A to Z of Marketing: G = Google

The A to Z of marketing is designed to give you a flavour of the multitude of components that need to be considered when marketing  a business.

This week we look at G=Google.

From nowhere Google has become an important word within the Marketers’ glossary of terms.  But is it really the be all and end all?  I have seen business owners obsess over being at the top of Google.  Is it really that important?  Well the answer is…………………it depends.

Like anything within the field of marketing, the importance of a channel largely depends on the following factors…….

  • the objectives of the business
  • the product or service that you supply
  • the behaviour of your target market
  • the financial metrics of the business

So what do I mean by all this?  Surely everyone should aim to be at the top of Google?  Well not necessarily.  Consider the following scenarios…..

  • Company W is running at around 90% capacity and has a loyal customer base with high levels of repeat purchase.  Its objective is to reach capacity from its existing client base.
  • Company X supplies a brand new product which is totally unique but fulfils a problem that consumers are not even aware that they have yet!
  • Company Y targets the over 70’s market with a special car insurance policy for the elderly.
  • Company Z’s product has a unit cost of £2.50 at a 20% margin, yet to be on the first page of Google is going to cost around £1500 per month and the estimated volume of traffic is 10,000 searches per month.

So I may have exaggerated some scenarios to make a point, but you can see that for all of the above examples being on page 1 of Google is not really going to help them.

If you are mathematically minded you may say that if Company Z converted 3000 sales out of the 10,000 searches then they would cover their costs?

But the point is they would not make a profit and they would need a high number of browsers first clicking on their site and then following up with a sale – way above Google averages.  A lot of pain for no gain!

However, don’t get me wrong, for many businesses (and in fact the majority of businesses) the power of understanding how Google works and being found online quickly and relevantly cannot be underestimated.  Some businesses have been built solely open an online presence.

Google is the 21st Century’s answer to the Yellow Pages.  If you have a need and you don’t know anyone through personal experience (or recommendation) to fulfil that need then the vast majority of the population will search online…using Google as their search engine.  If you are not found on the first page, but 10 of your competitors are….you have just missed out on a potential enquiry.

Google, as a subject area, is very in depth and diverse and many 200+page books have been written on how to utilise Google within your marketing.

I will not attempt to cover off everything about Google but, very simply, you have three main key ways to appear on the first page of Google.  Through the natural search results, through Google Maps or through paid adverts.  To be honest it doesn’t matter which method you use, or even all three.

The key is that the money you invest into your website, search engine optimisation and cost-per-click adverts generates a positive return on investment.

Whatever you do (and I have seen this happen) don’t let vanity supersede common sense and end up investing thousands of pounds on being top of Google if it is not generating a positive return.

It is all very well being top – but if you website itself doesn’t work in converting browsers to buyers or enquirers, then it is pointless.  Google with care!

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Ian is the founder of Opportunity Marketing marketing, with over 18 years of experience in successfully setting up marketing departments, creating marketing strategies and implementing these strategies across a wide number of SME companies in both the B2B and B2C sectors through a variety of channels.
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