This is a guest post by Zach Kasperski, Senior Search Marketing Strategist at St. Louis digital marketing and public relations firm Elasticity.
Take a moment to think about the team members at a typical ad agency: Copywriters bring ideas to life with clever words; designers start with blank pages and make us feel things with crafty imagery; media buyers take the copy and designs and feed it to the right people at precisely the right time.
Then there’s the search marketing team. No one really seems to know what they do. They are kind of like the ugly ducklings of agencies. So let me very quickly ruin the ending of this fable. Ugly ducklings eventually become swans.
Today a smart search strategy has become more important to brands than ever before. Specifically, longer and more targeted queries are now popular search tools for brands. These efforts, in turn, support the work of the copywriters, the designers, the media buyers, and even the PR teams of world.
These “long-tail queries” require search marketing strategy to span content development, social media, public relations, user experience and design.
Are you doing what it takes to stand out? Here are five search marketing tips from my new eBook for targeting long tail search queries:
- Foundational Understanding: To use long tail keywords effectively, be familiar with the underlying concept. Long tail search marketing is a sophisticated model of lead generation that is built for today’s modern search engines. It targets roughly 90 percent of search queries – search queries that are far from shorter, head queries. The model can help your brand capitalize on the full opportunity found in search marketing of 2015 and beyond.
- User Intent: Long tail keywords reveal clearer user intent. As queries progress from informational head queries to transactional long-tail queries, they often become more relevant and less competitive, which ultimately leads to higher conversions for your product or service. This has a direct impact on the effectiveness of your search marketing strategy.
- Visitor Intention Model: This model of search behavior is heavily based on the phrases people type into the search box and the likelihood of them purchasing a product. Visitor intention can be grouped into three main categories: browsers, shoppers and buyers. Typically, browser-based queries are closer to the head of the demand curve while buyer queries are much closer to a purchase action. It may be helpful to categorize your final keyword list into these categories.
- Brand Ladder: This allows you to improve the performance of your branded keywords by branching out to higher traffic, non-branded keywords. The brand ladder consists of four main categories: occasion (itchy eyes), problem (seasonal allergies), product (eye drops) and owned (Visine A.C.). In this exercise, start with your branded keywords and branch out into the lower part of the ladder to explore additional non-branded queries.
- Convergence Imperative: As Google has maintained for years, its formula for success in SEO is simplistic: Focus on users, avoid manipulation and create great content. From this, we’re beginning to see the convergence of multiple disciplines that are critical to success in search in 2015 and beyond. The convergence imperative will have you appealing to long tail keywords naturally by catering to the technical underpinnings of a website, developing great content, integrating social media and PR into overall strategy and appealing to user intent.
Ugly ducklings? You wish. Today search is part of a winning, integrated strategy that makes marketing effective in selling products and services.