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Relevance and Informational Searches

Perhaps the hardest part about informational searches for ecommerce sites is that the most valuable keywords may be only tangentially related to the product they’re selling. It’s tempting to shoot for the stars, but your budget may well be better spent on targeting more relevant keyword phrases.

For example, a site that sells shoes designed to alleviate heel pain may want to rank for “heel pain.” A lot of people — approximately 60,000 a month in the U.S. according to Google Keyword Planner — search for information on heel pain. Winning just five percent of those searches would mean a chance to convert 3,000 visits to sales. That’s pretty tempting.

But is an ecommerce shoe site really relevant for “heel pain?” No, it’s relevant for “shoes.” Even if the site creates a page of great content and products targeting searches for “heel pain,” the best they’re likely to do is rank for “shoes for heel pain” at about 600 searches a month. “Shoes for heel pain” may be an excellent term for the site to target, but it’s important to be realistic about the amount of traffic organic search is likely to drive when allocating resources for SEO. If you plan to target 60,000 searches and actually target 600, you’ll come up with about 1/100th of the traffic intended.

Can an ecommerce site rank on page one in Google for a competitive informational search like “heel pain?” It’s not impossible, but it’s unlikely without a lot of hard work to create stellar content and authority.

Informational searches tend to be monopolized by massive, authoritative, informational sites like Wikipedia, About.com, and news, government, and organization sites. Breaking into the search results amid this kind of competition requires a dedication to creating excellent content with excellent SEO and a strong promotional plan to build authority.

For example, Nordstrom ranks third in Google for the keyword phrase “how to tie a scarf,” for which 49,500 people search in an average month.

To be sure, Nordstrom has a tremendous marketing budget, a powerful retail brand, and fans galore. But it also listened to customers to understand that women think scarves are very pretty and have no idea how to wear them. And Nordstrom matched that customer need with keyword research to identify a keyword phrase to target that’s highly searched and less competitive than other fashion phrases. Then it created a beautiful video showing 16 methods for tying scarves, building off the success of the old-school scarf tying booklet they used to hand out in stores.

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Types of Searcher Intent

Search engines try to deliver more relevant results by associating intent with certain keywords. There are three primary categories of searcher intent.

  1. Navigational. The searcher knows which site he wants to visit, but chooses to use the browser’s search box instead of the address bar in which to type it. In some cases, the searcher may trust Google to return the correct page on a given site more than they trust that site’s own internal search. Searchers expect navigational queries to the correct answer at the top of the search results. Examples of navigational searches include “united airlines,” “yelp.com” or “amazon duracell batteries 9 volt.”
  2. Informational. Searchers want to research a topic to learn more. The query may center on a specific product, a category of products, a problem the searcher is trying to solve, a concept, where to eat dinner, and so forth. Searchers expect informational queries to yield a set of relevant pages as opposed to the single right answer. Searchers may be willing to try out the information on multiple pages before considering their task complete. Examples of informational searches include “how to change spark plugs,” “chicago sushi, or “best digital camera.”
  3. Transactional. Searchers want to complete a task, such as download a file, purchase a product, and sign up for a service. Transactional searchers may follow informational searches, such as a customer who searches for information on the best digital camera, uses the information to choose a product, and then searches to find the best place to complete the transaction and purchase the camera online.

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Top 10 Social Media Marketing Application Providers

I conducted a roundup of top social media marketing app providers nearly a year ago and much has changed since then. Many have added new features and apps, integrated with popular social networks like Pinterest and Instagram, and developed mobile versions. One even rebranded when a newer version of its platform was launched.

Here is my list of the top 10 app providers for smaller businesses.

1. Offerpop

2. Heyo

3. ShortStack

4. Tabsite

5. North Social

6. Woobox

7. Pagemodo

8. Chirpify

9. Fan Appz

10. FaceItPages

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The Catastrophic Social Media Content Marketing Mistake Marketers Are Making

I have been described many different ways in my life: loud, opinionated and over-caffeinated are just of the few apt descriptors for yours truly. However when it comes to the world of marketing, advertising, social media, branding and all that good stuff, I don’t think many would refer to me as being hyperbolic.

I am not one prone to exaggerate; use hyperbole but I can see some people thinking that based solely on my use of the word “catastrophic” in the title of this article.

However, after what I just read that is absolutely the correct adjective to use to describe what marketers are doing when it comes to social media content marketing.

The headline and chart via MarketingCharts.com says it all:

Global Marketers Say Lead Gen A Bigger Social Ad Objective Than Branding

The findings come from a new study from Econsultancy in association with Adobe and fly directly in the face of a study conducted earlier this year by Vizuwhich revealed that a majority of marketers and advertisers indicated their primary objective when it came to social media marketing was brand-related.

gyro​Voice: Don’t Flush Facebook Down The LooDidier StoraDidier Stora@gyro
10 Leaders Changing The Content LandscapeJohn HallJohn HallContributor

So why is this most recent finding so catastrophic?

Simple.

  • It means that marketers are putting more emphasis on selling than they are at establishing relationships with consumers via branding.
  • It means that marketers would rather try and sell you something than say tell you a story.
  • It means that marketers are only in “it” to increase their bottom line.

Look, I get it re: the last bullet. This is not my first rodeo by any means. I understand making money, moving product, and on and on and on is and always be the ultimate business objective.

Consumers know that.

Don’t underestimate them by any means.

But the consumer of today does not want to be inundated with sales pitches just so you can feed your lead gen beast Mr. and Mrs. Marketer. And if you don’t know that  by now, you may want to consider a career change.

When I am asked for my definition of content marketing, I usually include the phrase “guns blazing” as in “you cannot go into a relationship and maintain a relationship with a consumer guns blazing. You have to engage, relate to, share relevant content with your audience and yes integrate your “guns” AKA your product, into your overall content marketing strategy.”

It cannot be sell, sell, sell at every single turn.

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