Are they looking for an answer to a problem, a specific service or your business?

Business owners tend to be fighting so many battles that they don’t seem to have the resources to figure out how their customers find them on Google. This post helps you understand your customer’s journey.

[Thank you, dear readers, for your interest in this post from July 14, 2016. We updated the post on October 30, 2022].

The biggest thing to know is if someone Googles’something – there is a marketing opportunity around the corner. Why? because unless we have interest, we are unlikely to Google anything!

Here is a simple way to visualize how your customers think when they Google something related to your business:

  1. Unsure of the problem: Metaphorically, the night is dark, and there is a sliver of the moon, as depicted in the new visual with this post. The problem might be simple, like you are hungry at 3 pm. Lunch is over at many restaurants If you are a restaurant and have a free Google my Business listing. They might find you if it says “open ” at 3 pm. If you are running a Google AdWords campaign scheduled to run at 3 pm – they will find you as well. It’s even better if your ad is structured to appear on mobile. You just got that lunch order! For more complex problems like how to install a window AC, the searcher heads to YouTube, and your ad for HVAC services shows up as the person is watching the YouTube video. Remember, if you are in the HVAC business, you are just advertising on YouTube and not creating the video that a helpful person put up. Incidentally, if your business is that helpful person- you can expect huge returns. Their returns are by way of great SEO rankings, low cost of advertising is much higher credibility in your market.
  2. Know what they want: If someone is clear that they do not want to go through the trouble of installing a window AC then they are looking for “window AC installation services,” and if you advertise your central air-conditioning business, you will be able to reach those folks who are getting tired of the window AC installing exercise every summer. A nice pipeline of business to keep your crew busy over the fall for the next season.
  3. Know the brand they want: People rarely know your business by name unless you are Coca-Cola or Apple. Try this simple test: Name 5 brands (Without Googling!)  of soda, cell phones, computers, or whatever. Unless you have recently been in the market buying these things – it’s hard to come up with five brand names for anything without Googling or visiting physical stores. We are getting programmed to ignore advertising unless we 1) are unsure of our problem and need to define it more clearly and 2) We are clear about what product or service we want or 3) we know our problem, have researched vendors and have decided on the vendor. We don’t even Google stuff unless we “need” to!

The point is that no one thinks of your business unless they have a need. And once someone really needs something, they start with Internet searching around the problem your business solves, or a specific service you offer.

If your business shows up when they are searching (they are qualified prospects), it helps you get at least a qualified inquiry.

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