One of the most common requests we get is to help with SEO. Can you guys sort out our SEO so we can show up higher on Google? Our question is do you own an audience?
We all want to rank number one on Google and there’s nothing wrong with that. We know this will mean more traffic and hopefully more opportunity to sell.
This however, is not the only and often not even the best way to compete. Google is a business just like the rest of us, they need to make money, right now they make about $80 billion a year. They need to grow and that is why they are doing what’s right for them, but sadly not always for the rest of us.
Google has gone from showing three ads to four, in search results. Just one more ad, no big deal right? Nope, it’s a big deal. There are two sides to this, that make it a big deal:
1. Google’s Side
There are roughly 33 billion searches conducted on Google daily. If they get to show 1 extra ad per search? You can do the math. For Google, this is a big win. They will certainly post higher earnings this year from advertising.
2. The Searcher’s Side
This is your potential customer. He or she is looking for solutions just like yours online. Several years ago, this person would see one or two ads on top and then a few organic results right below that and then more ads. Most of us as businesses want to be right below the ads, but it seems this space is shrinking and not many people are desperate enough to go to the second page of Google.
This will certainly mean, more people will click on more ads. Good for Google, bad for the rest of us.
Are We Fighting A Losing Battle?
No, not at all! We just need to fight a different battle. One where we create our own audiences. Hear me out. The reason we go to any advertising platform is mostly because they have an audience and we don’t. This is the only reason we go to radio, TV, Facebook and Google.
So when we play on their turf, they control the rules. Google decides to show more ads… they just do it. Facebook decides your posts are not worthy enough to be seen by the same audience they have encourage you to build for so long, they just don’t show it. The radio man says it will cost you so much… You get the idea.
What if we had our own audiences? This, is the most ideal scenario. Imagine if you had a group of people who have given your business permission to contact them via email or sms, should you have anything important to tell them. These are the kind of people who actually care about your business. As you may know it costs seven times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one.
Beat Them At Their Own Game – Own An Audience
So how can we go about building our own audiences? Let’s address this now.
So far this post might have sounded a bit like a rant against Google. Well… it is. Unfortunately we can’t compete sustainably by paying every time we have a message we’d like to put in front of people.
Solution: Pay To Play, With An Agenda
Let us walk through a live example of how this would work. Let’s consider this post. After publishing this post, we will promote it on Facebook and other platforms to put it in front of the right audience, like you. But as you may have noticed, we are not trying to sell you anything, instead we are trying to build a relationship with you, by providing you with something valuable that might help your business, for FREE.
Once readers get to our website, through paid promotion or otherwise, our main objective is mostly to get them to subscribe to our infrequent newsletter where they can get more useful information like this.
We do this in several ways. Through pop ups, sidebar messages and often simple links, like this one, click on it and see what happens.
The idea is to get people who find value in what they have read to give us permission to communicate with them through other means that we have control over, unlike Social Media and Google, which is basically rented land. As the old adage goes, don’t build on rented land.
In a nutshell, use paid traffic to build your own audience.
This means no fluff though. The content on offer must be so compelling that a person should say I want more of that.
Pay Attention To What People Are Doing On Your Website
Bounce rate and time on site matters more now than ever. It is more than just to appease search engines, aka Google, but to make sure that because we are paying to get an audience to our site, that these people stay on our platforms for as long as possible and that they are clicking around. So give them more reason to.
Calls To Action
The truth is if you don’t guide people on what to do next, guess what? They won’t do it. Simply ask. For example, we hope that by this point you have already subscribed to our email list, but if you haven’t, we might ask you to get this list of incredibly powerful tools we use that can help you grow your own audience. That’s an ask, it’s that simple.
As the price to compete online gets higher by the day and the rules can change at any time, it is important today, more than ever, for businesses to build their own audience.