Respond to customers’ needs by advertising on needs-based search terms

Written by Karlyne Zovitsky

Here are 4 strategies on needs-based search terms you can follow to reach the customers you want

1. Google AdWords strategy and campaigns

If you are looking for immediate results, it’s good to have an AdWords campaign running. Unlike SEO where it takes several months to jump in rankings, PPC puts you on the first page of Google immediately if done right. It’s a targeted advertising strategy that specifically answers the needs-based search terms of your consumers.

But before you start creating your campaigns it’s good to see what your competitors are doing. What type of ads are they writing and what are their ad angles?

Now this is what we call an ‘Ad Copy Analysis Strategy’. It’s simple, effective and streamlines the process immensely as you are getting into the mindset of your targeted customers.

First, do your keyword research

Find out what your target audience searches for when they look for the offering you provide. A great way is to use both the Keyword Planner Tool in Google AdWords as well as Google itself. In keyword planner, you can see the number of searches per month and also the cost per click. If you are running out of keyword ideas, type a specific keyword into Google and see what related searches there are. By combining these two platforms, you can build a list of keywords that you can target for.

Secondly, do a competitor analysis

Now that you have your keywords; take the keyword with the highest search volume or that is most relevant to your business, and do a competitor analysis. Type the keyword into google and analyse each PPC ad and its coinciding landing page. See what ad angles they are using. For example, is it premium, affordable, quality, experience etc.

Thirdly, write your ads and create your campaigns

Write down the ad angles and then decide where your offering fits. Sometimes the competition is strong, other times there is massive room for improvement and a gap in the market. Whatever the case, you are now thoroughly educated on who your competitors are and what they are doing.

2. Google Maps and Google Places

It sounds quite similar, but it’s in fact two different things. Both Google Maps and Google Places provide details about your business, but there is one key difference; Google uses Google Places instead of Google Maps on its main search results page.

So, let’s have a look at the differences real quick.

Why is Google Maps important?

We have all used Google Maps. It’s the go-to-solution for accurate directions to a destination. This free mapping service has helped thousands of people and it even has Google street view which allows you to see the front of any address.

But it’s not just beneficial for consumers; Businesses can benefit as well.

The main goal of most businesses is to get into the top 10 search results of Google. There are various methods to do so, but Google Maps is a slightly easier route to get more visitors from Google itself.

If you haven’t set up a listing on Google Maps yet, you will still most likely feature on Google Maps. It’s important to improve that listing to move up from the bottom of Google Maps ranking results.

How do you do this?

Something to take into account; if you have a great ranking on Google Places it will help your business feature on the first larger map on google maps. For example, if you search for coffee shops cape town, you want your business to feature in the top 10 results.

Why is Google Places important?

A google places listing is like a yellow pages listing, but just online. It includes photos, a map, reviews, opening hours, relevant categories and other important information about your business. If you have a good listing online, you are more likely to have a higher spot in Google Places rankings. One way to boost ranking is to get as many positive customer reviews on Google as possible.

What are the benefit of a Google places listing?

Potential clients will be able to:

  • See your physical location on a map
  • Find your contact details easily
  • See your operating hours
  • See any reviews that have been written about your company
  • See how your company looks i.e. photos
  • Find your location with easy directions

How to get listed?

You should consider optimising your listing to make sure that you rank in Google Places.

Go to the following link:

  • See whether your business has already been listed
  • If it has, claim ownership of your listing
  • If not, create a business listing
  • Optimise your listing to make sure that you rank in Google Places
  • Get your business listed in relevant directories
  • Encourage customers to add reviews of your business
3. Industry specific directories

Besides having a listing in Google Places, Manta, Yelp, Foursquare and many others, it’s a great idea to find industry specific directories to list in. By using these directories, you can reach a more targeted or niche market that have already made up their mind to use the service you offer.

For example, you will find many directories that only list lawyers and then there are other ones that only list accountants or health insurance providers. Getting your business listed on these directories is really helpful, because it can provide a link back to your website and benefit your rankings in local search results.

4. Local SEO

Local SEO is not just for small businesses anymore, it’s for every business that has a physical address. What you want is your business to pop up in search engine results when people search for your industry or business category. The main goal is to be found when people are looking.

We already discussed some of the local SEO tactics in the 2nd and 3rd point, but there are more tactics you can implement.

Tactics you can use:

  • Local Keywords: Focus on using location-based keywords on a few of your website pages i.e. your about us page or find a location page. For example, a coffee shop in cape town would rank for the keyword “best coffee shop cape town”
  • Get more local exposure: Upload your business on more local directories.
  • Build an online partnership: Create a partnership with a similar business and link back to each other’s websites. For example, if you sell pet food, form a partnership with a pet boarding company.
  • List on relevant booking websites: If you are in the hospitality industry, list your business on sites such as, lekkerslaap, Airbnb, safari etc. If you are in the nightlife industry, list on local what-to-do sites such as travelstart, tripadvisor, visitacity etc.

What are some of the benefits of Local SEO?

  • It targets the people in the area where your business is established.
  • Focusing on a local area, increases your chances to rank at the top quite quickly.
  • It offers stronger personal connection with customers.
  • With Local SEO you can form partnerships with other businesses by creating links.

The main takeout of this article?

Show up where they are looking, because they have already made up their mind on what they want. Basically, you should shrink the already massive haystack for them to find the needle easier.

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