The pros and cons of all 3 sections in a Google search results page
Hello again. Michael Byrd here with Home Services Digital. Today we’re going to look at which section of a Google search results page you want to try to appear in first. And it’s gonna differ. It’s gonna depend on a few things.
We’ve done 17 videos now. This is video number 18. We’ve done 17 videos talking just about organic search. And we started there, as I said several times during that series, we started there only because people think of that section when we refer to a Google search. But it’s not necessarily the best section for you and your business in your situation. There’s not a pat answer to this and that’s why we should go through the various pros and cons. So today we’re going to go through the general pros and cons, and on the next video we’re going to look at what might be right for you and your business right this moment based on your particular situation.
So I’m gonna switch over to the screen and we’re gonna look at the pros and cons.
What is a customer likely to do? What do they see?
OK, now when you do a search or when somebody does a search they’re gonna look for — they’re not necessarily going to type in the geographic — but they’re gonna type in roofers, plumbers, painters, those are the people we serve at Home Services Digital. The ads are these three up at the top; four in this case. The Maps are these three here, and then plus this little button here. And the organic is here, everything down below which is ten — ten on the page. And we’ve outlined this and explained it in great detail on our website, Home Services Digital. The second menu here — Google explained — we break it down, the three sections I just talked about: AdWords, Maps, Organic search listings. I have this nifty graphic over here that shows you what we’re talking about, and we go into great detail about pros and cons right here. I’m gonna go into less detail in a PowerPoint presentation that I put together here. It’s actually Google Slides. I prefer Google software over almost anything.
So here we go. Let’s go to the big one. All right, general pros and cons. AdWords: It works. That’s why they make so much money — because it works. All those competitors that you see up there advertising, they’re not up there just so they can waste their money. It’s straightforward. There’s no magic there’s no mystery there’s no waiting. Well, that’s another bullet down here.
It’s controllable. You can spend a little; you can spend a lot. You can spend money on Monday and Tuesday and not spend it any other time of the week. You get nearly instant results when your ads are running. If you’ve done the landing page correctly you will be getting phone calls. You can target geographically. You could do your metropolitan area, but then you can start doing some of the areas outside of that where you have less competition. This is a smart thing to do. We run our ad all across the nation. We serve home services businesses across the United States. You can target with keywords. You can be very specific. If you want to sell luxury watches and not just watches — you don’t want to get all the phone calls for watches, people looking for a cheap watch. You only want to sell luxury watches. It is trackable. You can see exactly what’s going on.
Here are some downsides to Google AdWords
So those are the pluses, general pluses, for Google Adwords. The minuses: Continual cost. If you do well with AdWords you’re going to pay every week, every day, every hour that you use it, that you’re getting clicks. You only pay for the click, remember. As we get it dialed in you can get a little bit more for your money. Your cost per click can go down. You can get better clicks. You can, we can start weeding out the trash clicks but you’ve still got to spend money week over week. Now, if you get a great return on investment you don’t care.
It can be expensive to start up. You need to make sure you have a good landing page. You need to make sure you start the campaign correctly. You need to not do Google AdWords Express. Just don’t do it. If you do that you’re gonna decide that AdWords doesn’t work. So we don’t want you to decide that, because it does work. You just have to do it correctly.
Some people don’t click ads. OK, well you’re not gonna get them but you don’t have to get certain people. You just have to get a certain number of people — some people. And AdWords can be competitive. You can get into competing with the other people in your marketplace in your industry, and so that is is a factor.
What’s the deal with that Maps section?
Now, let’s go to Google Maps. Google Maps. What is great about Google Maps? If you can get into this top three right here, that is a big deal. Wow, look at that. And those clicks are free. You’re just getting clicks. Oh my goodness, isn’t that great? To actually get this figured out and set up, it’s either free because the software’s creating your page anyway. It’s not a website. It’s just a Google Maps page, or it’s cheap, even if we do it for you. It takes two to three hours. That cost is one-time. It’s a very visual section of the page. We’ve got a map. You’ve got these stars if you have reviews, and so on. And it’s easy to improve your improve your click rate by getting these stars. I mentioned these stars. It used to be — I wrote on here — five reviews. You actually don’t have to have five. This one has four. I don’t know what the number is right now. I could look it up. I could Google it. It might be one, but doesn’t it look nice to have all five?
And now if you’re up here and you’ve got stars and these other two don’t, you get all the clicks. That’s just how human nature is. We click the ones that have stars.
Minuses: You need to have a commercial address. If you’re working out of your house you can get a Maps page but it’s not gonna be created for you automatically. We can do that for you. You can look it up on how to do it but you won’t have a Google Maps page if you’re working from home. You can get one. They don’t mind you doing it but their software’s not going to automatically categorize you. There’s no way that they would know that.
There’s not much we can control about Google Maps. We can do everything correct but if you’ve got — if you click down here — if you’ve got ten pages of competitors and there’s 20 on a page, that’s 200 competitors. There’s gonna be almost no way you can — nothing special you can do to get up here in this top three. Yeah, it’s up to Google, and used to be there was more we could do with this. There’s not as much now. It can be very competitive, especially people go a little crazy on this review thing. They think that’s the secret. It kind of is, but you might not have much of a shot here. It might be nearly impossible to win. You wanna, you want to enter the game that you have a chance of winning, and we can tell it before we even get started whether this is a place for you to put time and energy. And so that’s one of them. That’s one of the … this is tough. Maps are tough. Really good if you can get it. Really tough to do something about it if you’re not there.
OK, now the real search, also known as “organic”
Organic. We talked about this before because we’ve gone through this. These are the organic pluses and minuses — still considered by many people the real search results, and for good reason. There’s a lot to be said for it — gets lots and lots of clicks. A lot of people come down here and click these. These clicks, like the clicks in the Maps section are free. You have as good a shot as anyone to get here — well, time and money.
But now here’s one of the really good things. Once you’re ranking you could stay here indefinitely. Here’s the business: Flores and Foley dot com. Here they are. They’re the second result. It’s just — they’re there all the time. That’s not costing; I mean, they paid somebody to get them there but unless they’re paying the wrong kind of, the wrong business model where you are paying monthly. You shouldn’t pay monthly for this, by the way. You should pay to get here. You should pay a little bit to measure it. to make sure you’re up here for all the important keywords and then you should be done until you start to slip.
Minuses! You have to have a good website. There’s no point in being here if you have a crappy website. Somebody clicks on, gonna go “Eh, I’m not calling this company. They don’t look like they’re serious.” It could be expensive. There’s a lot of competition. You’re gonna have to pay for some expertise to get here, and that cost is unknown. That makes people very uncomfortable and it would mean … But we can sort of tell. You can sort of tell about how much it’s gonna take to get there. It’s very competitive. It’s not quick. You’re not gonna be here in a month if you’re, if you’re … . If you’re on the second page you might be here in a month if we’re doing some work. But if you’re on the sixth page it could take 3-4 months. It’s mysterious. It’s not — Google doesn’t tell you how to get here because this is supposed to be a pure result.
All right, so those are the general pluses and minuses on the spots, on picking your shot. Which section, which of these three sections here, AdWords, Maps, Organic, do you want to shoot for? Come back to the next video to see how your particular situation affects the judgment on whether you want to start here or start here or start here. And be sure to subscribe to our video series. You will get a notification when a new one comes out. And tell a friend. Thank you. Michael Byrd with Home Services Digital.