Despite all the negativity surrounding the Brexit crisis and low consumer confidence, we KBB retailers should count ourselves very lucky.
Why so lucky?
We should count ourselves lucky because we have the margins and average sale transactions that mean we can afford to invest a relatively large sum of money in acquiring a new customer. Plenty of businesses depend on making hundreds of sales every single day to make any money, such as cafés and coffee shops, paper merchants, and restaurants. It’s hard work for those businesses to grow and prosper without having real cash flow issues. They have to make hundreds of sales every day, where we need to make a lot less to make money. We get it easier.
In our sector an average kitchen spend can be anywhere from £10,000 to £100,000 with a 35% margin, and this gives us a sizeable chunk of money to spend on getting new customers. It’s a blessing that many businesses go without, and we should make the most of it.
With that said, where is it best to spend this money? In this blog post, we’re looking at the place where 90% of people go to find a kitchen retailer: Search engines, in particular Google. We’ll explain just how powerful they are to your business and how you can get in on the act.
Many People Are Searching For Kitchens, Bathrooms and Bedrooms In Your Area?
Every single day people who are ‘in-market’ for a new interior are searching on Google and other major search engines such as Bing and Yahoo. These prospective customers are being snapped up by the KBB companies who are sitting on page one of the search results, whether that’s through paid advertising or through what we call an ‘organic listing’ (the ones below the ads).
It’s very rare that a prospect would get past this first page of search results to find other companies, so if you’re not appearing here, it’s factual that you are losing customers every day. And you will continue to do so until you are on this first page.
So How Big Is The Opportunity?
Firstly, it’s good to establish the size of the market. Exactly how many people are searching for kitchens and other interiors in your area? It will be a sizeable amount, without doubt, but it’s good to know exactly how many and what they’re searching for, so you need to start by doing some keyword research. Here’s how to do that for your KBB business…
Step 1: Firstly, make a list of the sort of search terms you want your business to be found for. You’ll only need six or seven terms to start with, and we’ve helped you out below by giving you some generic examples of the sort of keywords and phrases we target for our clients. They’re based around kitchens, but feel free to interchange them with bathroom and bedroom-based terms, and obviously you’ll need to insert the locations that you target.
Keywords: Kitchens [LOCATION], kitchen showrooms [LOCATION], fitted kitchens [LOCATION], bespoke kitchens [LOCATION], kitchen designer [LOCATION] etc.
Step 2: Log onto your Google Ads account. If you haven’t got one, click here to sign up: ads.google.com
Step 3: Click ‘Tools and Settings’, ‘Planning’ and then ‘Keyword Planner’.
Step 4: Click ‘Discover new keywords’, then paste the list of keywords we gave you in Step 1. Click ‘Get Results’.
Step 5: Set the location to the geographical area(s) that you target at the top of the page.
This will now give you some accurate indications of how many people are searching for those keywords in your area. By all means, add some more keywords and phrases based on what you do, but you now have a clear picture of what you are missing out on if you’re not running Google Ads or SEO campaigns to target these search terms.
What Is The Difference Between Paid Search and SEO for my Kitchen Business?
Whilst it may seem the same to the uninitiated, there are some subtle differences between the traffic that comes from cost-per-click search ads and organic listings…
One of the main differences between SEO and PPC advertising is the positioning of your search results on the page. When using PPC campaigns, if you bid enough to secure a position in the top three spots, you’ll appear at the top of the first page of search results. If you don’t bid enough, you’ll end up either at the bottom of the page or worse, on page 2 or lower, which is frankly useless.
Organic listings appear below the first three adverts, but take up the majority of the page’s search results.
As you’ve probably guessed by now, there is a cost involved when running search ads. I mean, it is called Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising after all.
This doesn’t mean that SEO traffic is free, though. The great fallacy of obtaining free traffic from Google is very much that: a fallacy. In the early days of the internet it was a distinct possibility, but in today’s world, this is a very competitive space and companies will invest heavily in SEO work to make sure that their website appears on the first page of search terms for hyper-relevant searches.
Volume of Traffic
How much traffic you can get to your site should always be considered, and your organic listings are the clear winner here. Yes, you can up the budget on your PPC campaigns, but there is always a finite amount of traffic you can accrue from search ads as they depend on various factors such as other competitors bidding on the same keywords, search demand and your budget.
Considering that your website is optimised for the correct search terms, organic traffic will always bring larger volumes of traffic to your website.
Quality of Traffic
Volume is important, but the quality of traffic that comes to your site is also of huge importance to anyone selling kitchens, especially in the higher end of the market.
In terms of quality, both PPC advertising and organic traffic are the highest quality traffic you can get, and that’s because of something we call ‘intent’. People on major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing are actively looking for a solution to their need or desire, so they have a certain amount of intent in their searches, and that intent carries through with them to your website. Compare that to the intent of people browsing Facebook, for instance, and you get a completely different picture. Facebook users are looking to be entertained. They are not actively looking for a kitchen at the moment you put n ad in front of them, and this is why traffic from Facebook doesn’t possess the same quality as that from search engines.
What to do first?
In an effort to make this article useful for you and your KBB business, we’d like to wrap it up with an answer to a question that many people ask: What shall I do first? PPC or SEO?
The major advantage with paid search advertising is that you can get your ads showing at the top of page one very quickly. It takes less than a few hours to set up a campaign and get it running. Sure, there’s plenty of optimisation, testing and tweaking that needs doing to bring the cost per click down and improve the performance, but the long and short of it is that you can target high-intent traffic very quickly.
SEO is a much longer process. Your SEO campaign can take many hours to start achieving results, but once it does, you’ll be flying.
So, to be clear, if you’re not running either SEO campaigns or search ads, get your PPC campaign in place before your SEO campaign, as SEO takes a lot longer.
As always, if you’d like a hand with any of this, please drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 0121 405 6780.