This article originally appeared in the June/July 2014 edition of the Marketing GPS Newsletter. This article was contributed by guest author Jeanne Davant.
(Please note: This is our Marketing GPS event recap issue. We did not publish a June 2014 issue of the newsletter.)
Keywords. Link rankings. Relevant content. Social media. Authorship. What’s Google going to come up with next? Trying to keep up with the search giant’s frequent changes to page-ranking algorithms can scramble your brains. If you think there must be an easier way, you’re right.
Marketing expert Stephanie Hillberry recommends a back-to-basics approach – one that relies on common sense and research, using easily available tools, to enhance your site’s “findability.” She outlined her methodology recently to attendees at the 5th Annual Marketing GPS Workshop, encouraging them to think differently about online marketing.
The workshop, titled Marketing Victory in a Google-Occupied World, was conducted June 11 in Colorado Springs. The workshop was presented by NSI Partners and Colorado Springs Marketing Group, with proceeds benefiting the Ronald McDonald House.
The event opened with NSI Partners’ COO, Tom McClintock, providing an overview of Google’s strategy and the terrain it occupies. He reminded attendees of Google founder Larry Page’s statement, “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information, make it accessible and useful. We’re still in the very early stages of that.”
With acquisitions that include YouTube, and projects like satellite launches to expand global Internet service, Google is a formidable force that is staking out the entire globe as its terrain. So where does that leave you – a business owner trying to succeed in Google-occupied territory? How can you be sure your potential customers can find you within that vast empire?
Stephanie Hillberry suggested a new way of thinking about search marketing: a nontechnical approach called the Findability Formula. Originated by author, trainer and consultant Heather Lutze, the Findability Formula aims to demystify Internet marketing. Hillberry, a professional blogger, digital publisher and content marketer, is passionate enough about the formula to have trained and certified as a Professional Findability Speaker.
Here are some of Hillberry’s tips for increasing your Findability.
Findability Tip No. 1: Findability begins with knowing as much as possible about your target clients. What is your ideal buyer’s gender, age range, and educational level? Is he a decision-maker, influencer or implementer? What criteria does she use to make purchasing decisions? Is she feature-driven, cost-driven or both? Hillberry recommended giving your ideal customer a name and even drawing her picture.
Findability Tip No. 2: Use common sense to choose the keywords your customer would use to find you. Use natural language. Lose the jargon!
Findability Tip No. 3: Don’t settle for single-word keywords. Longer keyword phrases give you a 36% better conversion rate.
Findability Tip No. 4: Searchers aren’t always ready to buy – frequently they’re just looking for information; other times they’re shopping; and ,sometimes they’re online and ready to make a purchase. You want to pick appropriate keywords for each stage of the buying process. Starbucks, for example, would be an informational keyword. Starbucks coffee might be used by a shopping searcher, and a ready buyer might look for Starbucks iced Caramel Macchiato.
Findability Tip No. 5: Use searches and tools to get great insights into your competition. Do a Google search for each of your keywords. See who pops up in search results. These are your competitors. Enter your competitors’ URLs into Google AdWords Keyword Planner to find out what keywords they are ranking for. Third-party tools like SEMRush, SpyFu and iSpionage can give you additional information and keyword ideas.
Findability Tip No. 6: Once you’ve developed your keywords, use them – and logical variants – in your page titles, headlines, page content, links and image filenames.
Findability Tip No. 7: Build pages on your website with solid, helpful information around a single keyword phrase. Your prospects will find you, and Google will like it.
Findability Tip No. 8: Check your site’s findability using HubSpot’s Marketing Grader.
There’s more to transforming an interested searcher into a buyer, of course, but getting searchers engaged with your relevant content is the important first step. The Findability Formula starts the process off right. You can learn more about it at www.findability.com.