10 Free things you can do to help your retail business during the COVID-19 shutdown

As featured in Furniture Today. Joe Walter, a furniture retailer for 20 years and the founder of SearchWurx, which promotes furniture store websites, offers this advice for furniture retailers. “If you can do these now — some will start paying off right away, and some will pay off over time — and most should cost nothing more than your time,” Walter says.

  1. Visit your own website like a potential customer, from your desktop and phone. Is it easy to find what you’re looking for? If not, talk to your webmaster about fixing it.
  2. Update your pictures on Yelp and Google My Business
  3. Update your list of products and services on Google My Business
  4. Ask customers, friends, and family for reviews on Google
  5. Rewrite the descriptions of your top 10 items in each category on your website
    a. Add more photos
    b. Make sure the item is packaged the way people want to buy it (i.e. dining table, 2 arm chairs, 4 side chairs, or bed, dresser, 2 nightstands)
    c. Name them something different and change the item numbers to make comparison shopping more difficult
  6. Think about whether your business name or product label fully tells people what you do/sell in their language. Matching the phrases on your website to the phrases your customers search can help your organic SEO. Here are some examples (there are tons more based on your region/products)
    Industry term vs. consumer term:

    • Motion vs. reclining
    • Recliner vs. La-Z-Boy, Barcalounger, easy chair, recliner
    • Upholstered vs. fabric
    • Sofa vs. couch
    • Price vs. cost
    • Mattress vs. bed
    • Bed vs. bed (I know, confusing right)
    • Showroom vs. store
    • Dinette vs. kitchen set
  7. Write a book
    a. It doesn’t have to be long or good
    b. Focus on the title and cover
    c. Just having a book can make you an authority on your business
  8. Offer to trade with other local businesses — maybe the local painter needs a new desk and you need a fresh coat
  9. Make sure anything you offer that makes working from home easier is prominently displayed on your website
  10. Answer questions on your website that people are often asking you over the phone or in person. Other people want to know, too, and it can improve your SEO. Examples:
    • When do mattresses go on sale?
    • Do furniture stores pick up old furniture?
    • What’s the best way to store furniture?
    • How do you tell a good couch from a cheap couch?
    • Why does one mattress cost more than another mattress?
    • What’s the best bed for lower back pain?
  11. BONUS: Can you offer anything that’s FREE and/or EASY, both are powerful words and we can all use a little free and easy right now

Why aren’t you retargeting? Maybe you shouldn’t be.

As featured in Furniture Today.  Retargeting seems like a magical method for showing your advertisements only to shoppers who’ve already interacted with one of your online properties — your website, Facebook page, e-blast, YouTube videos and so on. After all, they must be interested in what you offer if they visited your page, so why not show them ads to remind them to come back and place an order, right? Maybe.

What is “retargeting”? According to Wikipedia: “Behavioral retargeting (also known as behavioral remarketing, or simply, retargeting) is a form of online targeted advertising by which online advertising is targeted to consumers based on their previous Internet actions. Retargeting tags online users by including a pixel [a small section of code on a website] within the target webpage or email, which sets a cookie in the user’s browser. Once the cookie is set, the advertiser is able to show display ads to that user elsewhere on the internet via an ad exchange.”

There’s an abundance of chatter about the significance of remarketing, even making it seem like a necessity. However, much of that talk is not industry-specific. Retargeting holds a different value to different industries and that value can be quite varied. For a business selling fishing supplies, there is almost no limit to the amount of new fishing gear one can buy, so retargeting can keep the business top-of-mind and encourage more sales.

For a furniture, mattress or design business, your customers are often one-and-done. Showing retargeting ads to someone who has already designed their home and purchased the furniture could be a complete waste of money — it might be years, or decades, before some purchase again. Does this make retargeting obsolete for the furniture industry? Not necessarily.

What can make retargeting useful for furniture businesses is our industry’s long buying cycle. A consumer might start considering a redesign months before the purchase takes place. If they begin researching products and services, and you can remarket to them while they’re in the consideration phase (especially if your competitors are not), you might benefit by being the only business they remember when it’s time to make a purchase.

