Is Page 1 reachable for you? Looking at Maps will reveal the size and strength of your competition
You most definitely want to appear on the first page of relevant Google searches. The question is which section is your best first shot – Ads, Maps or Organic? It depends. One factor is the competitive situation in your marketplace. How many players are you up against, and who are they? The quick and easy way to tell is in the Maps section. The Maps section is a critical element in what is known as local SEO. Here’s how to look and what to look for.
Hello again. Michael Byrd with Wordwright Web in Wilmington. We are doing our video series on search and online marketing and trying to help you to make the best choices – putting first things first and setting priorities. We’re gonna talk about that today. You want to go where the fish are. You want to take your best options first and get the phone to ring and get business coming in. That creates dollars and gives you the opportunity to do more and to expand your marketing efforts. You should have many marketing methods, but you don’t want to be just guessing. You know, there is a logic to this. There are better choices. Some of them are common sense and I would say always worth doing, and others are priorities. We’re sorting through some priorities for you with regard to search where somebody’s searching. They are in the market for what you do. They are looking for what you do and they want to find you or one of your competitors so we want to win there for sure.
Just a word about these videos and them being in sequence: the sequence is not really important. I really would liken this to podcasts, and I listen to a lot of podcasts. I hope you do as well. There’s a great amount of knowledge that’s available today for free, like these are free. You can see one of these videos; it can make sense. It can be something that you apply and then you can go back and look at the previous videos if you want to. You’re gonna learn no matter where you come in. You can start in the middle. You can certainly do that. So don’t worry about having missed something.
So the last couple of videos we talked about directories and the directories show up as options in organic search. And so we played those out really pretty well. I mean we can come back at some point if I think it’s maybe worth doing if a directory begins to build a name for itself such that the average person is actually seeking it out as opposed to Google. That’s gonna be a long long time if anyone ever eclipses Google. They have established their position just like Microsoft established their position in the in the personal computer business a long time ago in some parts of the computer business. And of course you have Macintoshes and you have Android systems and so on but for the most part people are using Windows. It’s not necessarily because it’s the best. It’s just because it became established. Google is established. You’ve got to play by Google’s rules. They rule the internet – Google and Facebook. They have established their position so we’re gonna work with what’s working and where you’re gonna get the customers.
So we went and we looked at directories and we saw that they don’t compare so I’m gonna back out to the first first level of decision after somebody’s made a search and show you how to look at one of the three places in a typical Google search for service provider. So we’re gonna switch over to our screen and get that started and I’m gonna go to a specific example. All right, so here we are. We did this search. We’re gonna stay on this one for a minute because it’s gonna make more sense. “Speeding ticket attorney Wilmington NC” and we’re looking at the competitive landscape. And really what we’re trying to do here is we’re trying to decide between – among – we’re trying to side among these three options: ads, maps and organic search. And we have some things we have to figure out before we can just jump into one or the other. I can’t tell you that one is always better than another. So what we’ve done here – let’s say you’re a law firm and you’re putting yourself in the shoes of your prospect. You typed in “speeding ticket attorney Wilmington NC.” So we’re down here in the organic section. We’re looking at that one first – kind of arbitrary – and you want to see, obviously, if you’re here, if your law firm is here. And we talked about these directories and hopefully I’ve shown you why you don’t need to worry too much about that right now. What you’re looking to do is to become one of these law firms. You want to be Girdwood Williams, or Deaver law firm. I think this is a law firm: they have a pretty interesting name “protect your legal rights.com.” That’s not the law firm name but that is a URL that they use for strategic purposes and is pretty smart. Woody White Law: that’s a law firm here in Wilmington.
OK so let’s say for now that you are not one of these law firms that’s showing up. (“Your attorney DC” – that’s David Collins. I know them also.) Let’s say you’re not here and we’re gonna show you how to find out where you actually are. And remember this is only one search. This isn’t every possible thing. You might say “lawyer,” they might say “attorneys” plural. There are lots and lots of searches or there are a good few handfuls of searches that someone can do or lots of people are doing right now looking for a law firm. You want to be one of these up here, but let’s say you’re not there and you want to decide: Is it worth me trying to get here? (Just a little note: I don’t know if you remember but the last time we did this Deaver was here and Girdwood Williams was here. So this is fluid. It might be the time of day. It might be that Girdwood Williams is working on their site. A lot of times firms really get overly anxious about whether they’re here or here. If you’re either one of these you’re doing great because we’ve already seen there’s only four or five on here. If you were to go to the first page of Avvo or Findlaw which has been another one we looked at last time you’re gonna see 20 attorneys there, and there’s probably more pages of them. There are more pages here though.
The point of today’s video is to figure out the competitive landscape. We’re gonna look at two things: We’re gonna look in the map section. I’m gonna show you two things to look at about the map section and I want to point out another change. We’re always looking at a Google search results page. This little deal right here is something I haven’t seen before. Today is August 4th 2017. When you participate in the Google AdWords program apparently they’re starting to place one of their advertisers in this top three here which is now top four. That’s a side note.
Let’s go to the main point of today’s video. I want you to click on the maps pages and we’re going to see how many competitors you have. We’re gonna not worry about those two advertisers out there although that is worth noting when we start talking about ads. We’re going to look at how many pages there are and I actually only see one page and I only see two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, okay fourteen lawyers are showing up here. Now I don’t know if Google just changed this Maps page but usually there are a number of pages here and you have twenty on the page. In any case the state of play right now is that you are up against fourteen attorneys. Now we have some other factors to look at but if there are really only fourteen attorneys in this geographic geographic region what I’m telling you is that Google Maps is a good way to see how many players there are regardless of how good their website is, regardless of whether they’re showing up in the organic search section or not. This is to tell you how many people you’re up against.
The second thing I want to look at here is for you to look at these players individually if you’re in your marketplace and you’re in your profession you probably know the quality of the people that you’re up against. So you take a look and you just read the names and you say to yourself: “Can I can i play against these folks? Can I do well? Do I have a shot at being above them in the organicsearch section.”
All other things being equal – or yours being superior – now we’re gonna go to what it takes to be in the organic search section. But what I saw there if I’m a law firm is that I’m not up against a whole lot. So that is a point in favor of going for this section right here. I’m gonna look at the other things that you need. A couple – not too many – a couple of other things you need to look at before deciding that you’re gonna jump into the organic search piece, and we’ll do those in the next video.
That is our video today. Let me ask you once again to subscribe and to obviously come back for the next video and tell a friend – maybe not a competitor – but tell a friend about our video series. Thank you. Michael Byrd with WordwrightWeb in Wilmington North Carolina
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