By Charlie Craine
Do wonder how your customers get to your website? Or, more importantly, how prospective customers find your website?
The answer is simple: Search. (And, despite what the folks at Yahoo! would have you believe, that generally means Google.) So, back to the original question … how do people find your website? What specific terms are they entering into that empty space on Google that leads them to find you?
Redeveloping websites for a number of clients has helped us realize that most of our clients simply rely on searches based on their company name, and that is not even close to good enough. What about those potential customers who have no idea that you exist? Why would someone who has never bought from you enter your name in a search? They won’t, which is why you need to understand what a Google search term analysis can tell you.
Think about the kind of searches you do every day. Generally, they are solution oriented, right? You need to solve a problem or answer a question, so you type your need intoÂ Google and receive a few to hundreds of thousands of options one second later.
Google reports that more than 40% of all searches it performed in 2014 were searches at least three words long — that’s not company names. If you have a product or service, chances are you won’t be the top search result for many one-term keyword searches such as fertilizer.” Why? Because competition for that search term will be so high. Secondly, a term like fertilizer is so broad that you have to wonder what value that search would bring unless you need a definition of what fertilizer is. Consider — if you were buying a car, would you Google “car?” You might search for the type of car, you might search for a brand (Honda) but you’d probably search for something like 2015 Honda suv or 2015 Honda Accord.
So, if your company’s primary product is water-soluble fertilizer, you might be inclined to think you want to compete for those “fertilizer” searches. Not really. The quality of the search will be much higher and closer to your potential customer if you get further down the longtail of the search with more keywords used.
But that still leaves us the questions of how do you know how to find out what potential customers might be searching for and how can you get them to your website? This takes a combination of search engine optimization, which we won’t discuss in this post, and keyword/search analysis.
A lot of research can be done to identify the average number of searches per month for specific keywords and also the universe around specific search terms. In this instance, ‘universe’ refers to other terms that either are an extension of these keywords or what Google finds to be similar. Here is an example:
Core keywords: water soluble fertilizer
Extensions: organic water soluble fertilizer, water soluble nitrogen fertilizer, how to use water soluble fertilizer, water soluble plant fertilizer, etc.
Similar searches: 20-20-20 fertilizer
A Google analysis can help you identify how many team Google receives search queries on each each of these terms. And, this analysis can be conductedÂ by country and even down to a state, for those of you targeting particular geographies with your business.
Companies serious about using their websites to attract and engage the right prospective customers need to understand this information. You need to know:
- Which search terms are bringing people to your site most often right now?
- How often are different, key search terms entered into Google?
- How much competition exists for the search terms that are most important to you?
Without this information, your search strategy is really just, “If you build it, they will come.” That may work in the movies, but it’s a risky play online.
Charlie Craine is the Director of Emedia for Meister Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. or 440/602-9191.