How do you know when it’s appropriate to retarget and how much to spend? That depends on your overall advertising budget.

If you’re not exhausting your digital budget by directly targeting shoppers who are showing an immediate need (people searching for what you do/sell on Google right now), retargeting may be a better use of your excess budget than other forms of advertising. At least with retargeting you know the prospect has shown some interest in what you offer. You’ll never know if you’re retargeting to the person who has just started their research, or who has just completed their project, but that’s the cost of playing the game. Perhaps you can take some solace in knowing that retargeting to even those who’ve completed their project, and won’t become your customer again for some time, might remind them to refer you to friends who ask “Where did you get that gorgeous spinning lure?”

Put yourself in your customers’ ‘booth’

As featured in Furniture Today – A retired restaurant manager taught me to put myself in the customer’s “booth.” A restaurant is often a bustling place, with dim lighting and high expectations of cleanliness. Employees scurry about noticing things that the customer rarely sees. A restaurant server is likely to notice the tops of the light fixtures, the backs of the booths and, unfortunately for some of us, an occasional thinning crown of hair. But these are things we, as customers, rarely see. We notice the underside of the light fixture, the startling feel of something gooey under the table’s edge and an unsettling wobbliness of a chair. To gain the customer’s perspective, this restaurant manager would sit in every chair, booth and stool. This exercise gave him a sense of what the customer noticed to make sure their experience matched his expectation.
Restaurants have an advantage over furniture store websites because the customers have already made a significant effort to get to the restaurant by the time they notice the problems, and they aren’t likely to leave unless the offenses are egregious. But your website can be abandoned in seconds in favor of another, if your menu is sticky and gross. When was the last time you “sat in the booths” of your website?

Finding the perfect piece
Go through the process of searching your website for something specific. Sure, some customers land on your website early in their decision-making process when they may be just looking for inspiration. But many are there on a specific mission — to find a caramel color leather sectional with two recliners, power headrests, a chaise on the left and cup holders.

Search for some exact pieces on your site and note how easy, or difficult, they are to find. Ask yourself if the process of locating a precise item will lead to delight or frustration, then exert the same level of effort to make it as easy to find online as you would in your showroom. The process will be different, of course, but the attention you give to the project should be the same. Remember, your website is most customers’ first impression of your store and can often lead to their decision to come see you in person, or not. Compare this to the equivalent of a disorganized menu that has too many choices. How often do you get frustrated and close the menu feeling overwhelmed?

To price or not to price
You’re a buyer as well as a seller, and odds are, you’ve done some shopping online as well as some pre-shopping online that led to you visiting a store. Many furniture retailers are reluctant to display prices on their website for a plethora of reasons. Perhaps their products are custom-made and the available configurations and options make it difficult to provide an accurate price online. Or maybe prices are hidden for competitive reasons.
Regardless of why prices aren’t shown, consider the reaction this may cause from the customer. When shopping for a new TV or pair of shoes online, are you more likely to visit the store that shows a few models, only a little detail about each, and a promise that “we have a huge selection and the best prices in town?” Or would you be inclined to go to the store that showed all the available models, with the features and benefits listed along with the price?

Now imagine you’re located in between those two stores and have to choose a direction of travel. Your time is scarce, and your customer is no different. They’re making these choices every day; make sure you’re giving them enough reasons to choose your store. Just like how the server-recited “Daily Specials” sound so delicious, but ordering feels like a bit of a gamble because many won’t ask, “how much is the bacon-wrapped Wagyu filet.”

Getting answers to questions
Now, suppose you have a question and how you’d go about finding the answer. Are common things one might want to know simple to find? Product dimensions, in-stock status, delivery fees and return policy are each things a customer might be curious about that you can address within the pages of your site. But customers may have questions you never thought of. In which case, they want a quick way to get an answer. You wouldn’t expect your customer to wait a day, or more, to get a response to a question inside your store; which is precisely why stores are staffed with salespeople.

