What do you use to search for the "best steakhouse” in town? Your phone. In fact, mobile searches for “best” have grown over 80 percent in the past 2 years. Everyone you know, including your potential pawn customers, have a smart phone in their pocket or purse. This device has become the greatest customer acquisition tool in the history of small business. And this includes YOUR business.
But here’s the rub: If your pawn shop doesn’t show up when people search, you can kiss that potential customer goodbye, because they just chose your competitor.
There are two strategies to employ to make sure you show up in the mobile search results and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here’s the down and dirty:
1) Using Google Adwords (Buying ads on Google)
- If you are the highest bidder, you show up almost immediately on Google.
- Google has a support team who can help you make the most of your ad budget without you having to become an expert.
- 85% of people SKIP the ads and look at the “organic” results on the page. Why? Because it’s an ad.
- As soon as your Adwords budget is spent, your ads disappear until the month resets, or until you pay Google more money. My SEO clients call this the “Google Black Hole."
- In most cases, only 1 ad shows up on a mobile phone, so if you’re not the highest bidder, few will see your ad.
- Google ads charge for the “click” to your website. In the pawn business, a website visit rarely translates into a customer.
- Many people use BING and other search engines. Adwords is only for Google searches.
2) SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- 85% of your potential customers will choose a pawn shop that is near the top of the 1st page.
- SEO gets your pawn shop ranking on ALL the major search engines.
- Most pawn shops are not doing this, so there is a real opportunity to quickly climb the ladder with a good strategy.
- A Good SEO partner can track phone calls, clicks for driving directions AND website visits, allowing you to better measure return on investment.
- SEO is hard to do on your own and the search engines are constantly changing the game.
- There a lot of so-called SEO companies out there who promise big and deliver small. You may have already experienced this.
- Rankings can take 4-5 months, depending on your market size and competition.
- Many SEO firms make you sign 12+ month contracts with little guarantee of results.
So what can YOU expect from a solid SEO plan? Here are results from a PawnMaster Client in Salt Lake City:
Last fall, Mike Katsanevas, a PawnMaster client in Salt Lake City, UT, started working with Front7 Marketing to bring more customers into his store using SEO.
Mike said, “Our store was invisible when people in our area searched for a pawn shop and I was tired of seeing my competition ranking above us. After a few months, we were on the first page and our customer flow has more than doubled! This stuff works. Period.”
A good SEO strategy yielded Mike the following results in the month of December 2018:
Front7 Marketing is providing their SEO Audit to any
PawnMaster client for a limited time (a $500 Value).