Why Potential Customers Can’t Find your Business

The movie, Field of Dreams, coined the phrase, “Build it and they will come”, a popular term about business strategy. It’s true. Entrepreneurs are moved by their vision to create something new and appealing. Vision and passion aren’t enough. To actually get “them” to come, you need a marketing strategy. Without a marketing strategy, they don’t know you exist.

If you want to see results from your marketing efforts, your marketing strategy must include Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Multiple times each day, your potential customers are using search engines like Google and Bing to find answers. The information they find is, in large part, what influences their action and buying decision. It’s important for business owners to understand how their customer does their research.

People search for information, products, and services, and the results provide businesses that fit the search. A website and a directory listing, isn’t enough for people to find your business. Have you tried to search for your business on Google, using relevant search terms? If you’re finding it difficult to find your business in the search results, read on to find 5 reasons why links to your business could be pulling you way down in search engine results pages.

The Website is not optimized for search engine bots

Your content should appeal to your customers. That is key to gaining conversions. Before your customers can find your content, the search engines need to identify your website as a relevant result. Search engine optimization means you’ve taken the extra required steps for search engines to index your content. If you don’t have keywords in these places of your webpages, then bots will overlook your business as a relevant result, and prevent users from finding you.

Must-haves on your website:

•  Title Tags: This is the title of your pages or post, and the first piece of information bots collects to identify what the page is about.

•  Meta Content: This is the description of your page that appears on the Google results pages to let users know more about the type of information they can expect to find on this page.

•  URL: The URL is the unique address for each page. Include keywords in the URL whenever possible.

•  Alt Tags: Include alt tags on your images. These are the text version that describes the photo and the way bots identify the relevance of the photo to the search.

2. Your business location is loud and clear

Not every business serves only their local community. However, people still search this way: [ product/service] + [near specific city or town]. If your website does not make your business’s location or locations loud and clear to search engines, then it is less likely to be a result for this search. A missing location also causes a business to be put into a big industry bucket, making it more difficult to climb in the rankings.

3. Your website is not mobile-friendly

Mobile use has increased considerably through the years. If your website is not responsive or mobile-friendly then there is little reason bots would consider sending people to your website when they are searching using a mobile device. In their effort to provide the best results possible, Google prefers to send users to websites that are easy to use and match the search term. If your website is slow to load or functions poorly on mobile devices, Google passes over them to protect users from a lousy search experience.

4. Your website is not user-friendly

Have you ever reached a website only to feel frustrated that your clicking is not getting you any closer to finding your answer? There are far too many of these outdated and hard to use websites. Google is always looking to provide users with the best experience. Bots can detect a poor website experience through user behavior data.

Not sure if your website is user friendly? Ask others to go to your website. Give them some simple tasks (complete a form, find an answer to a question) and ask them about their experience was? Would they send others to your website?

5. You’re lacking positive reviews

Step one: Get listed on the online directory. You can’t stop there. Reviews matter. Ask customers to leave you a review. The better your reputation looks on review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor the more Google knows it can trust you and rank you higher in the result page.

This is not a comprehensive list of everything your business can do to make it easier for potential customers to find them, but, it’s a great start! If you haven’t already, do these 5 things and you’ll see your business climb in the search results and, more importantly, new visitors finding your business.