Breaking Away from Tradition: New Uses for SEO Research

I may catch flak from some quarters for admitting this, but last week, I got drawn in to an episode of “The Newsroom.”

For those out of the small screen loop, “The Newsroom” chronicles the trials and tribulations of the anchor and staff of a fictitious cable news show and is the brainchild of Arron Sorkin, who created “The West Wing” as well as hit movies such as “A Few Good Men” and “The American President.”

It wasn’t the subject or its creator of “The Newsroom” that caught my interest: it was a heated argument between the news show’s president (played by Sam “Jack McCoy” Waterston) and the young, new owner of the station over the direction of the show. Waterston’s president is an old school newsman, preaching integrity, accuracy and a sturdy moral compass, while the owner wants to make new technology from on-the-street witnesses and on-the-spot reporting – checks and balances be damned – an integral part of the reporting process.

The divide between old and new marketing strategies may not be as vast – or as ethically debatable – as that between Edward R. Murrow and a tweet, but what was once an innovative means for companies to reach out to their clientele or consumer base has become old hat.

Convincing the CEO or marketing head that embraces the old school means of communication to give organic marketing and SEO a serious shot is usually no small feat. The reluctance to embrace the long-favored, yet increasingly antiquated mediums remains common in 2014.  Yet other companies have switched sides, putting their digital marketing plans for the year front and center in their annual plan at best or investing that chunk usually reserved for print, radio or television into digital and lessening their concentration on one of the old school means of communication.

Consumer behavior speaks for itself; whether they’re shopping at the local car emporium or Target, consumer online research has been the rule and not the exception for years. It’s estimated that 90% of potential customers will turn to blogs and social media sites, as well as the company’s pages, before setting foot out the door or clicking “buy.”

Companies that now rely on marketing tactics such as keyword targeting, content optimization and pay per click ads are also doing their homework. They consider the data and reports that come from these practices (which we put into play for many clients here at Leverage when it best suits their needs), but also use it as an indispensable resource for future marketing and sales campaigns. Market research that can be conducted through Google Trends/Insights and Adwords reports can help you see if the market for your product is growing or declining and also forecast seasonal trends for that product. Entire industry trends can be analyzed along with the activities of main competitors.

Additionally, SEO is moving beyond of the sales and marketing realm and is now being used by some smarter companies for other purposes, such as product research and development. Rather than inventing a product and then figuring out how to market it to the masses, Google and other search engines can give companies insight into what the consumer is looking for and create that product, upgrade or add-on based on consumer queries and other behaviors.

These are some of the reasons why Leverage Marketing can provide such powerful insights to its clients and use digital marketing and advertising to boost their business and their bottom line to the next level.

I can’t think of any print ads, TV commercials or non-digital PR tactics that provide these kinds of resources…