Home SEO How 'Search' turned the brand new model within the website positioning panorama

How ‘Search’ turned the brand new model within the website positioning panorama

Nate Burke, CEO of Diginius, explains the importance of optimizing your products to accommodate this changing behavior, while also reminding you to build on your brand to become the ultimate business

Was Ask Jeeves right about consumers needing quick, crisp search results?

Marketplaces are now dominating the online sphere, resulting in online shoppers looking for solutions to their queries doing more unbranded searches than products with names. Today, global brands can expect 58% of their searches to be unbranded, while for small and medium-sized businesses the number is surprisingly much higher at around 81%. Of course, this surge could be cause for concern for many companies that rely heavily on their brand awareness and branding for revenue.

However, virtual and online marketplaces are now considered to be one of the most effective ways to scale globally, for both established businesses and smaller brands, as they account for nearly half of all global e-commerce sales. While these platforms were once a place for small and independent brands, online retail giants like Amazon and Walmart are starting to scale their own marketplaces, taking advantage of the nearly $ 2 trillion spent annually on the top 100 marketplaces .

The shift in search can be traced back to a number of changes in the way we shop, consume media and use technology. In particular, increasing access to voice search with Alexa and Google devices, which are now standard features in our homes, has fueled the rise in question-based search.

Understandably, competition on these platforms is increasing. To ensure that their products are being presented to the right customers, businesses need to work on product optimization while building on their brand to build trust and repeat purchases.

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Recreate the “boutique” shopping experience online

One way to accomplish this is to match the in-store and online experiences. For example, even though the days of exploring treasuries and boutiques are dwindling in favor of the online environment, consumers are still looking for those unique, personalized experiences from brands.

In fact, 33% of consumers prefer buying unique products over mass-produced items, which companies should use as an opportunity to innovate within their product range – to develop something that the other big retailers don’t have.

Etsy is the perfect example of how independent sellers came together on a virtual marketplace platform to offer consumers just that: the ability to find unique, handcrafted products combined with the ease of shopping online.

The E-Commerce and PPC Perspectives

Google processes over 40,000 search queries per second. While some of these are guaranteed to be labeled as brand searches, many are following the growing solution-oriented trend.

For example, suppose a consumer is looking for loungewear. Emotional, descriptive words that create a feel and a tailor-made result should flow into your product descriptions, such as “warm loungewear”, “comfortable loungewear” or “soft loungewear”.

The idea here is to narrow down descriptions to give people exactly what they want when doing these niche specific searches. And in the age of voice search, it is critical to ensure that products are optimized with accurate and specific descriptions.

The same approach is effective for product ads as well. Descriptions and targeting hints need to be tailored to customer searches for the best results. While this may sound like a time-consuming task, using PPC software and analytics tools can help you automate, test, and adjust activities for optimal performance. For example, by using dynamic ads, the text can be customized to ensure it is directly relevant and personal to each searcher to drive clicks and conversions.

While Google is still the most popular search advertising platform, we always recommend running ads on Microsoft’s Bing platform as well, as companies often find they get better returns and need less budget. This is because Bing is much less competitive than Google as fewer advertisers are bidding for the same keyword, although the search volume remains attractive.

Similarly, with the advent of social media commerce, with Facebook Marketplace and Instagram Shopping ahead of the game, as well as Amazon advertising, companies looking to capitalize on changing search and shopping habits have a number of options to explore.

And while these tactics can help promote products to customers in the increasingly competitive solution-centric search environment, others, including retargeting, can then help build brand awareness. This allows brands to attract customers who might only be in the discovery or research phase when they first ran their ad, as well as customers who might be ready to buy again.

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Full circle

This solution-based environment is similar to that of Ask Jeeves, or as it is known today, Ask.com. The question and answer business was a perfect example of how a search engine can cater to consumers’ needs and quickly answer their questions. However, it was ahead of its time.

It is interesting to see how the circle has now come full circle as consumers need quick and fast results on the go and Ask.com is perfectly positioned to address that need. AI took this algorithmic model a little further in today’s Google-led environment, but one could have imagined that Ask could have pioneered search-driven advancement at another time and place, rather than the nostalgic ulterior motive that is today still exists.

This is also a prime example of the ever evolving online marketplace. What consumers need today may not be what they want tomorrow. While unfortunate in the case of Ask.com, companies that stay ahead of the curve by paying close attention to changes in consumer behavior are far better off than companies that are stagnant. And brands, regardless of their size or scale, should definitely be careful and adapt their product descriptions to a much more solution-oriented environment.

But when adapting to change, it is important never to lose sight of the brand. Customers will always look for confidence in their purchases, and a simple flash offer is not enough to distract them from a brand that offers quality and confidence in their delivery.

Although brand-independent search queries are trendy today, every sustainable company has to be supported by a strong brand – that will never change.

Written by Nate Burke, CEO of Diginius

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