Our guest columnist for our series on “Marketing Tips During COVID-19 (And Beyond), is Stuart Jenner, president of Marketek Consulting Group, who has been helping companies of all sizes with SEO and online ads on Google for more than 20 years. In this article, he shares some specific actions that companies can take to mitigate the impacts of game-changing, unpredicted life events and position themselves for the rebounds that will happen at some point. Today’s article is a follow up to a guest column Stuart wrote in early May.
By Stuart Jenner, Marketek Consulting Group
In last month’s guest post, I discussed opportunities for companies with Search Engine Optimization and Paid Search Ads in the current COVID-19 driven slowdown. Three of the main points: define one’s target audience, outline the topics and terms your audiences are using, and create content relevant to those topics.
In today’s article, I outline how to research what people are searching for and how to gain insights from your website data.
There are many tools and techniques available for getting insights about searches. Some are free, some cost money, while others don’t directly cost money but may be an add-on to services that do.
A first step with data analysis is conducting an inventory of what external data you already have. Hopefully your website has an analytics tool, such as Google Analytics, where you can track activity. If you don’t, there are other places where you may also be gathering data. One are the apps that you use. App data can be in multiple locations. Another is your data from any reseller websites, such as Amazon. You may find that when you look at the data from these sources at the same time, there are some patterns or relationships that give you new insights about your customers or prospects.
Also consider your website’s data on internal searches. Some websites will have internal search tools, especially if they are ecommerce sites. Look at the search phrases. Pay particular attention to the phrases with just one or two searches in a month. These searchers may be much closer to buying or taking action than people using a more general phrase. Test some of these search strings. What do you find?
Another important step: identify who has access to the data. I suggest having a general email address, such as “webmaster”, where multiple people know the login and is one of the emails associated with an analytics account. This way you won’t lose access if someone leaves the company or is unreachable. And note: this issue of ensuring access also applies to any place you have a listing, such as business and map listings.
Here are some of my favorite free research tools:
I have tried several paid services. Sometimes they are helpful, but at other times I’ve compared the estimates in them to data for clients, and the estimates are often many orders of magnitude different than the client data.
Google Analytics is a very powerful tool. I always wonder “what does Google get out of providing Analytics for free?” Yes, it helps them sell ads, but what do the terms and conditions really mean? It is hard to know so the buyer (or user) beware. One reality: Google has at times reduced the amount of data they store. So, if there’s something you really care about, consider backing up the data in a PDF or spreadsheet report.
In Analytics, I suggest looking at these key data points:
As I wrote last time, “COVID-19 (or at least its aftereffects) is going to be impacting the economy and business for the foreseeable future. The new “norm” can provide businesses with additional opportunities not only to find new ways to serve customers but also to thrive through a variety of ways, including through SEO and Paid Search Ads.”
The data you gather, analyze and use will play a major role in how effectively your organization can move forward in these turbulent times.
(To discuss any of the ideas in here, Stuart Jenner of Marketek Consulting Group is available at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 206-241-0101)