I have been telling customers this for years – being #1 for “Ottawa plumber” is far from the only way that you will get traffic (and business) on the web! As mentioned in the post, Why You Should Not Google Yourself, there are several different categories of keywords you should be focused on – and no I am not referring to “Ottawa plumber” vs “plumber Ottawa” 🙂
I am talking about drain inspection, installing a refrigerator that has a water dispenser in it, installing a new jacuzzi – as many reasons that people hire a plumber, there are categories of keywords for which you should aim to be visible in search engines.
Within each category of keywords, there is new evidence by my former employer (Mediative), that people are clicking on more than just the first link. To quote Gord Hotchkiss who presented the eye tracking study that shows how we interact with Google Search Results “Because people are scanning the top three or four results in the category they want, it’s not nearly as critical for a company to capture the very top search result”.
One of the reasons that potential clients would be willing to look past the first result is that they want to find a specific plumber, as opposed to a directory such as Homestars, BBB or Yellow Pages and these sites often make up the top few spots for trades in Canadian cities (e.g. plumbers, roofers, etc.)
The great thing is that there is more than one category in which you can be visible in Google. A search for “plumbing company Ottawa” reveals these potential ways for your site to be visible:
- 3 paid search spots at the top or more over on the right (people scan the left column first so you’ll get more clicks being on the left of the SERP)
- 3 organic spots below the top 3 paid spots (for the record all 3 of those spots are held by directory type sites currently)
- 7 map listings
- remaining organic listings
And that is only for your top search terms! Get into more specific types of searches such as “toilet installation ottawa” and you have another chance to be visible! I noticed on this query that there are no directories – just specific plumbers that come up therefore your chance of being in the top few listings is greater than for a more generic search.
To quote Gord Hotchkiss again “SEO isn’t dead, it’s just a lot more complex than it used to be.”
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