It’s a competitive world out there, and if you’re simply relying on search to get discovered, you’re facing an uphill battle.
According to research from Toronto’s Marketing CoPilot, only about a quarter of searchers look past the first five results, and a similar number only look past the first 10. By the time they’re at the end of the page, two-thirds of searchers have either found what they’re looking for or moved on to something else. If you’re not on that first page, you’re not getting seen.
So, how to get on the first page? First, you need to know who your ideal customers or prospects are and the unique service or product you can provide them, says Claudette de la Cruz-Wilson, director of marketing and communication for Marketing CoPilot. It’s not enough to just have something to offer. That offer has to have a unique value.
Companies often rely on the names of their products [for search] rather than the problem they’re trying to solve,” de la Cruz-Wilson tells Search Insider.
According to the consumers in Marketing CoPilot’s survey, the top three pieces of information a Web site must have are: a value proposition (i.e. “why buy from us?”), an “About Us” page and customer testimonials. Having all three of those sections is essential, according to the report, and the best way to make sure it’s serving a purpose is to ask your best customers whether the information is meaningful, and adjust it accordingly.
“Confirm why people should buy from you, then map out the customer journey and the content they’re looking for at each step,” de la Cruz-Wilson suggests.
Then, while creating a search strategy, you have to find the few keywords that fit a bill of being both highly searched, but aren’t highly competitive (and therefore expensive). Those words should become more familiar the better you know your customer, de la Cruz-Wilson says. “There will be some overlap when getting to know your customers intimately, and what they’re interested in,” she says.
Finally, don’t rely too heavily on organic search to get discovered. According to the study, search engines take a backseat to social media when the buyer begins his or her shopper journey. Sellers, meanwhile, put social media fourth (behind word-of-mouth, trade shows and search). “It’s safer to put many eggs in many baskets — social, SEO, online reviews — to reach customers,” de la Cruz-Wilson says.