An understanding of Search Engine Optimization and how it applies to your company’s marketing needs begins with an evaluation of how and why people search. First and foremost—it’s important to realize that search engines are tools. The better the craftsman, the better that tool will work for you. In The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization, Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, and Jessie C. Stricchiola write:
“Search engine marketers need to be aware that search engines are tools—resources driven by intent toward a content destination. Using the search box is fundamentally different from entering a URL into the browser’s address bar, clicking on a bookmark, or clicking on a link to go to a website. Searches are performed with intent—the user wants to find specific information, rather than just land on it by happenstance.” (2015)
Search is dependent on two factors: Firstly, the engine that you use to search is not the sole arbiter in choosing the results that are shown. Secondly, SEO marketing is built around the evaluation and the subsequent management of your company’s website search presence by making the crucial distinction that there is ground to make through well-executed marketing. Search is not just a statistic to measured, or an immovable obstacle; it is controllable, manageable, and, with help from GladDigital, a key factor in growing your business.
Let’s take a look at the types of searches, or queries, that people are making when they arrive at a search bar:
Users make a navigational search when they type in the exact name of the website that they are attempting to visit. More often than not, instead of using the exact URL, the user will type the address of the website, or the closest “correct” version of the website’s title, into the search engine. The ultimate goal for the marketer when it comes to users who are using a navigational query is to attempt to “pull” the user away from the site they are looking for. A “pull” can be made to either secure the business of the user or to provide ancillary information that will help the user in their search.
Example: The user, knowing they want a specific kind of suit, will type in Men’s Wearhouse into the search bar. The user isn’t necessarily shopping around for different locations—they have specificity in mind. They arrive at Menswearhouse.com, and they continue their search from there. Essentially, the user knows exactly what they want to search and where they want to search for it.
Encapsulating the broadest range of potential results, an informational search is made by a user who is looking for answers. Users may be looking for information of all kinds when engaging in informational queries, however, these searches are largely non-transactional-orientated, and do not often end in immediate financial action. Informational searches range from looking up facts about your favorite actors or athletes, or even something as simple as checking the date or the weather—the important thing to consider is that any of these kinds of searches, no matter how simple or complex, represent a key opportunity to your brand.
These opportunities include: potentially converting informational searches into transactional searches, resulting in new customer influx; branding searchers with information about your site, resulting in positive impressions of your services; receiving attention from researchers, journalists, and social media influencers.
The important thing to remember is that although informational searches are less likely to yield immediate financial results, you should still be pursuing rankings on these queries. Informative content attracts users seeking information, and users seeking information are always potential customers. Establishing a reputation for having informative and useful content has the potential to make a user return to your site for financial transaction. Additionally, the indirect effect of social media exposure is always critical—those who find your site useful will share their findings with others.
Transactional searches don’t necessarily end with financial transaction—signing up for free trials, creating accounts on various subscription sites, or simply finding and choosing a restaurant for dinner are all considered transactional searches. However, transactional searches yield the most valuable search traffic; so it’s important to keep this value in mind when crafting an SEO marketing strategy.
Research shows informational queries make up about 80% of searches and only about 10% are navigational or transactional.
Our goal at GladDigital is to transform informational searches into financial action—we start with a content-orientated approach to making the information provided by your site the best it possibly can be. We want users to not only see your site when they make a search, we want them to stick around; we want to make their time searching productive, and we want to put your services at the center of that process.
To conclude this introductory post—we at GladDigital value a scholarly and inquisitive approach when it comes to your marketing demands. We are not salesmen; we are expert researchers and craftsmen that are looking to both learn and educate about the best possible methods of SEO marketing.
We are skilled, inquisitive, and—ultimately—perfectionists.
“Good marketers are empathetic, and smart SEO practitioners—as well as the search engines—share the goal of providing searchers with results that are relevant to their queries” (The Art of SEO).