The Power of Search Beyond Search

By David Gould, President

As Search Marketers, we spend a lot of time looking at data. Understandably, we typically spend most of that time looking at data through the relatively narrow lens of Search Marketing. We comb through data looking for ways to optimize our campaigns for efficiency or volume or ultimately both. No doubt, this is an absolutely crucial piece of our responsibilities. That said, in our never-ending quest for the perfectly optimized campaign, we often miss the opportunity to draw conclusions about more general consumer behavior that could possibly impact a brand’s marketing efforts on a broader scale.

The recent launch of Google’s Insights for Search sheds light on the ability for search to be more than just a one-trick pony. Rather than only being a platform on which we execute marketing campaigns, search can also function as a valuable source of consumer behavior information that can be used to shape offline as well as non-search online campaigns. The recent New York Times article on Google’s latest tool clearly shows how Google is peddling the tool to not just search marketers, but to all marketers.

My point here is not to plug Google’s new tool (although I think it’s just swell), my point is that we have valuable information at our fingertips, and we should be considering new and innovative ways to help our clients understand and use it. As we strive to look for ways to provide additional value, don’t pass up the opportunity to leverage search as a source of information for feedback and planning on both existing and upcoming non-search marketing initiatives. Your colleagues will be amazed at the insight you can provide!

Here are five quick examples of ways to leverage search insights beyond search:

1. Where are people searching? Are most of the queries for your brand coming from a particular region? How can the offline media team use this to target their placements?

2. What time of year are people searching? Do brand or product terms spike in Q4 around the holidays? When exactly does the volume pick up? How can the PR team get out ahead of this trend and stimulate demand earlier?

3. Are there variations on the brand name being searched? Misspellings, etc. Should the web team buy those misspelled domain names?

4. What ad copy is working best? Can the creative team use that to bolster their TV call-to-action? Or maybe even come up with a new slogan altogether?

5. What copy are competitors using? Can the brand team use this info to better differentiate pricing, promotions, etc?

What are some of the applications for search beyond search that you’ve found?


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