Updated July 30, 2020, 12:16 pm
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Hello, it’s Christian Thomson here from Marwick Internet Marketing, your local premier Google partner agency in British Columbia. We’re teaming up with the Tri-Cities Chamber Of Commerce today to present a grow with Google seminar, reach customers online with Google. So this is going to be really relevant to you if you run a small to medium-size business and maybe you’ve been advertising or working in digital marketing for a little bit of time and you need a refresher on all the new updates. Or maybe it’s a new business that you’re setting out to launch soon or you’re looking to grow to that next level. This presentation will run you through how to reach more customers online with Google. So let’s take a look at what we’re going to go through today.
Number one, we’re going to look at how Google helps businesses reach customers. There’s a number of ways that we can increase our customer base from the many different Google platforms. We’ve got a full list of resources to help you appear across Google and we’re going to look at how we can reach customers with online advertising as well. So we’re going to really break it down, simplify it, break away a lot of the myths and terminology and just kind of really humanize advertising and marketing and growing your business with Google.
So let’s start with how Google helps businesses reach customers. And this is a great little video from Google that kind of gives us an insight into the modern world. Does it work? And people ask us all the time, how do I get it to.
In an increasingly mobile world, it’s incredible to see that once we used to go online, we used to sit down at a computer on a dial-up and actually go online to do our research. These days we are always online. We’re always connected to the internet. We have micro-moments where we’re using our cell phones for many, many different reasons. And in fact, billions of local searches happen every single month. Four out of five consumers use search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo to find info like store addresses, opening hours and directions and other things like services and products and reviews. And interestingly, 85% of all transactions globally still happen in local stores. So if you have a brick and mortar shop or retail space, it’s still very important to be online because your consumers are starting their search before they even leave their house.
So how does search work? A web crawler is a software that fetches and indexes publicly available webpages. So publicly available basically it means that Google isn’t the internet. The internet is a vast database of many, many different resources. And what Google is simply doing is it’s collecting all the publicly available web pages and websites and trying to index them in the way that a library would index books and a book being the equivalent of a website. And in a book you have pages and on a website you have website pages. So all Google is trying to do is just trying to organize the internet in a way that the users can find information fast in a relevant and useful manner. So Google’s crawler, which is called a Googlebot, will follow links from page to page, sending website information back to Google so that Google can deliver it to the customer.
This information is stored in Google’s index. And over time, the index organizes information by page content and other factors. And this is really important to know as a small business owner because this is organic search engine or organics search engine optimization. So when someone searches, the Googlebot will crawl an index billions of webpages. When someone searches, Google relevant and useful results pulled from the index are displayed. So when we talk about search engine optimization, it can seem like a vast and mythical kind of way to market your business, but ultimately it’s as simple as providing relevant and useful content that Google can use to present that to someone that’s searching for something, either you do, you know a lot about or products that you sell. So very, very simple and demystifies a lot that sits around search engine optimization or SEO.
So when someone enters a search query, a search query can also be called a keyword or a search time. Once that gets put into Google, within a matter of seconds, if not split seconds, Google will create a search results page. And you’ll find that the makeup of the search results page is like this. It will display the URL, which is the website address. It will display a page title, which is as it says, a title of the page. And it will display a description of the page as well. What influences or helps influence the position of the website on Google is the page title that has an SEO factor, whereas the descriptions don’t, which is kind of interesting because it would sound like the descriptions aren’t that important if they don’t influence the SEO positioning on the website. However, writing a strong and descriptive description will actually catch the eye of the website user so that you can actually increase your click-through rate of someone looking for your product by having a really strong description.
So while the descriptions don’t immediately influence the position of the website and Google, they can influence the eyeballs of the person that’s searching on Google. So make sure that you pay very strong attention to your meta descriptions on your website. Depending on what you’re searching for, you may have triggered also a business profile on the right hand side. If you’re looking for a particular product or brand or business or you’re looking for something that’s close to you or geographically close to you, then it may trigger the business profile on the right hand side, which is Google My Business, which we’ll come to in a minute. And again, depending on what you’re searching for, you may have triggered the search shopping ads. So if you’ve searched for a product, maybe a new barbecue or horse riding equipment, it may trigger the shopping ads, which is a little image of the product, a link to the website and pricing or it may trigger your more normal, more standard text ads.
Both of these would fall under the Google ad platform. This is the pay-per-click system that Google makes its millions and billions of money from. And it’s very different from the organic index we just spoke about. So this is the paid platform that Google has, where you pay-per-click or PPC, Google ads, Google ad words, search engine marketing, all those terms basically mean the same thing as the Google ads, the paid or pay-per-click section. If you scroll down the search results and you haven’t found what you’re looking for, Google presents some related searches, some suggested searches that other people have searched for along the same lines of what your initial search was. So it’s trying to give you some more options if you still haven’t found what you’re looking for.
