to understand how other people described a particular business listing. They can differentiate between a lead becoming a paying customer or going somewhere else.

Add photos to your google my business listing

Every google my business listing needs to have a business description describing their product and services. A clear photo, snippets from Google Maps, and a Google Street View work wonders in informing your leads what to expect when they arrive at your business for the first time. These small details add confidence and reassure that business listings are approachable.

 

Business Categories

When setting up or updating your Google my business account, makes sure you apply keyword strategy when selecting a business category so you get the best results. Don’t be a stuffer and put too many keywords in your listing because this hurts your search results. The content you include needs to be helpful.

There are 2,395 business categories, so review them and make sure you capture your customer’s correct classification. Be specific! You can choose up to ten for your listing, with one primary category, to show off what your business does.

How does Google my business determine what businesses show up in local searches?

Local results are determined by relevance, distance, and prominence when someone searches in your area for a similar business. These three factors help google my business match a user’s search to the best search results.

Relevant searches

This refers to how well a local business profile matches what a user is searching for. A complete listing with helpful, informative content is vital because this is one of the factors google my business uses to understand your business to match it with relevant searches.

Remember, the basic foundation of a search is to ask a question and get an answer.

Google matches relevant answers to questions asked, so the information you provide tells google my business you are a legitimate local business, and you have the answers

Distance

The person searching may or may not put a specific location in their search. Distance considers how far each potential search result is from the location term used in a search. If a location isn’t exact, my business will use the information it has like a place on our phone or use the rough location the internet provider has to help calculate distance.

29% of consumers search for local businesses at least weekly.

Many users will place the name of the location they are searching for in the search bar. These local searches will return three Google Maps results, also known as the local 3-pack.

Google reports that 46% of all searches have local intent meaning that potential customers in your business area need what your business has to offer.

Prominence

How well known is your business? Local search results are likely higher if Google knows your business from links, articles, and directories.

Google review count and review score factor into local search ranking. More positive reviews could improve your local ranking. Remember to ask each paying customer to do a review before they leave your store. It works!

Google algorithms might decide that a business that’s farther away from your location is more likely to have what you’re looking for than a closer business and therefore rank it higher in local results. Algorithms change often and contribute to where your google search results rank.

The Need for Speed.

Your business listing needs to load quickly. Load time is essential because nothing is more frustrating for the user if your webpage or business listing loads slowly. If your web page takes a long time to load, your search ranking will be negatively affected. Google doesn’t like to wait, so a website that takes longer than .4 seconds to load will adversely affect your rankings.

Faster loading pages are essential to people searching because the experience is more satisfying, and users don’t like to wait. A business’s visibility is paramount, so the load time is essential. Page speed is probably the purest SEO factor. By addressing loading times, your can positively impact your rankings.

The speed that a page loads at is affected by the hosting server, bandwidth, and web page design. Location, device, and browser type can also have an impact. There are performance tools to test your website. Google has google pagespeed insights that may help you understand yours.

Google My Business Messaging

Add google my business messaging to the mix so customers can get in touch with you in real-time. This creates options for customers to ask questions via text from your business listing engages potential customers. Google My Business Messaging is a free messenger tool designed to be used from your google business profile so you can interact from your computer or phone.

Google My Business Analytics

As part of your business account, google my business has analytics. Analytics is the data on your users and future customers finding your business on a google search. Besides, insights also provide information about how your prospects find you on Google maps. Google Analytics will help you as a business owner keep track of all your content that receives views and shares from future customers and users. By knowing this data, you can enhance the top viewed content like blogs that appeal to users to use these blogs effectively to generate more views.

A Marketing Strategy that Includes SEO Optimization Can Be a Daunting Task, But Does It?

To help ensure that your customers know who your business is and what products and services you provide, having a business listing through google my business creates awareness and awareness leads to search rankings, and search rankings lead to the volume that leads to higher rankings on and on and on.

Maintaining your google my business profile, online channels such as social media accounts, blogs, websites, speed, and google ads can be exhausting. As a busy business owner dealing with overhead costs, personnel issues, customer satisfaction, and business goals having a marketing team can help. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to do it all and do it well.

As a business owner, google tools provide avenues to increase visibility. You no longer have to depend on a customer hearing about your physical location by word of mouth or a poster in your store window.

But even with all the google my business tools like Google Ads and Google Analytics, you may need a team to help you keep up. If done correctly, Google my business is the ultimate search referrer, and updates are regularly done to ensure people find your business. As you run the day-to-day tasks of running your operation, a marketing team will add to your success.

Pawn Leads

Pawn Leads is an automated customer relationship management (CRM) platform designed and tested by Sam Reading, an owner of pawnshops in Idaho, and Lex Case, a small business owner. Focused on supporting the owners of pawnshops and small businesses, the owners of Pawn Leads want to offer businesses a CRM that is user-friendly along with a team of experts who could help drive business leads and ultimately profit.

Through support and the services provided by Pawn Leads, businesses have an opportunity to understand and improve their SEO services, google ads, and Facebook and social media presence.

What is a CRM, and why would it save time?

