Google search has evolved in the last ten years and it is clear despite efforts to educate, businesses and individuals are not utilising the power of the search engines to their fullest. Google does a great job of advertising its wide range of products and services but it takes a strategic approach for businesses to understand how these tools can be used to support business goals.
Search Marketing Integration (SMI) will be very important for all businesses in 2013, and I would like to take the time to explain how some interesting Google operators can be used as part of your online marketing strategy to help your business understand its position in the World Wide Web.
First the theory..
Having a website with good relevant content is vital to achieve higher rankings in Google organically, and also benefits PPC campaigns. It is very important for search engines to understand what your website is about and then have this confirmed by external authorities (backlinks). There are many ways to find out how well structured and keyword focused your website is, but how do you know how much relevance Google places on your website. Well, you can start by finding out in how Google has positioned your website. This is very similar to the customer positioning you will learn in principles of marketing. I call it “Search engine positioning” and is a reflection of the online company you keep.
How is this done?
Google research tools used for businesses
In order to find out how your website is positioned in a search engine, you need to understand Google Operators, you may be aware of some of these, for example, “Putting Quotes” around your search query is the same as using Verbatim mode, and indicates you wish to return results exactly as you have typed them. Another is the Number range operator, this involves adding two dots between the numbers in a query, which you can use if you don’t know an exact number and wish to search for a range. This is probably most often used for searching around years, an example query of this is “British tanks 1942..1950”.
Google Operator – Related:
The related operator was developed as a way to find similar sources to a URL which benefits users researching a particular topic. Imagine finding a wealth of information on your dissertation topic, but being unable to verify anything stated. The related operator returns results of websites that contain relevant related content. The business applications for this operator, include researching your market by checking your competitors or checking how similar (or dissimilar) your website is to your competition, consumer hangouts, etc.
In the example below I use the related operator by typing “related:” followed by the UK domain for Tesco. As you can see the results of related websites are all other supermarkets.
Seems simple right? Try typing the URL of your website using the related operator and see if you are in good company.