So the Internet is this awesome bridge and the Search Engines deliver us across it but how do they know who and where to deliver us to? Another way to ask this question is how do the Search Engines get the “low-down” or information about your business?
Three ways actually.
- From other websites
- From the business itself
- From the consumer
It is important to remember that Search Engines have customers too. The people using their service—us, consumers, the people with the problems, wants and needs—. So, they actually have a pretty big responsibility. If they do not show quality results then people will not use their service and their business will fail.
From Other Websites
Essentially, the Search Engines send out web crawlers that follow links around a website and onto other websites. They keep track of what is on these sites and categorize them accordingly along with an authority score which helps them decide what web queries that website should be shown for, first and foremost, is the business name.
So when the Search Engine crawls a website, and let’s say gathers information like a name, address, and phone number for a business, they store that information. When they crawl another website and see the same information, they put both into a folder for that business. But what happens when they see the same name, but a missing address and different phone number? They put it into a different folder.
The search engines need to be sure of what they are showing to the people.
The best news is that we can control the information out there on other websites about your business.
From The Business Itself
The best way for a Search Engine to be sure and receive information about your business is from the business directly. Search Engines are now opening up their databases, in a way, to allow for verified business input. So once you verify you own a business, which isn’t really a business verification but a local address verification, you can control a free business listing on their search engine.
Perhaps one of the greatest ways we can also control the primary information search engines have about a business is through their website. You see, when these web crawlers land on your website they not only read through all the text, but they look at the code too. Every line of text, image, video, and the color is wrapped in code. There are very specific things we can do to ensure that the search engines know for a fact that a website they are on belongs to a certain local business.
Furthermore, they allow a business owner to connect their website to the back end of their systems and submit things like sitemaps and view technical errors that would prevent that Search Engine from showing their website more.
Remember, they want to provide the best results to their customer—the searcher—so they want the most accurate information straight from the horse’s mouth if possible. If they don’t get it, they will try their best to piece together the information about a business online from other websites like I just described previously.
Beyond that, it is very important that your website’s content is actually relevant to what your business offers. This means that you shouldn’t use your business website for your personal blog or vice versa.
From The Consumer
Just because they accept information from a business directly, doesn’t mean they still don’t want to verify it and learn more about that business.
Have you ever been searching on Google, or looking at a business page on Facebook or many other sites and seen a little pencil next to each area of information? Look for it next time because as a consumer, Google and other sites want your opinion on whether or not a business is, in fact, listing accurate information about themselves online.
Often times Google might ask you a question about a business, that is related to things we regard as irrelevant, such as wheelchair accessible, or to confirm business hours, or even about parking, but it’s all in the aim to improve their customers experience.
So what is the one thing you cannot get wrong when it comes to your business and the Internet?
The accuracy of information about your business online.
It is the core of your online presence.
No matter the reason behind a companies’ lack of accuracy online, they will suffer in both the keyword-related searches and the referral-based searches.
But the type of information about a business online doesn’t just stop at its name, address, and phone number. There are categories, products, services, about information, year established, pictures, video, social accounts, etc. etc. and all pretty much making up the messaging of your business.
And it all must match and compliment each other.