In a fragmented online world where there are so many sites jostling for attention, Google is the web property with the widest reach imaginable.
We don’t all use the same social media sites and portals, but we all depend on Google. No matter what you may be searching for, Google has a universal importance that transcends age, technical sophistication, and other demographic factors.
Google’s marketing power
Its position as the web’s index and gateway means that Google needs to play a central role in nearly any marketing campaign. Surprisingly, though, whilst many marketers understand the importance of Google as a part of their toolset, many of them are by no means using search engine optimisation and advertising in a truly strategic manner.
Google is a fundamental building block that supports every online marketing strategy and any media campaign. In much the same way as the skeleton provides the unifying structure for the human body, Google search is the frame on which the muscles, nerves, and senses of your campaigns should be built.
Perhaps you could think of your online media (earned, owned and paid) as the parts of the body involved in communication—your tongue, lips, and the parts of the brain that process communication. Analytics tools could serve as your sensory organs—eyes, ears, nerves—giving you important information about customers and web trends.
Your hands might be the way you manipulate and reach into the world with optimised campaigns. And your creative and strategic planning take place in the brain, guided by the information your senses have gathered. All of these ‘organs’ depend on the skeleton to bring them together and connect them into a holistic, functioning body.
Given that background, many marketers are treating Google as an appendage rather than as an integral part of their marketing strategies. Here are a few guidelines—tried and tested in the trenches—for marketers that want to create more successful search strategies.
Understand your objectives
Many brands know that Google is a must, but they’re not sure exactly why. It’s important to map out the objectives for each campaign and use Google and SEO to support these goals. The beauty of Google is that it creates measurability, providing a window into the success of other elements of the campaign.
Gather customer data
Your analytics tools will help you gather rich, aggregated data about your customers that will help you run more effective campaigns. This is real business intelligence you can use to optimise campaigns and drive internal business activities.
Audience data can help you refine your messaging, your timing, your targeting, and other aspects of your online media buys and interactions.
But data analysis is not just about online marketing conversions—it can provide illuminating insights into how customers think and talk about your brand category or the performance of your offline campaigns.
Partner with the right agency
Brands need partners who have deep technical search expertise and a proven ability to apply this expertise to the your industry and products. Your agency must understand your products and market, as well as how elements such as the time of day or type of device will affect reach into your audience. It must also show that it is on top of the latest trends, such as tracking user behaviour across different devices.
Google’s name has become synonymous with search—and the ability to search and catalogue information is arguably the most important and powerful function on the web. Marketers cannot afford to ignore the power of Google or to use it in a manner that is not optimal.