WM Bookshelf: Findability Formula, Heather Lutze
Getting your business in a prominent position on the search engines is
becoming increasingly complex, but no less essential for success. And it’s
not just a challenge for those new to the Web; veteran SEOs often encounter
issues at times. Website MagazineSEO contributor Dante Monteverde interviewed
Heather Lutze of Lutze Consulting on her new book, “The Findability
Formula: The Easy, Non-Technical Approach to Search Engine Marketing.”
Discussed is the importance of findability, common search marketing mistakes,
the viability of in-house SEM, and search-engine marketing expectations.
WM:What is “findability” and why has it taken so long for businesses to realize its importance to the success of a business?
Lutze: “Findability” refers to the ability of a user to find you online. Many business owners believe that just having a website is sufficient, and that search engines will do the work for them. Of course, that’s not true. They don’t realize that the engines have a very specific method of ranking websites and that the vast majority of consumers do not look past the first page of search engine results. Simply put, if companies are not on the first page, they don’t exist. Successful companies understand what it takes to have the search engines put them there. Unfortunately, training in these areas has been very limited, very expensive and extremely high-level. I wrote “The Findability Formula” to provide an easy, non-technical guide to business owners on how to conduct a successful campaign to get their websites better rankings and start drawing more buying customers.
WM:You show readers how to avoid common search marketing mistakes. What are some of the more glaring issues for small business owners?
Lutze: Two major marketing mistakes that are easy for small business owners to fix are (1) doing a little background research and (2) taking the time to define their paid search accounts.
Most business owners have a keen understanding of their target audience. However, many owners don’t have the time or resources to know all the ways customers might be searching for them. Luckily, the research is already done for them; all they have to do is access available online tools. I recommend several great resources in my book, but a free resource that business owners can take a look at today is the Google External Keyword Tool. With this tool, users can type in a potential keyword and Google will show the number of searches in the past month, as well as generate other potential keywords. This can help business owners understand how their audience searches for their products or services.
A little time and effort upfront in a paid advertising account can save capital in the long run. For example, a company that only serves a small location can ensure its paid advertising only reaches its geographic market, preventing unwanted clicks from consumers who won’t buy their products or services. In addition, all companies should pay close attention to negative keyword lists on their accounts. So, if you sell televisions, you probably do not want consumers who are searching for free televisions or television repair, so the words “free” and “repair” should be on your negative keyword list. This will prevent you from paying for wasted clicks, and lower the cost of qualified clicks.
WM:Is starting an in-house search marketing campaign a reasonable undertaking for a small enterprise?
Lutze: Search marketing isn’t rocket science. Anyone who reads my book should be able to start a campaign, if they have the time. If you have a small budget it makes sense to take the time to do it yourself. If you outsource, use my book as a reference and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Also, remember to always check references, which may seem like common sense but is often overlooked in the decision process.
WM:What are some reasonable expectations from an increased focus on findability?
Lutze: Increased findability means more traffic to your site, more phone calls, more leads and more sales. Never underestimate the power of being found on the first page of search results using the right keyword. If you can identify your keyword findability, you will connect with searchers who are ready to take action, not just window shopping. First, use paid clicks through paid search to find keywords, and then transfer real customers to your SEO campaigns. This formula will get you the results you deserve.
Purchase The Findability Formula at Amazon