Who hasn't dreamed of having their small business ranked #1 on Google for keywords that people are searching for? If you fit the profile of a Google dreamer who has perhaps sought the top spot with a variety of tactics, this post is about challenging you to dig a bit deeper into your search marketing strategy. To start, you need to rethink your goal... because being #1 on Google doesn't matter. Actually, it doesn't matter as much as you think. Why? Because the vast majority of people don't go past the first page of search results, but they do go past the first search result. The question not enough people are asking (and your competitors usually won't be asking either) is how can you own number 2-10?
When you start to focus on owning nine different search engine results spots, your thought process starts to shift. It's no longer about a single highly indexed and keyword laden page. Having a great URL or submitting your homepage to all the search engines won't make a difference. To really optimize your search engine strategy, you need to think differently about your search marketing and what will really make an impact. Here are five tips for how to get great search results in unexpected ways:
- Use search language instead of keywords. For the longest time, search engine optimization advice has been heavily focused on keywords - use them often and you will be able to capture people through search. The only problem with this logic is that people have been moving away from using single keywords and towards using search phrases to find just about anything.
- Maintain multiple websites. Forget the advice you might have often heard about just focusing on having one destination for everything. Though it will always be important to have a "home base" - you need to augment that with other websites so you can capture more spaces on search results. The simple reason why is because Google will typically present "nested" search results where they aggregate pages from the same site under one search result. Other sites could be promotional, they could be landing pages for campaigns that exist as their own sites.
- Create lots of social profiles and populate them. Social networking profiles, like a page on Facebook for your business or a company Twitter account can be a goldmine for search results. Often these profiles get listed on Google almost instantly once you create and populate them, and it is relatively easy to link them back to a main website and present a cohesive set of web pages without confusing your customers about where you really want them to go. Think of it as adding rooms to your house, each with their own front door. The more front doors you can have, the more benefit you'll see in search results.
- Build an arsenal of "time bomb content." The problem with social media content such as blog posts is often that they seem to expire almost as soon as you write them. With a date prominently featured right on top, it may sometimes seem like an invitation for people to ignore anything that is over a few days old. One way to counter this and positively impact your search results at the same time is to write what I call "time bomb content." These are the types of posts that can remain relevant and answer a need only when people search for them. So, for example, you might write a post comparing your product to a main competitor. Someone may not find that until the exact moment when they search for your product and your competitors product. At that point, though, the content is found and answers a need so relevantly that the moment it was written matters less.
- Make sharing a metric for conversion. When we talk about conversion, it is typically based on either sales or leads. In social media, you can track both of those things... but there is also a third metric worth considering and that is the idea of sharing. Sharing is all about word of mouth and unlike real life where word of mouth can happen without you ever knowing about it or seeing it, on the Internet you can watch this word of mouth referral happen in real time through sharing features that are built into almost every site. You can listen in and actually track how often your business is getting shared, and the most frequently shared content has higher inbound links and appears higher on Google search results as well.