Consider “staffing” your website the same way during business hours to provide customers the answers they’re looking for. There are online chat widgets that can easily be added to most websites, allowing your customers to initiate an instant chat to get their questions answered. Don’t risk them leaving your website to look for answers on your competitor’s site. “Excuse me, garcon… Umm, garcon?! GARCON?! May I have a spoon for this soup, PLEASE?”

Checkout time
Whether you offer online checkout or your customers come into the store to buy, go through the exercise yourself. Experience how it feels for the customer to make their purchase. Pay attention to parts of the process that could create uncertainty or, worse, obstruction of completing the order. This applies to your in-store checkout procedure as well since that’s ultimately how most customers will consummate their purchase. Make sure your checkout routine is quick, easy, friendly, simple to understand, accurate, thorough and without irritations. We’ve all felt the anxiety of hurrying to get to a movie while the server was nowhere to be seen with our check.

Your website is no longer just a place for shoppers to get information about your store; they expect to actually shop on your site. They don’t necessarily expect to buy on your site, as 83% still make their purchase in store. But with more than 74% starting their furniture purchase journey online, your website deserves as much attention as you give your showroom or more. Without a functional, informative and helpful website, potential customers may never make it into your building.

Make sure your website is a delightful place for your guests, and maybe they’ll stick around for dessert.

Your website needs a blog, right?

As featured in Furniture Today – There’s no shortage of talk about the importance of adding “fresh, unique content” to your website. But for every marketer who expounds this seemingly critical component, there’s a retailer rolling his or her eyes while thinking, “How will I find the time to do that and what will I even write about?”
We’ll take a look at what content is, how you find the time to create it, and why content is meaningful — if it even is meaningful.

First, what is “unique content?” In the context of your store’s website and online persona, content is simply information conveyed in text, sound, pictures or video. In theory, said content will have meaning and be helpful to the viewers of your site. It should provide advice, entertainment or education.

In some cases, the content on its own is interesting enough to grab people’s attention and hold it long enough for others to be willing to pay to be included in that content; think of TV shows. Creating this type of engaging content is immensely difficult — which is why Hollywood writers get paid big bucks.

But for most furniture retailers, that’s not the most important function of fresh content.
For most stores, customers aren’t visiting your website regularly to see what new and interesting content you’ve created. What’s the point then?

Why add content?

There are a few valid reasons a retailer should be adding content to their website. As mentioned previously, if you’re a gifted writer, perhaps you can create content so engaging that it alone will draw repeat visitors to your website. And we all know attracting more visitors to your website is the goal. But if you’re not Harper Lee, there’s still an important reason to add new content — Google.

The infamous algorithms of Google are constantly searching the web for more relevant information. The more information your website contains, the more likely it is to be seen as a valuable source for Google to present to people searching for the items and services you offer online. And Google, being in effect a machine, doesn’t itself discern between well-crafted prose and simply words on a “page.” Google relies on its users to declare the value of your content, and it comes to that conclusion by assigning a value to the amount of time those users spend on your site. The longer they linger, Google assumes, the more valuable your content must be, and the higher your website should be placed in the search results.

Here are the rubs — most of us don’t have the time, or perhaps skill, to compose captivating literature, and searchers don’t have the patience or inclination to read through our babbling. So, what should you do?

Out-write your competitors

The bright side is that, in most cases, you don’t have to out-compose wordsmiths; you just have to out-write your competitors. The competitors near you aren’t likely capturing the undivided attention of searchers either. Thus, Google isn’t necessarily comparing your content with the content on The New York Times website; it’s comparing yours with the content on the sites of the stores around you. All you have to do to win is create more meaningful content than them, and they have just as little time as you. How do you do that quickly and easily?

How do you create more meaningful content?

Rely on your salespeople and delivery crew. Ask them to send you a text, short and sweet, with the following information from the customer:
1. City
2. Problem
3. How you solved the problem
4. Picture of the item
5. Item number
An example could look something like this: “Mrs. J. from Albany, NY needed a sleeper for guests coming this weekend. We had four in stock and delivered the ABC123 from Super Vendor to her on Saturday. Here’s a picture.”

