By Penny M Jun 23, 2023 5:19:00 PM
What's the most valuable commodity in the world? People’s attention.
On most days, the average person sees anywhere from 4-10,000 ads. Add to that interruptions and distractions that occur every 10.5 minutes and it's no surprise most businesses turn to digital marketing agencies like High Level Marketing for help.
So, how do you cut through the clutter and stand out to consumers? Search Engine Domination.
Why is SEO so important to your online success?
As marketers, we are always looking for ways to grab the attention of consumers, usually, with limited resources. We make tough choices to maximize our marketing dollars. When you consider all the channels used to reach customers: outdoor, broadcast/radio, direct mail, digital, etc., only one provides long-term benefits. Investing in a robust search engine optimization strategy can maximize impact and growth within a tight marketing budget.
Search engines account for 93% of all web traffic. On average, people do 4-5 searches every day, but for many people, it is a lot more than that. The internet is where people make decisions and begin their purchase path. To grow your business, it is imperative that you are visible in this space.
Depending on your industry, the buyer's journey might be a little bit longer or shorter, but the path to purchase usually starts with a search engine. In fact, 75% of local searches result in interaction within 24 hours, like making an appointment, visiting a store, or scheduling a home service.
Page one dominance is the key to getting those customers.
Page one on Google, or any search engine results page, is ground zero for getting new customers. 80-90% of web traffic comes from the top positions on search engine results pages. Your business must not only stand out among your competitors but also dominate top positions in all 4 sections of page one.
There is limited real estate on a search results page, with only 22-24 positions in four sections:
- Paid Ad Section
- Knowledge Panel
- Local Pack (great for local searches)
- Organic Section (most relevant to answer customer questions).
Mobile has even fewer spaces, but it accounts for nearly 70% of all searches.
So how do you get to hold a spot on page one? How do you occupy multiple spaces and maximize success? That’s where a digital marketing strategy focusing on search engine dominance comes into play.
What is Search Engine Dominance?
Search engine dominance is a focused digital marketing effort designed to occupy multiple positions on page one for relevant high-value searches, regardless of where someone is on their path to purchase. Holding multiple positions on page one of a search means maximizing quality website traffic and gaining a competitive advantage. For example, if you occupy two spots on page one, prospects are 50% more likely to become customers.
Based on what they are selling, different businesses will have different strategies to achieve search engine dominance. Each approach revolves around a different path to purchase customers take in their decision-making journey.
Fast Path to Purchase
If you offer services that solve problems for people who need immediate help, you will base your strategy on the fast path to purchase. With the fast path to purchase, 75% of conversions involve a single interaction in a search, and 86% of conversions happen on the same day. Customers on the fast path to purchase need service now and are ready to make a quick decision.
For example, if someone’s AC goes out in the middle of summer in Alabama, they are going to be making quick decisions in their search for someone who can provide service as soon as possible.
The strategy for businesses wanting to get this customer’s attention will focus on these three factors:
- Frictionless Experience – You want to make it easy to engage. Utilizing things like click-to-call on ad messaging and your website. Think mobile-first because prospective customers aren’t going to get out a laptop or startup a desktop to look for solutions during an emergency – especially if it’s 100 degrees in Alabama, and their AC is out.
- Google Reviews – Google reviews are essential for building immediate trust in a fast decision-making process. It’s imperative that you are paying attention to the quality, consistency, and relevancy of Google reviews.
- Availability reinforced with messaging – If this potential customer came home from work to find their AC needed service, their search is going to be for services available after regular business hours. They are looking for messaging like “open late” or “available 24 hours.” Make sure your messaging emphasizes that you are ready to solve their problems when they need it most.
Moderate Path to Purchase
With a moderate path to purchase, consumers are doing more research, which means more website visits and more touchpoints generated by more searches. Businesses with consumers on the moderate path to purchase include financial services, property management, senior living, and healthcare that’s nonurgent.
Search engine dominance is vital to these businesses because the majority of consumers never make it to page two in their search. In the realm of healthcare, for example, 88% of patients use search to find a provider, and 75% of them never make it to page two.
For these businesses to get the attention of prospective customers in these searches, they must employ a three-part strategy:
- Validate – Utilize testimonials and reviews to reassure consumers of their decision.
- Educate – Provide information and answer questions to bridge the trust chasm so that they feel comfortable with their choice.
- Focus on outcomes – desired results should drive messaging and content.
Content marketing is essential to this strategy. Consumers on a moderate path to purchase are doing more research, and there are more touchpoints. Content marketing ensures you are present to meet the needs of that consumer – to educate and validate and let them know how your product or service is going to solve what they need.
Longer Path to Purchase
When people are planning to make big-ticket purchases for things like homes, cars, and vacations, they will do tons of searches on multiple devices and spend a lot of time making decisions. Thus, they are on a longer path to purchase.
When it comes to planning a vacation, for example, the various searches may include deciding on a location, choosing accommodations, and finding activities. This type of search may take months and can add up to hundreds of searches. For example, the average accommodation path to purchase is about 36 days, with 45 touchpoints across multiple devices. Your business will need to show up numerous times on multiple devices and always in as many places as possible on that first page of the search results.
Focus on these three things if your potential customers are on a longer path to purchase:
- Optimize for device experience. The longer path to purchase usually takes place over multiple devices; you want to show up on cell phones and other devices in an accessible way.
- Personalize and create stage relevancy. Provide value at every stage. Consumers are going to gravitate to businesses that are answering their questions and solving their problems wherever they are on their path to purchase.
- Re-engage and add value with relevant content and messaging. Match where your consumer is and solve problems for them along their path to purchase.
Why a Search Engine Dominance Strategy Matters to Your Business
Consumers look to search engines for answers to questions or to find the things they need and want. It's how people solve problems and make decisions. Search engine dominance is the strategy your business needs to get the attention of customers and stay top of mind while they are on the path to purchase. It is a cohesive and integrated strategy that, when executed properly, will generate results that are going to be exponential.
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