So here’s a good little activity to do. Jot this down and do this after the video, but open up your web browser, either on your desktop or cell phone and visit google.com or.ca and search for words and phrases that you’d hope that your customers would be looking for. So, for example, if you’re a vet clinic, search terms like veterinary clinic open now or vet clinic near me. If you’re a law firm, terms like ICBC claim, anything that you think that your customers would be potentially searching for. And then have a look at how those search results show up. If your website shows up, how do the page titles look? What does the text and descriptions look? Is it the strongest one on the page? What can I change? Where do those links take me? If your website doesn’t show up, what’s what websites do? Do you know any of those businesses? Have they been in business longer? Are they investing in digital marketing? Take a look around and really get a feel for what a potential customer is seeing for the first time. And that’s really where we want to start looking at how we can be more visible at the time of intent that, that consumer has when they’re looking for your product or service.
So here’s some resources to help us appear across the Google network. Number one is the Google My Business profile. This is a pretty powerful and free tool that Google has. If you haven’t already claimed your business listing, simply go to google.com/business. And here you’ll be able to complete your profile. It’s kind of like a mini-website these days and you’ll collect customer reviews. You can add photos, customers can click to call you, they can get directions to your location. If you’re a restaurant, you can upload your menu and this changes every few months. So even if you have already claimed it, I highly recommend going back in and making sure that every single possible section is as complete as possible to maximize your exposure through the Google Search and Google Maps section. It’s a very powerful tool if you keep it up to date.
Appearing in the organic results. So this is going back to the main index of Google where Google became well-known for being the best of what it does and that’s delivering relevant content in a fast and efficient manner. So how can we optimize our own website? Now if you’re in a competitive market, I highly recommend hiring or speaking to an SEO agency like Marwick marketing. However, there are some basic SEO items you can do yourself if you have access to your own website. And the first one is making sure you have relevant original content. The written content has to be 100% original. It can’t be duplicated or copied from somewhere else because you’ll get penalized by Google and that’s the same for photography or images. Make sure you’re not using stock images. Logical organization of the website, making sure the architecture of the website makes sense.
A good to great page titles and descriptions. So really think about, you can see it’s kind of highlighted there in the green box. If you’re seeing your business for the first time as a potential customer, is it telling me what I need to know without clicking on the website? Am I selling the business in a strong manner without asking the customer to click on the link there? Making sure all your images are optimized. Big images will slow the website down and you can see fast load time is one of the important things for appearing higher on the organic results. If your website takes longer than five seconds to load, it’s going to get penalized by Google and you’re never going to have those top placements. So ensuring that the website loads as fast as it can.
And making sure that the website is optimized for mobile. So not just the way that it looks, the way that it’s laid out, but also that it loads fast for mobile cell connection. So you think that these days a lot of people are out and about, they’re using their cell phones on 3G or 4G networks. Making sure that they can access your website on those kind of slower networks is essential for increasing your customer base online. So here’s some tools to maintain a strong online presence. This is really a good one to get a really strong overview of how well your website is optimized or perceived in the eye of Google, is the Test My Site tool and it checks site speed. So you go to a Google or G.co/testmysite. and you can simply enter your domain or web address and it will give you the results you need.
So let’s go and look at a another one here. So again, g.co/searchconsole. This is going to give you another report based on how your site performs in more of a mechanical aspect. So if there’s any things that are broken or issues that are hindering the performance of the website, this tool will tell you what they are. Google Analytics is a very powerful tool. Most websites should have it already installed. If you don’t use it, I highly recommend downloading the app and getting a feel for how people are using your website on a daily basis. Google Analytics can really show you some interesting metrics and data around how people are using the website, where they’re coming from, how long they staying for, and so on. All those tools that obviously free.
This is, Google Trends is a really popular tool that doesn’t really get used as much as it should be by business owners. But this is going to help you explore what the world is searching for and see search interest from global to city level. So what you can do on Google Trends is you can put in maybe your product, maybe your services and you can see how that’s trended over time. So it gives you a really strong idea of how people are searching or what they’re searching for. And it can give you some really good market research into maybe where to go next with your business. Again, a really powerful free tool from Google. So try Google Trends out, open a web browser and visit Google Trends. Enter words or phrases related to your business. Have a look at the results and then narrow down the results by your location, adjusting the date range, explore related queries. And that will give you some insights into the kind of content you’ll want to plan out for the coming months ahead.
So now we’re going to look at our third and final part of this presentation, and that’s to reach customers with online advertising. So how do we get there? Well, let’s take a quick look at this video first.