Then you copy and paste that short snippet to your website, and Facebook and Instagram, too, while you’re online. It took nearly no time from you while accomplishing several objectives for increasing the value of your website content. You’ve listed a city where you deliver, you’ve listed a category of item you sell, you’ve let shoppers know you have items in stock, you’ve listed a specific item number and brand name in case they already know what they’re searching for, and you’ve kept it short enough to not lose shoppers’ attention — all while feeding Google new, exclusive content. This is much more valuable for your Search Engine Optimization than dropping a list of cities you deliver to in the fine print on the bottom of your home page, which stays there forever, becoming stale. And much more effective than the product description you uploaded from your supplier’s catalog that’s identical to all the other descriptions of that product around the internet. It’s also more personal to your store than syndicated content that can be purchased from a writer. All these points will promote a favorable opinion of your website by Google’s algorithm.

While you might post this in the Blog section of your website, consider it a short Case Study rather than a blog post, and rid yourself of the anxiety accompanied by the thought of having to write an essay each week. To encourage buy-in from your staff, consider rewarding them with a small spiff for each piece of content, or have a contest for the most posts submitted each month. In the end, any content you post is infinitely more valuable than the content you don’t post.

You don’t necessarily need a “Blog” per se, but you will be rewarded by adding original content to your online presence as frequently as possible.

5 mistakes that waste your online ad budget

As featured in Furniture Today – While well-crafted Google AdWords campaigns for your furniture store can lead to significant traffic to your website and store, a few missteps can burn through huge budgets in minutes. Apply the tips below to avoid common mistakes that can waste your money quick.

1. Use negative keywords
Mind your cheap, used baby. One of the biggest wastes of money is paying for keywords related to stuff you don’t sell or services you don’t offer. Without specifically excluding certain words by designating them as Negative Keywords in AdWords, your ad may appear for a host of unprofitable searches. Google describes Negative Keywords as: “a type of keyword that prevents your ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase.” If your store doesn’t sell cheap mattresses, used sofas, or baby furniture, setting “cheap,” “used,” and “baby” as Negative Keywords ensures you won’t pay for clicks related to those searches. But that’s just the tip of the Negative Keyword iceberg; the list of keywords you should exclude can be nearly as long as the list of keywords you bid on. Consider terms like: repair, cleaning, delivery, disposal, storage, assembly, moving, consignment, parts, and touch-up, just to name a few. Stretch your imagination when creating the list of keywords you don’t want to trigger your ads; it’ll save you money – lots!
2. Target thoughtful demographics
Who is your customer, really? AdWords allows you to target your ads by gender, age and household income. Pay close attention to who is buying in your store, not just browsing. Plus, Facebook, Google Analytics, and AdWords itself are valuable sources of information on the demographics of people interested in what you’re selling. Stores that mainly sell promotional-priced furniture may want to exclude searchers from the top tiers of household income. Likewise, a campaign targeting Lift Chair customers might target the age range of typical users, or the children of those users, while excluding the youngest demographic. Of course, by excluding certain swaths of people, you might miss an opportunity to sell a Lift Chair to the rare 22-year-old buyer, but efficient use of your budget will more than make up for the occasional lost sale over time.
3. Don’t go too far
Just because you’re willing to deliver 50 miles away doesn’t mean you should run ads there. Most stores do a high concentration of their business within a relatively small radius around their store. If available, run a Sales by ZIP Code Report from your point of sale software and target your ads to the ZIP codes that generate the top 10% – 20% of your sales volume. Let’s assume clicks on your ad cost $1 and that cost is the same regardless of where the shopper is located; spend it reaching the shopper with the least amount of resistance getting to your store. Without an unlimited budget, targeting your ad dollars to the people who are most likely to become customers based on their geography will keep you from wasting money on those less likely to make the journey.
4. Add relevant content
If the right shoppers are finding and clicking-on your site when they’re ready to buy, but they don’t find valuable information when they get to your website, they’ll leave your site and won’t consider coming into your store. That’s why “Content” is critical; it gives shoppers a reason to linger around your website and it entices them to want to make a trip to your store. But what is “Content?” It’s the stuff on your website; the ideas, concepts, education, products, inspiration conveyed to the viewer in the form of text, images, and video. When deciding what content to include, the obvious things are the addresses, phone numbers and hours of your stores. Then think about what one sees and does when browsing a brick and mortar store; your website is no different. Shoppers are there to look at what you sell – products – and how much you sell them for – prices. Shoppers would leave a store with no price tags and they will leave a website without prices too. When in your store they’ll meet your salespeople and ask questions about delivery time and cost, about item construction, operation and care, about payment options. They might even observe other customers for cues as to whether those shoppers are pleased with your store. This is the source of your content, have it mirror the information a shopper would get if they came into your store. Without giving searchers enough content, they’ll leave your site and your budget will have been wasted.
5. Choose your keywords wisely
“Mattress” will blow your budget, quick. It’s too vague and part of too many other searches. Assuming you’ve chosen an exhaustive selection of Negative Keywords, you’ll be slightly protected from the vagueness, but you won’t evade all unproductive clicks. Consider adding terms that signify intent to purchase, like: “buy furniture,” “shop for furniture,” “mattress store,” “get a mattress,” and the increasingly popular “furniture sale near me.” Or terms that demonstrate a specific need from searchers, such as: “leather couch sale,” “best price on item ABC-123,” or “adjustable bed in stock.” The more specific your keywords and phrases, the more your ad budget will contribute to net profit.
6. Bonus: Think like Siri
We’re talking into our phones. Sounds obvious, right? But, more frequently, there isn’t a person on the other end of the line. With Alexa, Hey Google and Siri becoming ubiquitous means for getting stuff done, voice-to-text is creating a new category of askew keywords, similar to how auto-correct has you sending inappropriate texts to your mother-in-law. We’re seeing an increasing number of searches for “furnisher store” (say it out loud) which points to an opportunity to choose keywords phonetically and by dialect. I’m not suggesting it’s time to add “home orifice furniture” or “chester draws” to your keyword list, but those might already be more valuable than “chifforobe.”

