Search engines have become a heavily used tool by consumers gearing up for a purchase. In fact, a study by Enquiro found that customers turn to search engines often for guidance during the buying process. Notice the percentage of customers who turn to search engines during various stages of the buying cycle.
- 9% use search engines for Awareness
- 68% use search engines for Consideration or Research
- 43% use search engines for Decision
- 28% use search engines for Purchase
What does all of this mean for you? It means you need to have a strong search engine presence, and not just for the keywords related to your products and services but for your company name as well. See, a lot of companies overlook the importance of owning the search results for their own name. They figure they’ll naturally own the top spot, so the other results don’t matter. What a mistake.
Imagine this: Your company – we’ll call it ABC Company – owns the #1 ranking for the search term “ABC company.” But in results spots 2-10 there are pages that say “ABC Company sucks” and “My horrible experience with ABC Company.” Customers who are researching your company to make sure you’re legit will instantly be scared away.
The good news is there are many things you can do to dominate the top search results for your company name, allowing you to maintain a positive reputation in the eyes of potential customers. Remember, most searchers don’t go past the first page of results, so we’ll just focus on how you can grab most of those top 10 spots.
- Publish press releases online – One of the great things about press release marketing is that Google tends to favor press releases in their search results. That’s because press releases are inherently credible as they’re official and newsworthy. I’ve seen cases where press releases stayed in the top 10 search results for the keyword for longer than a year. Just make sure to include your company’s name in the headline, subhead, and throughout the body of the press release.
- Create social networking profiles – Another easy way to gain some top search exposure is to create company profiles on various social networks. Start with the most obvious ones: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Then, you can work your way into industry-specific social sites (check out Mashable’s list of 350+ social networking sites).
- Get listed in relevant directories – Directories have always been a popular tool for getting more back links, but they can also be used to help you increase your search share for your company name. Here’s a good post that covers some of the best directories to get listed in.
- Guest blog on other sites – Guest blogging is a powerful tool for getting your name out there, expanding your network, building back links and gaining authority in your niche. It can also be used for grabbing more top search rankings for your company name. Any time you guest post, you get a brief space to talk about who you are and what you do. Make sure to include your company name in this section.
- Get a Wikipedia page – Okay, so this is probably only applicable for bigger companies that garner a lot of media coverage, but your company might be one of those. Wikipedia pages will always rank well, and despite the fact that anyone can edit them, they’re still seen as an authority on the topic at hand.
Do you dominate the search rankings for your name? Do a vanity search. You never know what your potential customers might be seeing.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit: http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/subscribe/.