Yesterday the Iowa Western Entrepreneurial Center and Small Business Development Center held the first Business Summit in Council Bluffs, Iowa featuring our own local Google expert, Chris Russell, Data Center Manager at Google, Council Bluffs.
Chris Russell opened the summit with a great presentation on Google Apps and how cloud computing options (like Google Docs, Google Calendar) are optimized for small businesses and using these options can give small businesses a true competitive advantage over large corporations.
The moment that really drove home on how the internet, google and other search engines have completly changed the way consumers purchase goods and services came from a question from the audience during Chris’ discussion on Google Maps and Google Local.
“Why are the local listings not in alphabetical order?” Followed by: “if they are not listed alphabetically, how do you get on top?” Ahh.. the “old school” yellow page directories that list businesses fairly and alphabetically as well as give businesses the opportunity to up the visibility in the listing by simply paying more money for bold print, display ads and cover pages.
Here is how Chris answered the question: They are listed by how google finds results FOR THE SEARCHER during their search, determined by many different parameters that best match the specific search. You get on top of the listing by having a better business.
So there it is. If people love you, so will Google. Search engines do not optimize for the businesses, unlike “old school” listings like the yellow pages. Google optimizes for the user and want to help their seacher find the best results to solve their problems.
So how does simply being a better business help you get top search results on search engines like Google local and Google search in general? When you have a good business you have more love. When you have a good business your website reflects exactly what you offer to your customers. When you have a good business You will have more links to your page (from your loyal customers). When you have a good business you have more visitors. You have more reviews. You have better search results. So work on your business and make sure that your website is optimized for how your customer will search for you. here is a previous SEO Blog Post that explains some of the basics of search engine optimization. The Hubspot Marketing Blog also has some great blog posts on SEO.