As an agency owner, I'm always thinking of ways to improve both the physical and digital awareness of my client's businesses. The new media mix has lines that are blurring as I write this article, at the same time the all-mighty Google is getting smarter and smarter daily.
Whether your company uses a majority SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or a majority print to get better brand awareness or new clients, after reading this you'll hopefully see the value of how both working simultaneously can benefit you your company.
Merging Print & Google
In this instance, we aren't necessarily talking about utilizing PURL or mobile campaigns to bridge the gap. We are focused on user actions such as what they specifically enter into the Google Search bar. This then affects not only the Organic (free) results that come up on the results pages, but the suggestions that drop down / display when you begin your search on Google. Our main goals for bridging this sometimes Grand Canyon-like gap between print and Google are:
- Sending prospects to Google to search for your brand
- Helping Google connect the dots between offline and online
- Learning from the data to make informed marketing decisions
Why would I want to do this in the first place? Outside of the fact that EVERYONE uses Google, some additional benefits are:
- Auto suggest drop-down inclusion
- Improving rankings for non-branded queries
- Appear in the "related to" or "people also ask" sections
So how exactly can influencing branded search on Google help a company from an SEO / bottom-line perspective? Let's imagine that you sell widgets and your main product is called "Widget ABC". Your company uses different types of media, like print, to target your ideal audience.
Co-Occurrence: This is a term I've heard for years now related to directly to helping Google make the association between your brand and non branded searches. Over time, when enough people start searching for your brand, Google will take notice. For example, your "widget abc" may start being associated with dozens of other brand and non-brand suggestions because Google may start to think that your widget is the best possible result. Note: This is assuming, again, that you have a good SEO presence already. Using print media, here are some tactics you can use to optimizae for co-occurrence.
- Business Cards: Instead of listing your website address, ask the person to Google Search your brand.
- Reviews: Mention your positive reviews on print material directing people to do a search for them online.
- Link to a Search: Do a Google search for your brand then copy the URL and use it on a redirecting printed URL (Don't overuse this method).
There are also ways you can enhance the speed of the co-occurrence. It can take the shape of guest posting on industry blogs, speaking at related events, public relations and sponsorships. You can also do an evaluation of your current website to make sure that your SEO is firing on all cylinders. Google is always trying to find ways to improve and make assumptions on everything. Why not make it easier for them? Your company may be sitting on an old recording of a speaking engagement. Optimize it and put it on YouTube. Have a ton of old PowerPoints? Add them to LinkedIn's SlideShare.
Whatever you do, don't do the same tactics as your competition. Odds are, there are some unique, quick wins you can easily do today to give your company more visibility and Google a better understanding of who you are.