Some simple search guidelines

Recent research from Google shows that about 67% of purchasing decisions are influenced by search, and only 2% of searches go beyond the first page of results. Integrating search engine thinking into your existing marketing approach is really not such a hard thing to do, and it doesn’t need to take a long time to get traction.

The strategy and tools below work. Early this summer, British design-led furniture manufacturer, Allermuir, shot to the 1st and 2nd position in all searches relating to the prestigious Clerkenwell Design week using this process – it took them around just two weeks to get there. I have synthesised the process into three steps:

1. Identify the search terms that matter to your target audience and assess the competition

Do your homework into what and how often your target audiences are searching. You will probably find that the biggest players in your market are ‘optimised’ for the most important search terms and will be hard to beat; so, don’t!

Invest a little time researching your competitors, their focus online, and the content they write so you can easily see the gaps in their communication, and fill those gaps with authentic views from the heart of your brand.

Useful tools:

  • Google AdWords keyword planner to identify search terms and search frequency
  • UberSuggest to identify key terms you may not have thought of
  • SEOMoz to see how competitors are doing, and where the easy wins might be.

2. Execute your insights throughout your communications mix

Tweak not only your website copy and metadata (easier than it sounds), but also your blogs, press releases, #tags, LinkedIn posts and other campaign assets – to align with these focused terms. Even for those companies that say “our customers don’t value social media” – Google does, and so do your media – so it’s probably a good idea for you to as well.

Useful tools:

  • LinkedIn Pulse
  • Twitter – We also like RIteTag for Twitter excellence
  • Instagram
  • Passle –  a great way to take the pain out of long-form blogging

3. Engage with the people who move your market online

Follow and read the work of the people who are most influential in your space and comment authentically when you have something to say. Over time, they will start to recognise you, and may response to things you write – exposing you to a much wider audience and driving your relevance online.

Useful tools:

  • BuzzSumo – to find articles that are valuable in your niche
  • Traacker and Appinions for identifying and building relationships with key influencers
  • Twitter is still the primary engagement tool

Many people are still a bit timid of social media brand communications. There is more to it than I’ve shown above – but this simple programme will get you ahead of 80% of what’s out there. Good luck!

Article written by Mark Pinnes, deputy MD at comms agency Flagship Consulting

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