Don’t rely on just Google!
While the number one spot in the Google search rankings or maps section may seem to be the holy grail, it is unwise to make this your main marketing goal.
Quite simply if you are in a competitive area (eg a big city) then it’s going to take a lot to get you to number one and a lot to keep you there! In particular in this article I’m addressing the issue of relying too much on your search ranking if your site is already doing well.
The problem is that Google quite simply cannot be relied on to keep showing your site at the top of its rankings. You may be doing everything right with your site but may find that a slight change to the Google algorithm sees your site slipping down the rankings for no apparent reason. I have found this recently with two of my customers. One was ranking in the top few positions consistently and then started to gradually slip down the rankings on to page three. Now with a lot of trial and error we have managed to get him back on page one for at least one search term. A second customer suddenly found that his site ( and some of his competitors sites) had completely disappeared from the maps section despite having lots of good Google reviews, ranking well in organic search etc. What had gone wrong? At the end of the day we can’t know for sure. Despite getting help from Google Business section who say their is nothing wrong with his listing and we just need to wait for rankings to improve, so far their is no improvement.
So don’t rely on Google – diversify your marketing:
- Have a Facebook page for your driving school business (separate from your personal page – it’s against Facebook ToS to use a personal profile for your business and looks less professional)
- Use highly targeted Facebook ads
- Post on your local Facebook buy and sell site (you may need permission from the page administrators)
- Advertise on Gumtree and similar sites
- Look at other marketing opportunities eg local sponsorships, local press releases, leaflet drops etc
- Consider how you can increase pupil referrals eg introduce a friend offer
Make no mistake – Google can be a great gold mine for new pupils, and has the greatest potential to get new pupils. We just need to make sure it’s not the only string to our marketing bow. Remember too that Google is not the only search engine in town. Other search engines such as Bing make up over 10% of the search market and often have a better conversion rate.
Finally Don’t spam Google – fake SEO tactics like hidden text and getting thousands of spammy links is only going to hit your rankings! Google is always adjusting the rankings and sooner or later your site might get adversely affected even if you done nothing wrong – don’t make yourself an easy target by contravening Google’s guidelines!
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