Pawnshop and business owners don’t typically pay marketers to assist them with achieving their business goals. Sometimes it is a matter of overhead, and other times it is because the value of paying someone for what you as a business owner can do yourself just doesn’t make sense. The bottom line in today’s online marketplace is that digital marketing takes time and can be complicated.

With each person using google search, bing search, and other search engines each day to find the products and services, pawnshops and business owners need a marketing strategy that includes SEO is a must.

Business owners are busy running the day-to-day tasks of a business, and there is seldom enough time to sit down as part of the routine of doing business to audit their google my business listing, run google ads, and write and post blogs.

As a business owner, you know that these things are necessary to show up in google search rankings, but other emergent issues take precedence. Having a dedicated automated marketing platform like Pawn Leads will help business owners reach their business goals without impeding on an owner’s valuable time.

Digital Marketing Connects Users and Businesses

Digital marketing connects businesses with their customers when they are online on google. Through google my business, SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, and text messaging, it does so. It is effective in all industries for brand awareness.

Users searching for information to their questions now expect and rely on information provided by websites through searching.

Digital marketing is defined by numerous digital tactics and channels to connect with customers. Digital marketing supports a business’s goals.

If your company is business-to-consumer (B2C), the goal of your digital marketing is to attract people to your website and engage through an accelerated journey from the moment a searcher lands on your website to the time they convert to a paying customer.

Call to action buttons helps potential customers engage and want to be involved in your business.

A Scenario

It’s late at night after a long day running your small business. You know you have an effective business listing because several first-time customers have recently come into your store. You completed the steps to set up your Google business profile, including your business information, business locations, business address, business website, cover photo, and all other information you thought necessary for customers to find you.

You go on to bed.

A future customer is up late after her kids go to bed because she is interested in selling her gold bullion. She puts in the search bar, “Who buys gold near me?” She’s hopeful she can find a reputable business through her discovery searches. She sees your business listing name in the local search rankings and decides to explore your website and landing page.

Unfortunately, you don’t have a form or lead magnet to draw her in. She doesn’t engage. There is no quality customer engagement. Your potential customer moves on to another business in the local search rankings.

Customer lost!

You get up the next day and get ready for work. You sit down and look at your business account. You take some time to look over your google my business account and switch the time your store is open because of an upcoming holiday. It appears that your Google business listing is up to date. You realize that the primary and secondary categories aren’t updated, and you don’t have the time to do so. Because the phone rings and you need to get to the store.

You feel overwhelmed. You know something has to be done, but you lack time.

Researching different marketing firms, you check in with a friend at another pawnshop, and they refer you to Pawn Leads. You look at their website and decide to complete the form for a seven-day trial, and you set up some time to talk to the owners.

In your consultation meeting, review your business goals and look over your google my business account. You get some feedback on what might help improve your rankings and interpret the google analytics. The ideas make sense, but there aren’t enough hours in your day.

The Pawn Leads team and you develop a plan for your website, landing pages, your google my business account, social media marketing, and how to use the business messaging feature to increase engagement with your customers.

Direct searches show that people are searching for your services and products. The issue seems that your website lacks a call to action buttons. The Pawn Leads team talks about adding a contact form to your webpage, so contact information is automatically gathered and stored for future marketing. Jordan, Pawn Leads SEO expert, reviews your SEO and makes some suggestions.

Automated Text Campaigns

The Pawn Lead team explains that in the future automated two-way text messaging will engage customers as conversations are saved reviewed, and prospective customers can be contacted to invite them to engage. Through text campaigns, customers can receive notice of other sales, programs, and incentives that may save them money in the future.

These campaigns are set up through Pawn Leads, and there are several templates to choose from so they can be altered to meet your needs.

This is part of the marketing-supported through Pawn Leads to meet your business goals.

The team at Pawn Leads knows that knowing and understanding performance marketing, trends, social media marketing, how two-way texting benefits businesses, data analytics, how to use artificial intelligence to engage like chat buttons, and how to plant lead magnets for action so users can engage. A CMO Survey from February 2021 stated that marketers agree that digital marketing is a pillar to a business’ success. “A 32.7% increase in contribution from digital marketing to company performance was reported over the last year.”

The Plan

To begin the Pawn Leads journey for your business Jordan, an SEO expert, will work on SEO optimization and optimize your google business profile to give you an idea of how much more attractive and engaging an optimized google business profile is. You agree to send him some clear pictures he can use to improve your presentation on business posts, and if someone visits your business location, the photos represent your store.

During a review of your google my business account, he noticed that the primary and secondary categories don’t reflect your product and services, so he will fix these along with a few other adjustments to optimize google.

Review your website for improvement.

He has set aside some time to review your website and its content to ensure keywords are used to bring users to your site when discovery searches are completed.

He uses a keyword strategy that helps your business account rank. He noticed your load time is relatively slow and will work with you on speed.

The result is Pawn Leads helps business owners manage their marketing, two-way texting, and converting leads into paying long-term customers, and Jordan is your dedicated rep. who will do this.

Jordan sends you the link to Pawn Brokers Helping Pawn Brokers, and the Pawn Leads Community page on Facebook so that you can consult with many businesses doing the same thing for ideas and suggestions. The wrap-around services offered by Pawn Lead will improve your local SEO and search representation bringing future customers in.

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