Google dominates the online world with the most desirable Internet product – search. Their marketing magic translates into basic principles any company can use to increase sales. So follow Google’s rules to improve the way you market your company and its brand:
“Relevancy rules” – Google succeeds because its search results are relevant to its customers, who use those results to make decisions about what to buy, read, investigate and so on. Your company must become relevant to your customers. Help them solve their problems. Enable them to make better decisions.
“Keep it simple, stupid” – Google’s home page is a model of simplicity. Apply this principle to your operations, including your brand and your marketing, which should involve a “simple unique selling proposition.” Keep your webpage uncluttered. Google’s Website Optimizer can help.
“Mind-set matters” – The best time to market to people is when they are in the mood to buy. Often, this is when they search for product or supplier contact information. Interweave editorial content with “commercial content.”
“Don’t interrupt” – People who are actively engaged with online content – news, videos, podcasts and social interaction – have no interest in your commercial message. They see your advertising as an interruption. The most effective opportunity to sell occurs when online users search for something. Plan ads for keywords that do not directly relate to your products, but represent prospects that you want to reach.
“Act like content” – If your website is overtly commercial and largely content-free, Google’s search algorithm will not rank it highly. To attract the maximum number of searchers, offer meaningful content. The more specialized information is in relation to searches, the better.
“Test everything” – Google exhaustively tests everything it puts online, including its logo, its “AdWords reporting interface” and the colors of its toolbars. Comprehensively check all your important online components, including keywords, advertising copy, landing page, and so on.
“Track everything” – Such Google tools as “AdWords, DoubleClick and Google Analytics” can determine if your ads work because they depend on objective data. Interpret this data properly, and you can count on the results. Numerous data points are trackable, such as, for example, “exposure, interaction” and “conversion. Google pays close attention to ad tracking via its Quality Score, which measures how relevant keyword advertising is to users. Thus Google ensures that it presents only the most relevant ads to searchers.
“Let the data decide” – When it is time to make decisions at Google, data carries the most weight. Google is the ultimate search company and a remarkably savvy media operation. But more than anything else, Google is an engineering firm; engineers care most about objective statistics, and Google thrives on its genuine reverence for facts.
“Your competition is broader than you think” – Google’s competition includes Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple and – as counterintuitive as it first may seem – Adobe. Like Google, Adobe offers Web analytics products. AT&T competes against Google in directory assistance. Kodak offers online photo sharing. Google also vies directly with numerous other firms in other areas. Before you create your advertising and choose your mix of media, think carefully about all your competitors in every market segment. The research firm comScore can help you evaluate your rivals. Investigate their websites to find out how many daily visits they receive, what their customers are buying and how that affects your market share.
“Don’t rely on search engine marketing alone” – Google certainly believes in SEM, but at the same time it utilizes traditional advertising media to promote its products and services, for example, by buying media space for Super Bowl advertising. Research indicates that nearly seven out of 10 online users engage in their searches because of the influence of prior traditional advertising, most notably on television. If Internet advertising king Google relies both on conventional advertising and its online promotions, your company should do the same.
“Future-Proofing” – Google is the ultimate search entity, but in the future, searching or information will not be as important as the utility of information. This is where apps come into play: They find the information you need, and then put that information to use on your behalf. As apps become dominant and ubiquitous, your intent – what you want to do with information – becomes more critical than data.