I deployed to Afghanistan in 2007. Being there was the hardest part of my life. My stress level was through the roof. Yoga made me realize that I could be able to handle those stressful moments, that anxiety, and I wanted to share that with the military community. So when I decided to open a yoga studio, it was really important to get as many people as possible through our door, not only to help them, but also because we had to pay our bills. My goal was to get people to call us because we knew that if we could talk to them, it would be easier for them to show up and come through our front door. It’s actually pretty magical because since we’ve launched our Google ads, our phones started ringing off the hook. I know my ads are working when more people than normal are walking through the door.
When the number of intro offers that we’re selling have doubled and in result we had to add 10 new classes a week, we had to hire more staff. What love about Google ads, is that when I’m super busy at work, I can just check my phone and I can instantly track my results. As a small business owner, it’s bigger than just you. It’s about the families you impact, your employees, your own community.
I have somewhere I can let my guard down and everybody else is here for a common reason.
Everybody that I’ve met here and they were looking for something in their life to help them either physically, emotionally, spiritually.
Our work makes such an impact on so many lives. We’re so lucky that we get to do this. I like to say that I started a community center for adults and we just happened to do yoga here.
So Google ads can appear, the most commonly used ones are Google Search ads on the left hand side there. So when somebody types something into Google, the search text ads shows up there. You can see the Honest Soul logo of the offer of 25% off. And then on the right hand side here, the kind of lesser known way to advertise on Google is the Google Display Network. So this is the actual banner ads or the graphics that you can see on other websites, on YouTube and anywhere that you kind of see those banner ads. So you have the Google Display Network, which are the text ads, and then you have the Google Display Network, which are more of the graphic banners.
Smart campaigns. Excuse me, Smart Campaigns are designed for small businesses. Set up and run ads in a few steps. This is a really easy way to just get started. Again, if you’re in a more of a competitive market or if you have campaigns already set up that you need optimizing and to be more competitive, then hiring a digital marketing agency totally make sense. But if you’re just looking to get off the ground and test the water a little bit, it’s very simple to start a basic Google ad campaign.
Logging into Google ads, you enter your business name and URL. Choose your main advertising goal, is it to get more calls, is it to get more visits to your physical location or is it to get more website sales or signups? And then from there you define your location of where you want your ads to show. And you can do a radius around a certain area. You can pick neighborhoods, you can pick countries, you can pick cities. So it gives you a really good platform to define where you want to advertise those customers.
And again, you can be very specific including just picking off post codes or zip codes. Choose your category, choose some products and services to promote, create your ad. Again, a good agency can help you create ads. They’re going to have a much higher click through rate. And if you’re not sure for now, you can just start by using some of the more basic methods of building a strong ad. Set your budget. Your budgets are done through Google ads on a daily basis. You’re in complete control of your marketing budget. When that budget’s used, your ads just simply come offline. And then when you get ready to launch, go ahead and launch it. Anytime you can edit, pause, you can seek performance reports, you can choose days and times when the ad is eligible to appear. You can remove irrelevant search phrases and it always makes sense to connect it to Google Analytics.
So it’s very possible to advertise on Google in a very simple, basic manner. And again, if you’re finding that you are in a bit more of a competitive market or you already have Google ads and you’re looking to scale, that’s usually when a strong digital marketing agency would step in and do that for you. Additional advertising options. These get overlooked quite a bit by small and medium sized businesses in Canada. And that’s shopping, the shopping campaigns there, you can see at the top right. They’re really strong. If you’re selling product online, they can drive some really strong sales. Also video ads on YouTube. It doesn’t cost a lot these days to create explainer videos or product videos or intro videos to your business and then advertise them on YouTube in context to really relevant videos. So if somebody is looking for things like how to fix my car, that’d be a great place to place an advert for a local mechanics shop. And so it becomes very, very targeted without having the budget of maybe a TV marketing budget.
So let’s have a little recap here before we finish off. Create a search friendly website with useful info. It should load quickly and work on all devices. So you have those tools, you can check those things out and make sure that it does tick all those boxes. Explore resources like Google My Business, Test My Site, Search Console, Google Analytics and Google Trends. And then consider online advertising to reach more customers across Google and other sites.
Here are the resources. I’ll leave this up for a little bit. These are great places to start. And here’s some additional free online training and tools that Google at Google grow. So lots and lots of free resources there, for you to use. And so that kind of wraps up our video for today. As I said at the beginning, my name is Christian Thomson and I’m from Marwick Internet Marketing. We’re Canada’s premier Google partner agency and 18th fastest growing company in British Columbia. We help companies grow to the next level by attracting strong and great customers using SEO, Google ads, Google Shopping and all the things we’ve kind of covered today. And I’d also like to thank the Tri-Cities Chamber Of Commerce for partnering with us today on this video. If you have any questions or comments, my details will be listed below this video and I look forward to hearing from you and your feedback on your journey to growing your business to the next level. Thank you.