Monday, September 8, 2008

Another way to get prospects to your site

If you've got a distinctive brand or a hard-to-remember URL, like some of those companies in, you may want to try this technique to drive more prospects to your site.

Instead of including your URL in an offline marketing campaign, online marketers may want to simply suggest some search terms for prospects to use online.  

Navigational search is an online marketing technique that's very popular in Japan where ads on trains usually show a search term in a a search box suggestion instead of a URL.  You can see an example from Japan here on Cabel's blog.  But I've noticed more companies using it in lately in the United States. 

And Chrome, Google's new browser, is all about navigational search and it would be surprising if it didn't fuel this trend.  If you haven't tried it yet, Chrome only has one box, which combines the  search box and the browser bar.

It works best if you:

  • Have a brand or name that you know will send people to your pages instead of rivals. For example, Special K's latest television ads show a search box with the words Special K
    When I  searched for Special K, I got this result.  (Special K's been in the news recently because its online ROI has exceeded offline spending. Maybe this is one reason why.)  
    This technique could work well for a b2b company like Godwin Pumps. It could suggest prospects search for its industrial pump Dri Prime. You can see the sorts of results it throws up here. 

  • Make sure that rivals haven't snapped up sponsored links for that page. Search engine marketer Kiruba Shankar wrote that Pontiac made this mistake. It suggested in its TV ads that prospects search for Pontiac. Only problem, a Honda ad came out on top in the sponsored links. 

  • Have a strong personal brand. Kiruba, for example, now suggests prospects search for him instead of going directly to his Web site. A search for him, like the one I did this morning, brings up his blog, his company, his speaking engagements. That's a powerful way to make a first impression.
Sad to say, it doesn't work for me. The superhero with the same name often snags the top results

Posted by Internet Marketing Report Online editor Julie Power Monday September 8.


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