The Most Important Page on the Internet for Contractors
What’s the most important page on the internet? For some, it might be their Twitter feed, a certain news site or even their fantasy football team’s page.
When service area businesses are asked what is the most important page on the internet, the answer would most likely be the home page of their website. I would argue that there is an equally important page out there that they may not be considering. The brand’s search engine result page (SERP). Here’s why: your brand search on Google is most likely the single largest driver of traffic to your site, and depending on how your company looks on that page can have a big effect on how people interact with your website.
The Google SERP is made up of lots of different moving parts, some of which you have total control over and others that require lots of work to change. In life, the serenity prayer is a good motto and asks for the ability to “accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” However, for your brand’s SERP, this just rings of laziness — if there is something negative on your brand’s SERP page you should be doing everything in your power to change or remove it.
Why is this SERP page so important?
When you do any kind of advertising, online or off, brand recognition is almost always one of the main goals. You want people to remember your name when their furnace breaks down, or the room over their garage is freezing, or they are ready to install solar panels. (Kind of how that one ESPN commercial featuring Steve Smith in 2008 is what I think of whenever I hear the word “incendiary.”)
So let’s say you ran an excellent marketing campaign and your brand name is on the top of everyone’s mind. They run into a problem and the first thing they do is...Google your name, because no one remembers phone numbers anymore. If they are met with glowing 5-star reviews and friendly pictures of your company, then the marketing campaign was a success! If they are met with 1-star reviews, a 1.6 rating on Yelp and an unclaimed Google My Business page, then they will think twice about giving you a call. Nothing is worse than spending your marketing dollars on a campaign and then not being able to convert potential customers.
Dissecting a Brand SERP
Every brand’s SERP is different and yet very similar. The main parts are:
Company site (check your metadata)
Reviewers from the web
The image below shows a sample brand search of our friends at Arbor Insulation Solutions in Atlanta, along with some very positive reviews.
People love researching the product they buy. On average, people will look for 10 information sources before making a purchase. So don’t think you are safe because you have one excellent review on your Google page — the entire SERP is important.
Did you know that 86% of people will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative online reviews?
To combat this, you need to be on top of responding to all the negative reviews online, especially on those sites that come up on the first page of your brand SERP.
Worst Case Scenario & What To Do
Uh oh, you just checked out your brand SERP and things aren’t looking good. Your Google My Business page is unclaimed, your reviews are less than favorable and what’s that…Google is displaying the wrong phone number!? Maybe that is why the phone has been a little quiet this month...
So what can you do? First and foremost, claim your Google My Business page. This is a quick step and you can control all the images and contact information in the knowledge panel. The next action is to put a review management strategy in place to bury those bad reviews. People are willing to give reviews, but then need to be prompted. Direct them to the sites that need the most help.
And heaven forbid you find a Ripoff Report on your brand SERP. If you do, it’s time to lawyer up.
One thing to consider is that the content on your website like metadata, images and content have a prominent effect on your brand SERP. The SERP has no original content of its own. It is only aggregating information from sources like your website, Google My Business, and other review sites, so this article is not suggesting that you ignore your website.