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Search Marketing: Not Just for Search Marketers

John Walker

Every search term entered into a search engine is a digital footprint that a marketer can follow. Today, members of your search marketing team are scrutinizing this data to optimize your website for visibility on search engines. That is good. But what is better, is if your whole marketing team uses this valuable, free data to understand your customers and plan your overall marketing approach.

Why Search Data Is Important


Analyzing search data using tools at Google AdWords can help your marketing team plan the best way to describe your offering, develop the right marketing content and then target your campaigns more profitably. Here’s how:

Let’s say your company is in the business of offering corporate training. Specifically, you help clients develop training strategies, create training programs and then deliver them through learning management software. Start your analysis with search terms that accurately describe your products and services. Using Google’s Traffic Estimation tools in AdWords, you can get search volume and costs per click for each term. Here are four samples (a complete analysis would have many more terms):



Analyzing Search Terms

  • Relevancy: All of these terms are good descriptions of what your company does so they are all worth analyzing.
  • Search Volume: The first three have heavy monthly search volumes, so you can be sure customers are looking for products and services relevant to these search terms. But there are very few searches for “Learning Management Services” so delete it from consideration.
  • Cost-Per-Click: The first three terms have similar costs-per-click if you were to buy these terms through one of the online ad networks like Google AdWords. And none of these are outlandishly expensive. As reference, a popular term like “online degree” costs more than $5.50 per click. Checking this cost is another measure of a term’s popularity.
  • Search Results: Enter each of these search terms into Google and check the search results as a final check on relevancy. For example, “learning management system” yields many search results related to software that might not make sense for a company primarily selling its services. “Learning strategy” on the other hand shows a trend toward training techniques rather than training services or software. This term might be a good one to use to reach prospects who are trying to learn about the best approach to training, prospects your company could help!



Using Search Insights to Plan Marketing


The insights this analysis reveals are the type that are regularly used by search marketing teams. These “striking distance” search terms are ones to build into your website’s architecture and content. But, these search terms can help guide your marketing efforts other ways too.

  • Messaging: Craft the messaging that describes your products and services throughout your marketing communications program to focus on these “striking distance” search terms.
  • Content Creation: Create marketing content that focuses on these terms. For example, blog posts on “learning solutions” might draw significant attention.Social Media: Create social media content using these search terms. Tweets using “learning strategy” with links to your website should be considered.
  • Targeting: Use these search terms to guide campaign targeting both online and offline.

So what is the benefit of adding this search term analysis to a marketing communications plan? The benefit is certainty that your marketing content will attract, your messaging will connect and the whole effort will become highly visible to prospects.

Not bad for a small amount of extra work.

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