Check out this screenshot from January 2019 of a Google search for the phrase “plumbers indianapolis indiana” – and look for the free, organic results:
Google is “squeezing” local businesses into PAYING them if they want a chance to get any of the clicks from first page rankings.
Need more proof?
Check out Google’s Ad Revenue Growth since 2001:
Google is being called the new “homepage” for local businesses
64% of marketers agree that Google is becoming the new “homepage” for local businesses: a user looking at a Google Knowledge Panel can get basic business info, make a phone call, get directions, book something, ask a question, take a virtual tour, read microblog posts, see hours of operation, thumb through photos, see busy times, read and leave reviews. Without ever having to click through to a brand’s domain, the user may be fully satisfied.
Now, you can’t change the past. But you can try to prepare yourself better for the future; the trend towards less free / more paid will only continue…
Act now and reduce your future spend.
So what can you do?
- Get A Website
- Develop a Content Marketing strategy, for traffic and authority (conversions)
- Develop a Reputation Marketing strategy, resulting in a steady flow of positive results on all important web portals
- Develop a Social Media strategy, engaging loyal fans acting as virtual ambassadors, generating virtual word-of-mouth promotion.
- Rank your website high in the organic listings for your important (traffic-generating) keywords
- Rank it high in the maps listings for your important (traffic-generating) keywords (often easier when ranking high in the regular search results; a small study by Moz showed that 75% of top 3 Google local pack results also have a 1st page organic rankings)
- Build an email list, and build a relationship with your subscribers. They’ll buy from you when they’re ready…
- Grow your email list by any means possible (within your budget); you are building an asset that will generate revenues for you for years to come!