Looking for help incorporating these tips into the AdWords campaigns for your furniture store? Give us a shout.


Do take it personally – SEO that is

As featured in Furniture Today – I once had a fella tell me, “but enough about me – what do you think – of me.”

“Me” is gaining importance when it comes to matching people with their online search queries according to Lisa Gevelber, Google’s VP Marketing of Marketing for the Americas. Shoppers are increasingly looking for results that are tailored to their unique wants and needs.

Gevelber noted: “[P]eople are specifically including qualifiers like “me” and “I” in their searches. Over the past two years, mobile searches with the qualifier “for me” have grown over 60%. For example, consumers aren’t just searching for “best car insurance” anymore, they’re searching for “best car insurance for me.” Or, “which dog is right for me.” Picking a dog might strike you as something a little emotionally advanced for search, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg. People are also wondering what they should and shouldn’t do. Mobile searches with the qualifier “should I” have grown over 65% in the past two years.”

Consider how you can use this discovery to better market your furniture or mattress store. Including tips for shoppers and answering their questions in advance on your website would be two strategies for gaining attention when shoppers are searching. For someone who searches for “what’s the best mattress for me”, as vague as that is, attempt to provide a relevant answer on your website. Answering “should I replace my mattress” will also help position your website in the right place at the right time. By searching for answers, those shoppers are showing purchasing intent; they’re going to buy a new mattress somewhere soon.

Think of the questions shoppers ask when they’re inside your store and use those as inspiration for which questions to answer on your website. Answer more specific questions like “what’s the best recliner for relieving back pain” or “what’s the best mattress for side-sleepers.” Predicting shoppers’ questions and providing thoughtful answers establishes you as the expert – as well as improving your SEO (search engine optimization). Also answer precise questions like “what’s the best mattress for sciatica.” If this is outside your area of expertise, consider partnering with a local expert to answer, and then list them as a source on your website. They’ll likely appreciate the link as a potential source of referrals for them, and they may become a source of referrals for you.

