According to a recent report, Google every single day registers tens of thousands of new, never-before-used search terms, including terms for new products or services, or even new iterations of old search terms that people (or the market) just created.
As an example, I’m sure that during the COVID lockdowns, people could have paired the words “lockdown” and “pizza” and “COVID” in some interesting ways to locate businesses that could do pizza deliveries safely to them!
So, as a business owner you should get in the habit of regularly asking your customers the question, “What would you type into Google or Bing to find a business like ours?”
Optimize your business website around actual search terms your customers use
The search engines are a major lead generation tool today and if you want to get really good at being found online, or around the world, or in your town, then you should do everything that you can to find out the actual terms and phrases your customers or clients use when they go online looking for businesses such as yours.
And then, having acquired this critical “insider information,” you give it to your SEO or however is optimizing your website’s content for the search engines.
A lot of the time businesses optimize their websites around search terms that are jargon in their industry, or old search terms they scraped from Google’s database. But as we have seen this database is getting rewritten every day.
Internet users today use a lot of shorthand keywords
As we have lived with the internet people, for example, have become lazier. You find people using more and more abbreviations and shortcuts because they know that the search engines have become very good at reading the intent of the search.
So, if you type “tennis shoes” into Google, the search engine assumes you want places that sell these shoes, not information on say, how they are made. Google will then return mostly results that take you to places and shops that sell tennis shoes.
Other times a person looking to get a pizza will just type “pizza delivery 12345” where 12345 is their zip code or area code.
This is simpler than typing say, “pizza restaurant that delivers pizza in West Palm Beach Florida”
By using their terms and keywords you’re making it easy for your customers to find you
One of the big principles in marketing any business is to make it easy for your customers to find you. So, if most of your customers are using shorthand to search for businesses such as yours, then shorthand is what you want to optimize your website for.
The search engines will read the intent of the search and bring the other customers who use longhand!
This could also help you get the most qualified prospects into your business
Another important reason why you want to get this insider information is that it might help you prequalify your prospects better before they even hit your website.
Some services businesses target a certain class of people by location. So, you could find a massage therapist who only services a high end neighborhood of a major city. She wouldn’t want to be getting hundreds of inquiries from a downtown client base.
By asking the clients she gets what search terms they’re using she could discover for example that the high end clients tend to favor certain terms that are different from those the downtown people use by default. She would then be better advised to optimize her website for the keywords her high-end clients use.
Now, since we are talking of optimization, you shouldn’t go to your customers or clients and ask just the one question, “What search terms do you use to find businesses like ours in Google or Bing?” Below I have listed 5 other questions you should make it a habit to regularly ask your customers/clients.
The other questions are:
1. What made you decide to buy from us (or to hire us/use our service and not another)
2. What’s one thing we do better than others you do business with?
3. If there’s one thing we could do to create a better experience for you, what would it be?
4. Do you refer us to colleagues or your friends, and if you do, why is that?
5. What other businesses do you love to refer (not necessarily companies offering the same services as ours)?
I will expand on these other five questions in another article.
You can make it a lot easier for your customers/clients to find you online by optimizing your website for the actual search term (keywords) they type into Google or the other search engines.
This also has the added advantage that depending on your industry, you could use this insider information to prequalify your prospects before they even come to your business website.
This is critical in most service-based businesses because you want to attract only those customers/clients you’re comfortable working with, or those who can afford your prices.
If you found value in this article, follow this link for more tips and guides by Chloe Evans on how to find, attract and retain customers for your service-based business