During the frenetic activity that precedes the holidays, I find myself looking at the flood of marketing materials that comes to both my real and digital doorsteps and trying to rethink where organic search fits in the marketing ecosystem. Organic search has long been hailed as the “tip of the spear,” a means of introduction to new customers. This means that for some, organic search is pigeonholed as a customer acquisition strategy. This is a bit short-sighted given how shopping behaviors have changed, for it underplays organic search’s role and the leverage that can be gained with it for other on- and off-line marketing efforts. Enhanced, leveraged results can only come by sharpening the tip of the spear. To sharpen the tip, it is necessary to make sure that your search efforts coordinate with your other marketing efforts. Just ride along with me on this notion for a few blocks; the meter is not running.
Follow the Typical Shopper
As more commerce moves to e-commerce, shopper behavior is morphing. Have you finished your holiday shopping? Have you found that perfect gift yet? Today, shoppers don’t travel from store to store looking for the just-right gift. Instead, they go directly to their favorite search engine and look for the type of gift they want or the brand. This behavior is more like sourcing merchandise instead of shopping. If your organic search efforts have focused on developing search visibility for shoppers who source goods, then your efforts will be rewarded. Savvy shoppers do more than just source the goods. They also check reviews on the product and on the merchant. How do they discover this valuable information? Once more, they pop a query into their favorite search engine for “reviews on … ” If your reviews for both products and your services are highly visible on search, you can readily tick off two more boxes that the shopper will check before making a purchase. If your product pages are highly visible, yet your reviews are off the mark, you have some sharpening to do.
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