What you get from a local search is important
Ten years ago, in between the arrival of child one and child two, we extended our house converting it from a 3 to 4 bedroom. In the process the roof line was pitched upwards and outwards making for a huge space I always figured would be useful one day.

And so it was I found myself on Google a few months ago searching for “loft extensions”, “roof conversions” and seeing who came up. As with most Google searches, things came up that did not fit. You play around with the search words rather than relentlessly trawl through page after page of irrelevant detail. It is quicker just to tap in different phrases as the search engine is so darn fast at getting results.

I think I read somewhere (which his my way of getting out of leaving a properly researched source note) that 70% of Google searches do not go past page one. This means most people will retype the search terms rather than look down page two. So you have to be on page one for that phrase, but you can’t be on page one for every conceivable set of search terms. Especially if you are small or medium enterprise without the budget to afford someone experienced in the art of search engine marketing. As long as you have got your title tag right, put up relevant text on your site and a few other basic things, that is probably all you can do.

And so after playing around with a few terms, I found the company that is now doing our loft extension. If they had not come up in the search for “Perth loft extensions” I would never have heard of them and never be in with a chance of gaining my business. We got in four companies to quote, two from those found on the google search, one referral from a mate and another well known brand. As the prize for being found (and then winning the work) was $140,000, it seems important for businesses to have some clue as to getting on that first page of Google. I have no idea if there are more than two companies in the Perth metro region who do loft conversions, but I expect there are. But if they are out there, they are invisible on Google.

About the author

Charlie has spent more than 20 years in Perth’s tech and startup sector, firstly as a founder himself, through to exit, and more recently as a writer, advisor and investor. Originally from the UK, Charlie worked in Singapore before arriving in Perth in 1997 to do an MBA at UWA. Graduating as top student in 1999 he set up online real estate business aussiehome.com, running it for 10 years before selling to REIWA, whereupon Charlie ran reiwa.com. In 2013, he moved to Business News to lead their digital transformation as CEO, and then worked for the federal government’s Accelerating Commercialisation program, funding pre-revenue startups and innovative businesses. He now works in an advisory capacity for multiple tech and other businesses, is managing editor of Startup News and co-host of the Startup West podcast. He also writes a column for Business News on startups. Charlie sits on the advisory boards of WA Leaders, TEDxPerth, WAITTA, the Perth Symphony Orchestra, and the full board of Rise Network.

Related Posts

2 Responses
  1. David

    Charlie I guess the lesson here is to think “if I were looking for my service, what would I type as a search field?”

Leave a Reply