Now, when a person decides they need to hire a company, and they walk up to this bridge and start talking to the gatekeeper, there are really only two types of searches they make.
- Referral Based
- Keyword Based
A referral-based search happens when someone searches for a business by name or a half-remembered version of it. This search usually stems from a want or need and then asking friends and family for a recommendation of who they should hire.
More often than not, the next step for that person is to hop on their computer or phone and look up that referred business. Usually, if for nothing else than to find the contact information.
A keyword-based search happens when someone doesn’t have a company referral to start from or the company they were referred to dropped the ball. So they search for something like “best XYZ company near me” or the product/service they need and start their research from there.
This means they are doing the majority of the work. First, they might have to research what type of service they need, then browse through website after website not entirely sure what they are looking for, read reviews, check social accounts, and then if there are no red flags they hesitantly get in touch with who they feel might be their best option.
The truth is, most people don’t know how to perform this research nor do they have the time or energy. They would rather let someone or something handle the research and decide for them; people would rather start with a referral-based search because they are more likely to find success with the company of choice that way.
The interesting thing is that even when people start with a keyword-based search, studies show that those same people are still looking for a referral and prefer to click through to a website that lists the top businesses in their area for that service.
So, because people would rather start with a referral based search, your efforts should first be focused on making sure that people can not only find your business online but that they will like what they find about you.
But remember, in order to do that, you must first ensure that the Search Engines have all the right info about your business.