Your website has been in production for a while, and finally, it's ready to go live. Now, you're thinking you can finally kick back, relax, and watch business take off. While we would like to say it goes pretty much like that, that simply isn't the case. The reality is that things are just getting started, and you have a lot to think about.
The SEO Perspective
Like most things in SEO, what happens next depends on various factors once your website is live.
- how quickly Google discovers, crawls, and indexes your website
- the level of competition in the area your shop is located in
- the demand for the types of services your website talks about
- how aggressive your SEO program is
- your shop’s location relative to where Google considers the center of search
We could go on naming more, and because of these factors, there is no “one size fits all” pathway since every situation is different.
For example, if your shop is in a rural area with little competition, you will likely find your website near the top of searches fairly quickly. However, suppose your shop is in a major metropolitan area on the same street with a dozen shops within a few miles. In that case, it will likely take several months or even years after your website goes live before you might see your website land on the first page of search results.
It’s important to optimally set up your website and other off-site assets to send the right signals to Google that you are the best option for your services. More importantly, you want users on Google to easily find you for the services you offer, so potential customers become actual customers.
Ramping Up PPC
Everyone wants as much traffic out of the gate as possible once their website goes live. Unfortunately, for PPC, every campaign must go through a Ramp-up Period.
With PPC, you can’t buy your way to the top immediately. For example, let’s say a new pizza place just opened near your shop. If you have never been there and someone comes by and asks you if you would recommend the place, you most likely wouldn’t say, “That place is awesome.” But if you have heard 15 friends say that place is amazing, you would be much more likely to recommend that restaurant if someone asks.
In my example, you are playing the role Google Plays. No matter how much you pay them, they won’t recommend your place of business immediately because they don’t know how people feel about it. They haven’t gotten any audience signals or people spending time on your site to evaluate it. That takes time, and while money can help speed up how long it takes, no PPC Campaign can come out on day one and perform at top speed. Usually, this learning period from Google or other search engines lasts six to eight weeks.
Just like SEO, the success of your PPC is also subject to several factors. Your Location is a major one, but local competition and the keywords that make you the most money could play a role. Your website relevance to those keywords is also a huge factor in the length of this ramp-up period.
All this is to say that no PPC campaign will start on Monday and be driving tons of leads on Tuesday. Search engines must take time to learn your site, local customers, and keywords before they push your ad higher in the search results. For this reason, it’s wise to consider your marketing strategy a season ahead. With a team that knows what they are doing and a little patience, there is almost always room to find success with PPC in the Auto Repair Industry.