When was the last time you Googled your business?
What did you see?
Did you like it?
Welcome to your online brand
I love this exercise, because it puts ourselves in the eyes of our buyers. Or potential referral partners. Or editors we want to publish our work.
Like it or not, a big part of your branding is what comes up on Google’s search results page (SERP).
And I’m talking about ALL the results:
Listing sites (like The Knot, PartySlate, Zola, etc)
Blogs and magazines
The good news is you have some control over it.
And you should probably do more to create an online presence you’re proud of.
Make an impact where you can
You don’t have full control over the SERP for your business, but you do have some influence over what shows up.
Let’s look at three ways you can make in impact:
The most control you’ll ever get over what would-be clients see when they Google your business is your business profile. This is the section of the SERP on the upper-right side of the desktop page (and near the top of the results on a phone) with a photo, map, reviews, and basic business information.
It occupies the biggest amount of real estate on the SERP, so pay attention to what’s in it.
First things first, if you haven’t claimed your profile, do it now.
Then, fill it in with information about your company. Add photos. Set the geographic location, hours, etc.
And, please, please, please: Get more great reviews for your business. Reviews are social proof for people who a) don’t know you, or b) heard of you from a family member, friend, or colleague. Either way, 20 five-star reviews will make them feel better about clicking through to your website.
And if you don’t have any, or very many, or bad reviews? Well, it might make moving forward with an interested couple a non-starter. Even if you come on referral from a friend. You don’t want them feeling uncertain in the first few seconds of seeing your brand.
Update your free and paid listings
Another quick fix is to visit each of the listing sites that come up on the search.
Yelp (yes, Yelp)
And all the others
Big companies like these will almost always fill the first page when you Google your own business. They have massive “domain authority,” which is one of the key factors in what comes up on Google’s results.
Make sure you have up-to-date information and images in all the sites that show up on at least the first page. Keep it consistent within the listings, and also with the information you have on your Home page. The reader for each – listing site and Home page – is often at the same stage of awareness of your brand.
Lastly, if you don’t have excellent reviews on these sites, get more ASAP. Sites like The Knot and Wedding Wire have review quality and quantity show up on the SERP. Again, you don’t want to turn away potential buyers with less-than-stellar reviews.
Everyone needs a little love on their SEO. (Yes, even you who work in the luxury segment. Your clients use Google, too.)
Like your business profile and listing site information, you can make basic on-page SEO improvements to get the most from your website.
If you share the right information in the right way, Google will reward your website with more space on the SERP. And that’s a good thing. Remember, more space on the first page equals more click-throughs.
But if you don’t optimize your on-page SEO, you could end up with potential clients seeing information they’re not ready for. Like pricing. If you have an entire page devoted to your pricing (or, just as bad, “investment,”) and it’s in your navigation, Google will put it directly on the SERP.
Is pricing the first thing you want couples looking at?
Of course not!
Dig in with an expert
SEO is important. Even if you’re not trying to pull in people who’ve never heard of you, it’s crucial to your brand reputation to get it right in key areas, especially page titles and descriptions, as well as image and video names.
At the very least, you don’t want it to be bad, because it can do lasting damage to the way potential clients – even those on referral – feel about your brand.
So I brought in an SEO expert to help me wade through quick fixes to big problems on your website and SERP.
Sara Dunn joins me on this week’s episode of Own Your Business. She’s a genius when it comes to SEO, and presents easy-to-understand information on a complex topic.
You won’t want to miss this conversation.
Not only will it help you lose fewer clients, but it’ll give you the tools to create an online presence you’re proud of. We dive into:
3 big myths about SEO that cost you business
Why SEO works for services at ALL prices
Top changes to make today for a better online presence
How SEO ties into every other marketing strategy