Gevelber also says, “[T]hese searches for “me” and “I” are signals that people expect personally relevant content. Marketers who understand search intent and look for patterns in how people qualify their needs have a big opportunity.” Seize the opportunity to add personalized value with answers to “for me” and “should I” questions on your website and shoppers will reward you.

Want some help implementing these tips? Click here to drop us a note!

5 tips for getting the most out of Facebook

As featured in Furniture Today – Unsure of how to get the most from your furniture store’s Facebook page? Start the new year with these easy-to-implement tips and you’ll be well on your way to maximizing your page’s potential to drive traffic into your store.

Respond to customers

“XYZ Furniture is a rotten company!” is the last thing you want any potential customer to read on your store’s Facebook page. But it happens and the best remedy is to reply quickly, graciously, and helpfully. Potential customers don’t expect all your reviews to be five-star; they know happy customers rarely write reviews. Your next customer is looking for how you handle those complaints and questions as an indication for how you’ll interact with them if they have a question. Respond to every one fast; it’s the best FREE advertising you’ll get. After all, your next customer is already on your Facebook page and getting them there was half the battle.

Be active

Your Facebook page is a reflection of your store; customers view your level of engagement online as representative of your level of attention in your store. A Facebook page with three posts from July 2016, and nothing since, is as depressing as a store that hasn’t added new merchandise in that span of time. Furniture is a fashion business; show customers that you are on top of the latest trends in style, functionality, and comfort. A weekly post will be enough to show you’re interested without clogging your Followers’ News Feeds. Don’t get bogged-down trying to think of content; it almost doesn’t matter what you post as long as you’re demonstrating that you take your Facebook page, and your business, seriously. (This goes for your website Blog as well.)

Post videos

“(Facebook) discovered that people gaze 5x longer at video than at static content on Facebook and Instagram.” Pictures trump text, but video trumps pictures when it comes to engagement. Use your phone to record a quick video around the store or a clip of new items being unwrapped. Show some behind-the-scenes from Market or introduce one of your star employees. Customers don’t expect cinema quality; they’re accustomed to some of the best videos online being shot with mobile phones. And if you make a minor flub in the video, leave it. You never know when you’ll have created something interesting enough to go viral – the panacea.

Reward customer Shares and Check-Ins

Having customers Like your Facebook page will do little to promote your business to their list of Friends. You have a better chance at getting your store noticed if you tie a contest, giveaway, or promotion to customers Checking In at your store or Sharing your posts. Offering a prize for Sharing before and after photos of their newly furnished rooms with your Facebook page Tagged in the post is a fun way to attract the attention of new and existing Followers.

Boost posts

Nobody is seeing your posts. I’m sorry, it’s true, but it’s not your fault. Facebook wants to show its users content that the user wants to see. It determines what a user wants to see by tracking which posts the user interacts and engages with. Over time, Facebook pushes the posts the user is more likely to Like to the top of their News Feed and those they are less likely to Like will be pushed down in the feed so that only the most active users will scroll far enough to see them. They only way to overcome this is by creating posts that are so clever/funny/informative that they cannot be ignored and garner lots of interaction form your Followers, or by Boosting (creating a Facebook ad using your post) your posts. Choose your best performing posts and Boost them with a modest budget ($25 is a good place to start) using the highly-targeted demographic profiles Facebook offers. This will introduce your Page to potential customers who may be unlikely to find you otherwise.

Facebook is a powerful and inexpensive tool for promoting your furniture store with ease. Apply these tips to make sure you’re getting the most from your store’s Facebook presence.

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Should your AdWords budget be adjusted during historically “soft” months?

budget-changeTechnically your ads only cost you money when someone clicks on them. So, altering your budget in a historically slow month shouldn’t effect you. If customers aren’t on Google looking for what you sell, you won’t be charged for clicks.  However, if you’re exhausting your daily budget during busier months, you may find that you still use your full budget during soft months. Thus, not decreasing your AdWords investment. Perhaps an alternative consideration would be: should you raise your budget so it’s not exhausted each day and you’re getting all the available clicks/traffic.

