When I first decided to get going in earnest with internet marketing, I chose to get involved with the Home Staging niche. I thought I had found a ripe territory where my skills, and expertise would be well received.
As time went on, it became clear to me that while I had a lot to offer, most home stagers weren’t particularly interested.
Now as my initial survey results showed, many home stagers wanted to have more people come to their web sites. Many also wanted more of those people who did come, to do something. The want was there. The need was there. But while I had information and “how to” directions I could share that would address both of those needs, for the most part home stagers were not all interested in learning how to manage their own web pages.
I can understand that. They were too busy with their lives on top of their new business to spend a lot of time learning web site technology.
It’s the problem of being a very small micro business. “If it’s to be done, it’s up to me,” is the owner’s primary reality. And time and inclination run short for most of us.
I know that many home stagers would benefit greatly if only they could afford the time and attention to getting their web sites optimized for the search engines. I know they would get a lot more customers, if they would offer an ethical bribe as I call it, and follow-up with prospects that opted into their lists. These tactics work in hundreds of other industries and there is no reason why they cannot do the same in home staging.
I also know that once you have your web page optimized for on page factors, it’s just a matter of getting more and better backlinks than your competitors to fight you way to the top of the search engine rankings. And I can show anyone how to do that, and even in many cases do it for them. And most importantly, I know that getting to that first place ranking is worth the fight.
42% of search engine visitors will click on that top organic listing on Google and the next best place only gets 27%. Most spots on the first page get only 2-5%. Now 2-5% isn’t bad when you consider the 0% most people on page 2-22 and beyond get.
That’s why I thought my recent ebook on getting listed in the Google 7 pack would be a hit. Google has been expanding its role in local search over the past few years. When you search for most small businesses online in your local community, the odds are that the Google Search engine results will show a local map with dots and flags for the top 7 businesses Google picks for the area.
These appear on page one, and because of the map, they attract a lot of eyes. What surprised me was that when I searched for home stagers and added a city name, I found many places where the full seven possible spots on the Google Places maps were empty, including my hometown of Minneapolis.
So why should I be teaching people how to do organic search, when they can with just a little effort of an hour or so, get themselves on the first page?
As I show in my report called “Getting on the Map” it’s important to fill in your Google Places Listing as completely as possible, but that said. If no one else in your market has bothered, all you need to do is to claim your listing and do at least a half way decent job of filling in the form. You can always go back and edit it in the future.
If your market already has 7 businesses listed, you will need to do a bit more work as I discuss in the report. You need to get citations and reviews and probably should make sure your Listing Profile is complete, but these are relatively easy tasks. Particularly when the reward is a first page presence on Google.