Google's Your Wingman, Make it Love at First Search

V-Day is here. Love it or hate it, the internet is alive with pink love hearts, red boxes of chocolates and the Pandora bracelet that seems to be following me from website to website. Damnit. The internet seems to know me inside out, it knows me better than my own boyfriend (okay, maybe not quite but it's getting there)! But how does it know?
 
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NB. This image is here purely because the editor of the blog expressly forbade sparkles.

The aim of the game for any internet marketer is personalisation. This was a theme touched upon in our predictions for 2015 blog which we released back in December. Everyone is talking about knowing your customers inside and out, if you know what they want and can gauge when they want it, then you can position yourself so that you are the first person they come to when they are ready to buy.

But, getting this right is a tricky process, you see us internet users are a fickle bunch. We don’t like you having all our information but we want you to know what we want. Sound familiar? I’ve been told that’s what us girls are like…sigh. You’re not a mind reader, so how can you make sure your advances are well-received?

The Wooing

Much like putting in some effort to ask your date out, making sure that you are impressing with your internet moves is just as important. There’s no point getting drunk, staggering up to your intended and slurring some garbled message of love to them. You need to be coherent, confident and maybe pull a trick or two out of your sleeve to get a positive reply.

This is why you need to be paying attention to the basics of your website, if you fumble over your words or your website doesn’t load quickly enough, people are going to lose interest and bounce straight back off again. You’ve fallen at the first hurdle and your wingman Google is silently face-palming in the corner.

Whispering sweet nothings into the ear of the one who holds your affection is a sure way to woo them, this is where you need to stock up on your chat-up lines (and not the cheesy kind). A neat little trick that I found this week through the ever insightful Rand Fishkin of Moz (some SEOs apparently already knew this trick but wanted to keep the love for themselves) is the use of wildcards in your Google search. You can use an underscore (_) or an asterisk (*) place of an unknown to give you more suggested search terms.

 

 

Here you can see what Google is suggesting to you from the word ‘dating’ but if you enter a wildcard search you get a few more options. And everyone likes options when you’re looking for love.

 

 

These keywords can also influence how you go about your paid search because whilst Adwords does give you keywords and their bid difficulty, they’re often biased towards commercial terms rather than general usability so it seems that Adwords has been the unfaithful partner and hasn’t been giving you the whole truth all this time. With this wildcard knowledge you’re going to know whether your date prefers chocolates or flowers and you can optimise your site accordingly.

With all this behind you, you’re sure to get that yes to the first date.

The Date

You have to play the long game to find ‘the one’. You can’t just jump into bed with the first person you meet and expect to be in love and it’s the same with content marketing. Don’t expect to see your revenue skyrocket because you’ve produced a nice little blog or have written for an industry website (unless you get something to go viral, maybe then you’ll see that exciting little spike in Google Analytics), your customers could have seen your content but left your site only to come back at a later date and then convert. Give them a reason for a second date.

This is why what you say through your content is really important - would you go on a date with someone who only talks about themselves? No. So why would you only talk about yourself in your content? It’s not a sales pitch, it’s a dialogue that you’re opening up with your user- it goes both ways!

I recently got sent some interesting guest blog guidelines from Salesforce, a sales CRM platform, and was pleased to see that they actively put an emphasis on the ‘it’s not a sales pitch’ thing (see slide 4) and making their content inclusive; no business jargon (see slide 6 and my previous blog on jargon)! How off-putting would it be if your date blabbed on about something that you had no idea what it was and could never understand because they used obscure, technical words to explain it?

The Engagement

Your date was a success! You’ve also managed to persuade them to go out with you again, and then you’ve had a cosy night in and everything’s going swimmingly. Is it time to step it up a notch? Are you ready for the big commitment?

Treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen, apparently. I’ve always found that flowers and chocolates work better but hey, who am I to tell you what to do. But this seems to be the way companies keep you interested, they entice you with those tantalising adverts – ‘ooh, two Lindt bunnies for a fiver?’ I’m sold! But this can be a tricky tactic because you don’t want to bombard your love and overwhelm them with affection, otherwise they’re just as likely to send you packing rather than reward your efforts.

Enter wingman Google again, he does all the legwork to find out what you like, what you spend your time looking at and correlating it with your age, sex and location. He can then pass this information back to the one who’s really trying to woo you so they can only send you the most relevant adverts at the right time. Then you’ll know when it’s the right time to get down on bended knee.

Happily Ever After

Through all your carefully timed advances you have crafted a lasting relationship but much like a good marriage you need to work on your relationship to maintain the happiness that you both felt at the beginning. Keep on producing your great content, keep on listening to your girlfrie…cough, customers (boys!), keep the other half’s needs in mind and do things to satiate these needs…perhaps this is getting a bit too close to 50 Shades. I’ll stop there.

Basically, you’re not a link whore, you’re not a one-night stand. You’re the love of their life and you intend it to stay that way. So, be yourself, be genuine; you’ve got a personality, use it. If you continue to generate great, honest content then your relationship will last a good many years yet.