The opportunity given by Search Marketing is to be a part of the visitor’s searching process. When they are ready, we can be there for them.
Visitors are delighted when it works properly, it makes a big difference.
Listening carefully to what people ask for
Searching for something is not a single search. People can make dozens of searches, over quite long periods.
The content needed at the beginning of their search is different to when they are closer to buying and know what they want.
We need to, and can, ‘listen very carefully’ to the keyword before responding in the right way
If you have ever tried to sell to someone who isn’t ready, then you’ll know they don’t like it. We need different content for different keywords, and it’s not always obvious which is which. But that’s what we do, so you don’t have to.
Keywords are critical – they are definitely not all the same, and some will never generate any business at all.
When visitors arrive at websites, we get to understand what phrases they use in Search Engines
The important question is – where are they in the process?
The level of intent can be determined by several factors, and we have found it helpful to classify them as follows…
Four different types of keywords
Classifying keywords into four broad categories, helps us to guide people to the content they want to see. We better understand what we should be saying, and how we lay out these content types.
We actually visualise these types of phrases as a ‘sideways funnel’, that people progress along, the more information they gather about their search, and the closer they get to taking some action.
People start here, and in the average, they are far away from ‘doing something’. The vast majority of searches are ‘informational’ and don’t include any ‘intent’ to do something.
Looking for information around a problem is common, but it doesn’t mean there is any drive to change anything.
Conclusion: Paying for this traffic will rarely get us a return
Crucially, these searches by the very nature of the words used, show a desire for something that solves a problem.
When we start to research a solution, we are more likely to go on to look for products and pricing.
Conclusion: Success with this type of traffic will depend on the product mix
Product Decision Searches
Comparing prices, terms, are perhaps the last thing people might do. Using the manufacturer and product names, even model numbers show that people are closer to their decision making.
Conclusion: If these pages don’t work then neither will the top of the funnel.
When people are looking for a specific website, or perhaps a specific type of company – we call this a navigational search. Company ‘Brand Searches’ are included in this, and we will come back to that later.
Essentially, we want all relevant traffic
When doing keyword research, there will be a sorting of keywords into a set of likely product and solution type searches, along with negative and competition related searches. But the above are perhaps most representational of the more common stages.
Have the right Conversations
But, because we can control where each visitor lands for which type of search, we can present the right ‘conversation’ when they arrive.
So we can say the right thing, at the right place, at the right time.
The 4 types of ‘Landing Page’
1. Brand or Navigational Search = Land on a Home Page
2. Informational = Blog Article
3. Solution Searches = Hub Pages
4. Product Searches = Product Landing Pages
These different pages have different jobs, content and layouts.
More important than SEO
Whilst the vast majority of website visitors will find us through Search Engines, it is not the engine that needs most attention (at first).
Meeting people’s expectations on a website is THE most important aspect of Search Marketing. It powers growth.
If you can’t say the right things, at the right time, then all the visitor traffic in the world won’t help.
Whereas, if we convert enough interest, then we could pay for all the traffic if we wanted to, and still grow successful businesses.
Paying more attention to the different types of search keywords makes it easier to build websites that work the way we want them to.
Converting interest really is very much easier if we pay attention to visitors’ questions.