Digital Billboards – You Are Probably Wrong About Them

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The Parable of the Billboard Ad Manager & the Business Owner

Truth about Google, the digital billboard

I have a parable for you to illustrate a point. Here goes…

A billboard ad manager has made an offer to you, a business owner. You pay the normal billboard fee for a few months, maybe six or so, then afterwards a small monthly maintenance fee, but you get to keep your ad on the billboard for an indefinite amount of time, possibly even years. You get your ad in front of visitors, every day, for months, even years, for a minor monthly payment. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

You scoff and turn down the offer. Why? For some reason, you think your ad is already on the billboard, and you have not seen any great increase in business. It’s as if you are the only one who sees the billboard. So you tell the billboard ad manager to take his offer and stuff it.

That’s the parable. Did you get it? No? That’s the problem with parables; they always have to be explained, so here is the explanation.

What Does It Mean?

Google is the billboard. An SEO company is the ad manager. So far so good. But why does the business owner think his ad is already on the billboard? That is the root of the problem here. Many business owners with websites visit their website often, particularly when it’s new or if changes are being made to the content or structure of the site. That’s normal, but Google uses this information in a way that may be misleading to the business owner.

The result is that when you do a Google search that relates to your business, your site shows up higher in the rankings for you than it does for other Google searchers. In other words, you think your ad is already on the billboard, and you don’t see the added benefit. You tell the SEO company that you don’t need their services because you already are high enough on Google and it just doesn’t make a difference.

If you want to know where your site really stands, you’ll have to do a couple of things beforehand. First, open a private browser session. This feature is usually under the Tools menu option of your browser.  You also may be logged into a Google service like Gmail, Google Search Console, Adwords, or Youtube, for example. You’ll need to log out of Google. Now that Google is unaware of who is searching, you’ll get real world results that are not influenced by who you are or your search history. Do the Google search again. You will likely find that your website shows up farther down in the results than you originally thought.

If you find your site lower on the page or not even in the first couple of pages, then you aren’t getting the full benefit of Google’s billions of daily searches.

The Proposal

Now let’s go back to the billboard ad manager’s proposal. Like the proposal, SEO efforts often last for years after the SEO campaigns have been completed. In fact, a website’s search position often continues to draw closer to that #1 spot even after a high quality ethical SEO campaign is over.

So now that you understand the parable, are you ready to talk to the billboard ad manager? Give us a call so we can get your company’s website on the Internet’s most effective digital billboard – Google.


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