In 2005, they would look down the page at the results. By 2008, users glance at the first 3 – 4 results and then refine their search. They’d sooner type in a “long tail” search than go to page 2 of the results.
evidence that people who type long-tail keywords are more engaged and spend more time on site…
Compare “head” keywords which drive traffic to Apple.com (e.g. iTunes drives 7.1% of the site’s traffic) versus “long tail” keywords which drive traffic to MobilOil.com (e.g. “mobil1 turbo diesel truck”). The time index of these long tail keywords are far higher than the time index of the head terms.
Apple.com (Source: Compete.com)
Top 25 Search Keywords driving MOST VOLUME to Apple.com
% of Site’s Search Traffic
Average Time Index
Mobiloil.com (Source: Compete.com)
Top 25 long tail terms which lead to HIGHEST TIME INDEX (people spending time on the site)
during the customer’s journey down the “purchase funnel” from awareness through consideration to the purchase, there can be many moments of truth. For modern consumers, who spend a large portion of their day online, or at least “connected” via a mobile device, many of these moments of truth are “electronic” – in other words, electronic moments of truth – EMOTs. Understanding EMOTs through the purchase funnel can lead to greater efficiencies in advertisers’ marketing programs to drive customers expeditiously through the funnel.
For example, when a customer goes online to do research – an EMOT electronic moment of truth — if they can’t find you, you don’t exist. Many many factors contribute to being “findable” online. Proper search engine optimization (SEO) can ensure a brand has web pages that show up near the top of the results on the first page of search engine results. Also, using brand names that are not common words like “open” (american express small business brand) or “tag” (male deodorant from P&G) means they can more easily be found. For example GE’s “ecoimagination” or Subway’s “footlongs.” (see “made-up words” post) are easily found.
The brands that will be the most successful are the ones who can deliver value at every EMOT of their target customer. If the customer goes online to search and research, the brand’s information should be findable – even better, the specific bit of information being sought should be findable. If the customer needs recipe help while standing in the store (“what ingredient or how much should I buy?”) the information should be findable, specifically through a mobile device. Ultimately by delivering value at each EMOT, brands can answer customers’ missing links and thus efficiently move the customer down the purchase funnel towards the purchase.
there are so many social networks that people belong to these days it is hard to keep track of every update or make updates on each network. There are services now that serve as social aggregators like FriendFeed, Gathera, Youmeo, and Spokeo. There are other services which serve as social syndicators so your updates are syndicated to a number of sites at the same time like ping.fm.
this is a great post by Glenn Gabe about search engine results and how brand’s “usual suspect” competitors may not be their competitors in organic search.
Don’t drop names with Google…
Outside of search, you might be able to throw a big brand name around and get somewhere. Unfortunately, the search engines don’t necessarily care. That’s one of the reasons you’ll see all types of websites ranking for highly competitive keywords. Actually, I’d argue that some smaller online businesses can easily outmaneuver larger websites and companies in SEO. When it comes down to it, the engines care about quality content, a good user experience, relevancy, and popularity. In other words, create outstanding content that can be easily crawled and indexed, optimize that content based on keyword research, make it easy for your visitors to find and use your content, and if those visitors find that content valuable, you might gain important inbound links (AKA votes). If that happens, subsequent rankings can follow… BTW, you’ll notice I didn’t mention that you need to be a big brand or a multi-billion dollar company to do this. That’s part of the reason blogs have become so powerful. They give the small guy a voice…and that small guy can often outrank large companies in the SERPs. Empowering, yes? Scary to large businesses and big brands, you bet.
Dr. Augustine Fou is an expert in digital strategy and social media marketing, with over 15 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience. He now serves as digital strategy advisor to global brands and their agencies shifting dollars more aggressively into digital channels.