When I ask customers why they want a website, nine times out of ten, their answer is to be found on page one of Google. A simple request. But it's not.
It is one of the most challenging things to achieve in this day and age. Twenty-five years ago, it was effortless to be found online. There needed to be more information online as it was just starting. So your business may have spent 1000s of dollars to create a website. And let's agree; they could have been better-looking websites. But you had a website, and you spent much time developing content for it, and it was out there, and you spent much money having it created because it cost a lot to build a website then. You put it online, but alternatively, it was cheap, about $15 a year, to renew it because it was already created. But because there's not much saturation online, when someone Googles say, "concrete contractor near me" or "concrete contractor Hillsdale, MI," your website would appear on the first page. Fast forward. Now the online market is saturated. People are blogging about concrete and talking about it in the news. The phrase "concrete contractor" or any industry, such as websites, restaurants, retail, retail stores, or realtors, is talked about often. Now potential customers will not find your business on page one of Google, but they will find tons of information about the history of concrete, how concrete is created, how to use it, and so on. The internet is completely saturated. Your business is competing against the endless amount of information, the pages upon pages upon pages, and your competition.
The internet is saturated with millions of information about your product and service.
Say you have zero competition. And you Google "concrete contractor, Hillsdale, Michigan," but you notice that your website is not appearing in search results. But there's zero competition, so it should be. But because Google now has this endless amount of information, the way for them to provide the person asking the question, or the quarry, is for Google to understand if what they're giving is the most valuable information. So even if you have no competition–you're the only website online in the area that you're asking Google about, but you're not coming up–it's more than likely, because all of the other organizations who aren't even competition, but they're talking about concrete has more relevant content than your website does. Google will not show you first because they need to find the information when they scan your website to be of value. They're going to give what they think the answer should be.
Watch or listen to my video on this topic:
Content/Relationship Building Vs. Google Ads
There are two ways of competing online. One is exceptionally intense, time-consuming, and never-ending. And the other one is spending money on Google with ads. So say you do have competition. Let's use businesses A and B to compare. Business A says, "You know what? I only have time to deal with Google ads, plus all the marketing can be expensive. I will spend less than $1,000 every month this way." And so their website has hardly anything on, it's got a logo, a couple of videos, pictures, and a couple of pages of content, but nothing else is of value. It's what I call a "brochure site." It's just listing who they are, what they do, and why they do it. There needs to be more content, and there needs to be an explaining how concrete works or what a customer should do with it. They need to include information about the seasons of concrete and how their customers can utilize it. They aren't showcasing their business as a whole. They need to talk about how their company gives back to the community. There is no moving information. They spend $300 a month on ads, which is the minimum on Google.
Business A says, "I want to build up my content. I want my followers and customers to believe in me and know I'm the expert in what I do. I'm going to build some fantastic stuff. I'm going to nurture that relationship online. I'm OK with investing $1,000 a month in marketing."
No matter how diligent Business A is with its marketing, business B will always come up because they're doing Google ads. It's as simple as that. If Business A is not getting enough returns from their current customers, even though they have spent years building up their strategic marketing, because Business B is doing ads, Business A will also need to run ads to compete. There's just no way around it. Because business B, even though they may have slacked on marketing, will come first in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Consider the Value
Here's the thing, though, you also have to consider the value. If buyers go to a business because they see an ad, there's clicking on it, and they're just hiring Business B to be done with it, that's one thing. But when a buyer clicks on Business A's ad, they will see a dedicated business that knows what they are talking about in its line of work and that Business A is a trusted expert. Business A because they've spent time on marketing and focusing on their infrastructure, back end, relationships, and brand, they are going to build a long-term relationship with their customers. Both options are expensive. Marketing more. But the more time, investment, care, love, nurture, and focus on long-term goals is what branding is all about. But unfortunately, if you have a competitor or two doing Google ads, you'll also need to run ads.
Let's look at what will happen to their online presence if businesses A and B stop doing ads and marketing altogether.
Business A has a great base of information and content, and they built relationships online, but he stopped. Business B had some of the marketing infrastructure started and stopped doing ads. Over time, Google stops looking at either as valuable sources of information. If given the option to choose one website over the other, Google will select Business A as the most reliable source because they have enough information to relay. Still, Google will soon choose the next best source, even if it has nothing to do with a service provided by a business, but the information on the website is relevant and up to date.
Both websites will not be seen online on page one of Google organically anymore. When someone searches for a keyword or phrase ("concrete contractor, Hillsdale, MI"), they're not going to come up. Business A might come up if the searcher is within 30 miles of them because he spent time doing his marketing (he's got his Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook pages setup up with content), but if the searcher is further away, he won't.
No Marketing = No Visibility
What I want you to take away from this is that if you invest in a website, spend $5000 creating it and spend $2000 a year renewing it, you will also have to pay an additional $300-3000+ (depending on your industry and competition) per month marketing it. If you do something with your website, your investment will be well-spent. It will only be seen online if you promote it by building content and relationships, running Google ads, or doing both. So push it, sell it, talk about it, and dedicate yourself to it because you have to compete with not only your competition and all the other millions of information online.
The Take Away
Having a website is necessary–So what you do with it counts.
You have to market your website if you want a return on your investment.
Doing ads is suitable for quick sales, but investing in the proper marketing builds long-term relationships with your online users.
A. Honey Amanda Honeywell "A. Honey" Owner / Web Designer & Marketing Manager PO Box 112, Hillsdale, MI 49242