Is Google Search important for Home Watch?
The short answer is yes, but it’s more complicated than that. I want to set the proper expectation of what a home watch company can or may expect from Google Search.
First, let’s take a step back. Over the last decade, Home Watch has evolved and will continue to evolve. Ten years ago, it didn’t matter if your business had an online presence. Very few people were searching Google for home watch.
If there were a chart demonstrating a “Hierarchy of Success” for home watch, it would look like something like this.
As you can see, your online presence didn’t matter ten years ago. Now 10 years later, your online presence is the foundation of success. Today, if your business isn’t relevant in Google, your basically irrelevant.
What can you expect from Google?
This past week a home watch association sent out an email to its Southwest Florida chapter. The email references that the association’s website receives over 14,000 page views per month, with the “lion’s share” being in Southwest Florida. When I read the email, I quickly realized that it was misinformation. I promptly used some online tools I could access and learned the website only averages about 1,900 pageviews per month.
I sent the association an email regarding this matter, and an apologetic email was sent out hours later, clarifying their website page views were only 1,900 page views per month. That is a big difference.
Why does this matter?
Let me explain. Let’s say that Southwest Florida does receive the “lion’s share” of that traffic. When I hear “the lion’s share,” I would assume the traffic is more than 50%. Let’s keep it conservative and say that the association’s website traffic for SW Florida is 50%. That means the the association’s site traffic for SW Florida is about 950 page views per month. That also means the rest of the country has about 950 page views per month. So if you’re a home watch business owner and you’re a member of the association, and your business is NOT in SW Florida, expect few leads from it, if any.
Google Search Volume for Home Watch
Every home watch business should have a website. Additionally, I hope your website is connected to Google Analytics so you can track your website traffic. If you need help with this, you can contact me, and I can assist you. There are also many videos online to learn how to do this.
Tools such as Google Adwords can provide you with keyword search volume. Google Adwords, can tell you how many times a person does a Google search for a keyword in a geographical area.
I am located in Fort Myers, FL, which I would consider the “Mecca” of home watch. As you can see from the image below, Fort Myers, only has about 10-100 searches for Home Watch per month. The entire United States only has between 1K-10K searches per month.
So What Does This All mean?
Every Google search page has paid ads, map listings, and organic listings. Those organic listings are real estate. The top 3 websites on the first page of Google will capture the bulk of the traffic. The goal for any website is to capture as much of that traffic as possible. So your website must be listed in the Top 3 of Google.
The search volume in your area will likely be low, but capturing as much of that volume as possible is vital because if your website isn’t capturing those leads, another company will.
Google Search VS. Referrals
This is an ongoing debate in the home watch world. There are known people in the industry that will tell you that referrals are the way to go. Many Home watch business owners have been taught that they don’t even need a website. Referrals, Referrals, Referrals!
Let’s make a comparison. Let’s say, Sally’s Home Watch was built on referrals and no website or social media presence. Over time, the flow of referrals will dwindle. So if the referrals stop, Sally will have nothing because she has no online presence. Sally needs to figure out how to grow her business.
Now, let’s look at Bob’s Home Watch. Bob purchased a website and built his online presence through Search Engine Optimization and Social Media. Bob’s Home Watch is in the top 3 of Google in his geographical location. Therefore, Bob gets new clients from his website. Bob then performs a good service and asks his clients for referrals.
Do you see the difference? Sally only created one source of leads, and Bob created two sources of leads by focusing on his website first, then referrals. As I mentioned, Google search traffic may be low, so capturing as much traffic as possible is imperative. Additionally, referrals perform Google searches on your business and will come across your competition.
Bob’s Home Watch will ultimately win in the long run.
I wanted to set the expectation that Google search volume for home watch is relatively low, and for an association to claim they receive 14K page views per month is almost impossible in home watch.
This also shows the overall need for more awareness for the home watch industry. Associations have successfully created awareness, which I applaud, but this industry is still very young. Everyone in the industry needs to do their part and bringing awareness to the industry. This will benefit everyone. There is no better time to have home watch business.
Now is the time to expand your digital footprint.