A little known secret on Optimizing for Search on Google vs Elsewhere

February 18, 2021

For far too long, Brands have used superficial metrics to measure their online marketing performance. Things like reach, impressions, share of voice etc are great metrics, but on their own they don’t mean anything to the business bottom line.

Joel Rao, CEO at iProspect, a leading Kenyan Digital Marketing Company, says Brands must also understand how these metrics translate into performance. For instance conversion rates, broken down across the various possible paths to purchase e.g. by specific search keywords is a great way to know if all the hits you are getting online are actually leading to a sale.

Search is one element of broader customer journeys that are more fully captured by by online sales data. We spend a lot of time at what Joel calls “upstream”, obsessing over things like traffic statistics. Yet probably even more important is what happens “downstream” once a customer is actually close to closing a transaction with you. How robust is your website search feature for instance? The rules of in-site Search are different from the rules of Google search, yet most Brands use the same rules on both playgrounds. Joel says that “downstream” your focus should be on utility search. So while I might have searched for iPhone 11 on Google, once I land on a website I will search for “Gold plated iPhone” for instance or “iPhone accessories”.

The same applies to Marketplace listings on websites such as Amazon. Research shows that while Google gets a higher volume of branded searches, Amazon gets a higher volume of unbranded utility searches. So as you place your products on Marketplaces, be sure to optimize your product descriptions for utility searches.

Joel Rao was a facilitator at Un.thinkable masterclass (our quarterly 10X Growth Leaders Workshop) in July 2020. Click here to apply for membership in Un.thinkable.

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