COVID-19 is bringing changes to all of our lives, so it’s no surprise that it has also changed the landscape of the way many companies tackle their digital marketing strategy. In truth, those that don’t act proactively with their content marketing strategy during this time are not seeing the big picture.
Despite the harm this virus has done, now is an optimal time to pick ourselves up and handle routine maintenance, search engine optimization (SEO), and content strategy. Now is the time to have discussions about keeping up with the current business climate and pouncing on revenue-generating opportunities once–and even slightly before–life returns to normal.
If there is one thing businesses should be doing to get a leg up on their competition, it’s to proactively transform their Google My Business (GMB) and SEO into something that informs their customers about the appropriate coronavirus safety protocols, business procedures, and hours of operation you will practice during the pandemic, and your catalysts here at Cobalt Digital Marketing want to share some more of that helpful information with you so that you have one less thing to worry about at this time.
The Importance of GMB
To understand the importance of GMB, you need to think of it as more important to customer acquisition and your bottom line than your own website. GMB has become such a force multiplier in 2020 that you can’t really justify sitting idle on the sidelines — even during a pandemic. Your business will benefit from a manager who is engaged and understands how powerful a search tool Google has become.
The tech behemoth has modified it’s search engine so that consumers see their results first, meaning that potential customers may never see your website. The key to harnessing this technology is to recognize the assets available to you so that you can get your foot in GMB’s algorithm door and then bust it wide open. Getting your content in front of as many people as possible is vital to customer acquisition.
Below we will explain how to use digital marketing to ensure continued traffic will come to your website during the current pandemic. Ideally, you should consider consulting with a reputable digital marketing agency on your content marketing strategy. Their expertise can help your business survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
To explain GMB strategy, first we will examine the ways in which Google has changed the way they operate their search engine results page (SERPs). Approximately eight years ago they altered their SERPs to ensure that users will interact with their paid content before ever reaching your website. The de-prioritizing of organic search results for paid ads is known in the industry as “No Click Searches.”
Never heard of No Click Searches? Well, you’ve probably seen them. No Click Searches occur when people search for information on Google, but they obtain that data without ever having to visit a website.
Google knows that they can only be so cunning when it comes to prioritizing ads over organic search results without clueing in users who might lose trust in the results. Instead, they’ve focused on getting potential customers to remain on the results page until they have to click on an ad.
For example, you may have checked to see your local weather forecast only to see a No Click Search of Google already giving you the prediction in a text box. Because of this, the chances of you clicking on a website–be it AccuWeather, Weather Channel, or your local news station–is greatly reduced; they’ve already given you the information that you were looking for. If you pay close attention, you’ll likely notice more No Click Searches in your own life, and they’ll probably only become more common over time.
No Click Searches are affecting local businesses more and more every day. Knowing how you can counter Google’s efforts will help your business not only stay afloat but remain relevant while Google ramps up their growth of No Click Searches.
The Data Behind No Click Searches
The truth is that No Click Searches equate to 47% of all search queries today. Google is so focused on offering users as much tangible information within their search results as possible that when a user inputs something that the search engine can’t answer immediately, Google has dramatically improved the chances that the user will click on a paid ad. It’s a win-win for Google, and it’s a meticulous and crafty way to add to their bottom line, while local businesses get phased out from attracting potential customers.
Companies who used to get residual traffic from search engines previously had to only worry about paid ads that appeared above the organic search results. Now, not only do you have to worry about paid ads, but No Click Searches as well. The data is staggering.
Key leader and expert in SEO practices, Rand Fishkin, recently stated that, upon examination of all Google search queries, he found that the organic click through rate (CTR) was at 53 percent. Paid CTR accounted for 4 percent of clicks and No Click Searches accounted for the rest, at 47 percent. This means there were 15 organic clicks for every paid click, down from 20 only a year ago. For every 10 organic clicks there were 8.8 searches that resulted in no clicks at all.
This effect is even worse on mobile devices which will likely influence a large portion of your customer base. Due to the relatively small screen size of phones when compared to their desktop counterparts, No Click Searches account for a majority of all searches. Smaller screens help Google because ads take up a larger portion of the available screen on mobile phones, meaning fewer organic options appear at all. Google’s efforts to keep users from digging for organic results is also aided by ads that result in No Click Searches.
Organic results may not even be seen by potential customers until the bottom of the third screen. This goes to show the efforts Google has gone to to enhance their paid ads with No Click Searches.
As a business owner, this can be frustrating because all the effort that you put into building your website and optimizing it so that it will rank at the top, or very close to it, could now mean very little. If you’re starting to wonder why your site has seen a decline in search engine traffic, it could be because of these changes.
The biggest takeaway from this information is that the money that you’re putting behind your website and SEO aren’t bringing the bang for their buck like they used to, and many other digital marketing agencies may refuse to tell you that truth. Their livelihoods depend on you not knowing this information. Not with us, however. We believe that you and your company will be better off understanding the full dynamics of GMB in order to take full advantage of it.
The Pinnacle of Google My Business
While Google My Business has been prominent for quite some time, Google has become more robust in their actions. Google has cultivated traffic results to their benefit, and they aren’t going out of their way to send someone to your website unless you pay for that with advertising.
The silver lining, however, is that customers are not only willing to speak to local businesses, they need to. The only drawback is that Google has built their search engine platform by having people connect with local businesses on their own terms. It’s frustrating, but the fact that GMB brings in more customers than your website means that it’s better to be involved than to be dismissive of Google’s methods.
The fact remains that many people use Google in order to find answers regarding local businesses. Reviews are just as significant as recommendations and, when used correctly, GMB can be an excellent way to acquire customers.
An effective GMB will result in new customers, the retention of existing clients, and a strong bottom line, all things that are vital to a business’ success. Now is the ideal time to post about what your business is offering: are you open during COVID-19, offering curbside pickup, discounts, delivery, telemedical services — anything that you are doing to service your customer right now should be addressed.
Cobalt Digital Marketing Helps Businesses Connect with Consumers
One of the best ways to harness GMB is to link up with a marketing agency that can devise an execution plan so that you can turn GMB into a tool for customer acquisition. Keeping GMB services updated during COVID-19 is essential for keeping your business in operation during this uncertain time.
Aligning your business with a reputable digital marketing agency to tackle your GMB strategy can help you and your business reach all of your goals. That is why Cobalt Digital Marketing is offering advice on GMB, SEO, and content marketing. We have the wherewithal to show you how to keep your business going while your competitors lose out on customer engagement and retention because of the lack of a plan of action during the pandemic.