No…Really What is Google SEO
I am often asked to explain to potential clients what it is that we do in the SEO world. I think that in many cases what the person is asking is for an explanation of what SEO really is. And possibly what it is they will be paying for.
I am a big fan of analogies. I feel that a really good analogy goes a long way in creating a bridge between worlds where people have a frame of reference and worlds where they do not.
So I came up with an analogy for what Google is that I think will really help better understand what we do in our line of work and why what we do is positively influential towards your business bottom line.
Let’s start by talking about what Google is and what they are not. I feel like many people think of Google as the internet. But they are not the internet. They are actually just a really big website on the internet. The internet itself is a bit hard to explain from a purely technical standpoint but on a simple level, the internet for all intent and purpose is all the data that is stored on various web servers around the globe comprising the information that results in what the internet user sees as a website.
HVAC SEO Keywords
Actually, the internet is what connects all that data together and makes it useful to those of us who frequent the web but that’s a rabbit hole we will stay out of for the purposes of this article.
In this analogy, I will describe Google as a librarian. The library that they work in is all of the web servers described above. When someone on the web enters a keyword search they are basically handing a request to the librarian (Google) and asking them to search through the library ( Web servers) and deliver information that matches the word(s) in the search in an effort to get information that solves their problem.
The common thread in this process is words!
Your website is mainly made up of words. The code that hides in the background of your site is mostly comprised of words. The search is words. And the results is words.
Hmmm….do I detect a pattern here? I think that this SEO thing might be centered around words!
So how do we use this information to aid us getting more business? This is where SEO and someone who has an innate understanding of how to influence this “word soup” and turn it into higher ranking in the search results. Higher search results for keyword searches that relate to your business translate into more visits to your business website and in turn more potential for those visitors to contact you and do business with you.
I could talk at length about how all this works on a technical level but I think the reader would benefit more from an understanding why this method of marketing would be more preferable to traditional forms of marketing and illustrate how cost-effective and conversion effective it is.
Most traditional marketing is “push marketing”. Such marketing is where we push the message or offer out into the marketplace to a mostly unaware and disinterested audience in hopes that those masses of people will stop what they are currently focussed on, see our message and respond by contacting us.
There are a few problems with this approach. 1) Most of those people are not our customers for various reasons. 2) We have to pay the owners of the pipelines of these marketing channels for every eye and ear they contact on our behalf to send our marketing message. 3) It’s very difficult to track the success of a traditional marketing campaign without some very clever forethought of some very expensive back-end tracking.
Enter the world of digital.
I like to refer to digital marketing as “pull” marketing or “intent” marketing. This is because we do not have to push the message out to an unsuspecting populous, we simply have to find an already hungry audience that is anxiously awaiting our service or product.
SEO for HVAC Contractors
So where do we find this audience and does such a thing really exist? Yes, this audience actually does exist and the way we find them is with tools that measure how many people look for our product or service.
Google actually keeps track of what people search for on the web through their search engine. They keep track of these various searches in a database that we can tap into and find out if people are looking for our product.
What if you found out that 200 people were searching for something that your business provides every month. Let’s use HVAC for an example. You are the owner of an HVAC company in a city of 300,000 people. Let’s say London Ontario for this illustration. Let’s say there are 200 people a month search for “furnace repair London”.
These are people who have an “intent”. Likely that intent is to get their furnace repaired. If you own an HVAC company in that city you would be leaving a lot of money on the table every month by not getting in front of those searches and having them land on your website.
A well studied SEO practitioner can make this a reality if you understand the value of the process and are willing part with enough money to give them enough resources to get the job done. It takes money and resources to get this to happen and also a passage of time. The tactics that are used to influence search results do involve a fair amount of money to execute properly. The biggest problem I encounter is an unwillingness to part with enough dollars to purchase the resources to make ranking increases happen. I often do analysis’ for companies that have used an SEO company previously. I have a form on my website that asks a series of questions, one which is “ have you used SEO previously?” and “ what was the monthly budget?”
In most cases, I find that the budget was $500 or less. This is where the first problem exists. Any SEO company that thinks they can get the job done for this budget is usually going to leave the buyer with lackluster results. That is, of course, unless you happen to be in a small town or in an industry with very low competition. I cannot fault the buyer for this oversight. How are they supposed to know how much money is required to be effective? A business owner needs to rely on the SEO expert to tell them what it is going to take to be effective.
In order to be truly effective in conveying the proper information to the buyer, we need to use all of the data at our disposal to put together a formula that shows the real value of our service. Any SEO company who does not do this for you and simply makes a bunch of empty promises should be cause for concern. There is just no need in the digital age to employ guesswork in this regard.
Let me illustrate using the same HVAC company numbers from above.
There are 200 people a month searching “furnace repair London” in our example. As a business owner, we should know what an average client is worth to us. Let’s say that an average HVAC client is worth $3000. If there 200 searches a month and we know from Google”s research that 33% of people will visit your website if you have a top 3 rank position for that keyword then you have a 1in 3 chance of getting contacted form a person searching for that service. If you have a 50% closing rate on inbound calls then we now have a formula that will help us establish a budget for an SEO campaign.
200 x .33 x .5 ( 50%) = 33 33 x $3000 per customer = $100,000 a month in new income.
How much would you be willing to pay in marketing for that much new business? Would $50,000 a month be too much? Some business owners would say yes. A 2-1 ROI on a marketing campaign is a dream to many businesses. A lot of well-established business operates on a 6% profit margin. But you are a growing business and I am quite sure that you do not have a $50,000 a month budget for acquiring new customers.
There is good news. What if I said that this campaign could easily be tackled for $5000 a month or less. It could! If you happen to be an HVAC company owner and are reading this with excitement my phone # is 905-233-2488. Call me LOL
That’s a 20 to 1 return on investment. I defy you to find those kinds of numbers via the traditional channels that an HVAC company would normally apply to their marketing. Home shows, Yellow Pages, Radio, and flyers are the typical channels and they can easily add up to tens and hundreds of thousands per year to be truly effective at attaining business growth.
I have a client who had previously been spending $60,000 a year through these channels and since hiring my services have reduced that number by 60% and increased their sales by 30% at the same time. This is how effective digital marketing is when done properly. There are other ways to amplify these campaigns which are a subject for another article. Let those numbers above sink in and if you are even the slightest bit curious what the actual numbers for your business in your city would look like feel free to contact me for a free evaluation.
My process is to do an onscreen capture video walking through all the data on your company, region, and competition so as to express a similar potential formula for your business. Go ahead, fill out the form or give me a call. It cannot hurt to know!