Finding new customers during a pandemic is about ensuring they can find you

With the cancellation of industry trade shows, expos and events due to COVID-19, many business owners have lost vital networking opportunities that they’ve relied on year after year to meet prospective customers and generate new business leads.

To find new customers in this era where mass gatherings are prohibited, it’s vital that business owners review how well their products and services are set up to be found online.

Consider this:

It's estimated that 3.5 billion Google searches are made every day (Google doesn't publish this data) and search volumes are growing roughly 10% each year.

Additionally, around 35% of total product searches start on Google.

With Google having 95% share of the New Zealand search engine market, every kiwi business owner would be wise to get clarity as soon as possible on a) how many Google searches per month there are related to their product or service and b) how optimised they are to capture leads from these search queries.

How do I find out how many searches there are related to my product?

If you have a Google Ads account and are a confident user, you can try Google’s free Keyword Planner tool to generate search phrase suggestions and see search volumes. Alternatively, Google Trends is simple to use and will give you indicative search volumes for popular phrases although it doesn’t work with more niche search terms.

Source: Google Trends

For a more comprehensive approach, a Digital Marketing Consultant will be able to provide you with a list of relevant search terms in your industry, current volumes as well as how much competition there is for each phrase.

Additionally, they will be able to provide you with some insight into what your strongest search opportunities are. For example, there may be a lot of competition for your business’s main keywords, making it difficult to rank, but there could be sufficient search volumes for longer-tail keywords that include things like location or a key product attribute.

Short-tail keyword = ‘buy socks’

Long-tail keyword = ‘Buy breathable running socks’

Knowing where the clear space is will help you develop a Search Engine Marketing Strategy that will generate leads viably.

Should I use Google Ads or just focus on SEO?

If you are in a highly competitive field, the chances are either you or your competitors are already using Google Ads (these are the sponsored listings that appear at the top of the results page). If this is the case, you should either start or continue to advertise with pay per click (PPC) ads so long as it is affordable for you and you are getting a return on your investment.

The fact is that these days the paid ads get much higher visibility than organic search results so you really want to make sure you are near the top of the page.

Regardless of whether you are running Google Ads or not, your website should be Search Engine Optimised to give it the best chance of ranking highly in the organic results.

Didn’t my web developer make sure my site was SEO friendly when they built the site?

Unless a specific SEO set up service was included in your website build, it’s likely that your site will have quite a few areas of improvement when it comes to SEO. Most of the time when I perform an audit on a website property, I find a number of critical issues that are holding the site performance back, meaning the business is potentially missing out on leads.

If you're unsure whether your site is SEO friendly, please get it checked as a matter of urgency.

By examining the current search volumes for your businesses’ keywords and reviewing your website’s SEO performance, it’s likely you’ll be able to find some new customers without even needing to get up from your chair.