Bringing Search Out of the Shadows

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    May 13, 2014

Bringing Search Out of the Shadows


In a January study from eConsultancy, nearly two-thirds of client-side marketers worldwide said they planned to increase their SEO spending in 2014—second only to content marketing, on which 74 percent of respondents planned to spend more.

We’ve done a number of search audits for clients this year and we’re finding a lot of opportunities to turn already solid websites into even better and harder working websites. We’re also noticing that marketing executives are displaying a new eagerness to tackle the topic. Quite simply, search is no longer “somebody else’s problem.”

So why is search coming out of the shadows now?

Search is just THAT important.

At the 2014 Mobile Marketing Day, we heard a startling statistic about smartphone use. (Read Mobile Marketing on the Rise: Insights from Mobile Marketing Day for more information on mobile marketing trends.) The average smartphone user is a minimum of 24 inches from his or her phone for 22 hours a day. That means, pretty much every moment of the day, all day long, your potential customers are one intriguing question or visual stimulus away from engaging in a search.

The way consumers behave online, whether through a desktop, tablet or mobile device, makes search one of the most impactful strategies you can use to increase engagement with your brand.

The Search Audit

Marketing leaders are beginning to understand there is a lot more to making a positive impact on SEO than Internet gremlins and fairy dust. In fact, the things that can make the biggest impact—content and connections—are actually within your control.

We believe a comprehensive search audit should include a thorough analysis of the following areas:

  1. Technology
  2. Search
  3. User Experience
  4. Content

Within “technology,” we look at coding, link structures and site architecture, so search engine bots can catalog the content.  In “search,” we explore analytics traffic sources, keyword rankings and usage on site (page titles, URLs, on-page copy) and competitive brand presence in search engine results pages for all client-owned content channels, including social media.  “User experience” ensures the searcher can find what they need in one or two clicks and “content,” well, if it’s done right, does all the work if everything else is in order.

Only when these four disciplines work together can you create a real impact. Otherwise, you have a site that performs well from a search standpoint, but doesn’t offer engaging content for visitors. Or the opposite happens—the site has stellar content, but performs poorly with search.

My next post will discuss how to improve search results.

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