Because of the way Google Search advertising works, charging you only when you have a “hot prospect”, it’s really the perfect form of marketing when you have all the settings dialed-in and you’re sure you’re not wasting money on irrelevant searches. Google Display ads would be a different story because they’re used more effectively to promote your brand rather than capturing customers at the moment they’re ready to buy.

It’s wise to put as much budget as you can towards AdWords as long as you monitor your campaigns often to make sure the extra budget is generating additional traffic.

“But I have great SEO and it’s FREE”

Why pay for search when you can get it for free just by optimizing your website?

You’ve been a good webmaster and consistently posted fresh, unique content loaded with keywords, you’ve made sure all the appropriate Meta Tags are populated, and you’ve garnered some backlinks from reputable websites all to get that top SEO spot. But there’s change a-brewin’. Sometime in the late-summer of 2016 we experienced a paradigm shift. Don’t blame yourself for not noticing, it was barely perceptible, yet quite significant. According to the 2017 Industry Trends Report by Hitwise, three of the four major Home & Garden categories — Furniture, Appliances, DIY and Garden — saw clicks from paid searches overtake clicks from organic searches in 2016. They go on to say: “All top five furniture players pulled over half their traffic from paid search this year (May 2017 compared to May 2016), up dramatically from 2016. It appears that paid search has become the most pivotal channel for staying competitive in furniture sales.”

First organic result 1This shift is perhaps by necessity. If you’ve searched Google for a “furniture store” in most areas with a decent number of competitors, you’ll notice the first non-map-based, organic search response is the seventh actual result on the page. Depending on the searcher’s screen settings, this can place your site several scrolls down from the top and certainly places it unfortunately “below the fold.” That’s not a great position, despite technically being in the top organic spot.

Of particular importance to the independent furniture store “Amazon also more than doubled their paid clicks since May of last year. Their organic rate (along with Walmart’s) remains higher than niche brands like Wayfair and Hayneedle. This suggests
broader retailers may have an organic leg-up against more specific brands.” While more specific brands have trouble competing organically, they can win the top spot on paid search by localizing their campaign with geo-targeting. Need help setting up your campaign’s geo-targeting or other aspects of paid search? Reach out to us.

An interesting side note from the report: “Youtube’s traffic remains almost wholly organic.” Consider what this says about the importance of video.

5 reasons your website needs to be on the top of Google Search

  1. ShopperTrak reported that foot traffic in retail stores declined by 57% from 2010 to 2015 but MasterCard SpendingPulse found the value of every visit nearly tripled during that same period. Each customer walking through a retail door represents 3x what they did in 2010. How do they decide which stores they’re going to visit?
  2. They go online! Google discovered 74% of all furniture shoppers start their research online. And how many websites do they visit?
  3. In a study by Forrester Consulting, it was found that on average, consumers visit three websites before making a purchase. So, being the 7th site on a search results page, even if you’ve reached those heights with stellar, free SEO, might be as effective as not having a website at all. And according to Deloitte, 64 cents of every dollar spent in retail stores is influenced by digital. But aren’t consumers going to choose to shop at the big brand furniture stores?
  4. Not Necessarily. People aren’t loyal to brands, they’re loyal to their needs. Google, together with global research firm Ipsos, discovered 90% of smartphone users aren’t absolutely sure of the specific brand they want to buy when they begin shopping. This gives any store the chance to put themselves on customers’ shopping lists – assuming the store is present wherever and whenever the shopper needs them. Isn’t it expensive to show at the top of Google search results “wherever” and “whenever” the customer wants?
  5. Your website doesn’t have to be everywhere, just where it matters most. Google learned from the Digital Diaries of 1,000 mobile users that 76% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a business within 24 hours and 28% of those searches result in a purchase. Concentrate only on your local area to get results at an economical advertising spend.

As always, if your furniture store website needs help reaching the top of the page on Google search results, let’s chat! Call (813) 279-8806 or send us a note by clicking here.