Why your brand needs to appear in users’ search results

Here’s why you shouldn’t ignore the value of search. Plus how your business can get the most out of a well-developed search results strategy.

Advantages of appearing in users’ search results

You probably already know just how important it is for your business—your brand—to show up in users’ search results. Namely, aside from driving clicks and landing conversions, it’s a major contributor to brand value.

You see, search engines are ever-present in a consumer’s purchase journey.

Consumers turn to search when they want to discover new brands, compare products, or simply gather ideas.

It’s also where they go when they want to make a purchase, whether online or offline.

In other words, it’s neither the first and only nor the last stop before making a purchase. It’s where your potential customers go for inspiration—even when they don’t exactly know what they’re looking for or what they need.

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In turn, prime visibility on search engine results pages (SERP), whether that’s through organic listings or paid ads, has the immense power to:

  • Improve top-of-mind unaided brand awareness as well as aided brand recall;
  • Influence perception (for the better) of a brand’s product quality;
  • Increase the number of consumers that view or deem the brand as a market leader.

All this to say: A brand’s success is largely reliant on search.

That’s why marketers work hard to maximize their brand’s presence on search engines either through search engine marketing (SEM) or search engine optimisation (SEO). Put another way, it’s about optimising pages for search.

Did you know? Around 50% of consumers said that they would make an in-store purchase as a result of an online search.

How do consumers use search?

Most of the time, a person’s first search tends to be generic and category-led.

What does that mean?

Well, instead of searching for a specific product like “Milka chocolate”, the person starts with a broader search. For example: “best milk chocolates” or “nut and raisin chocolate bars”.

It's important for brands to show up in search results because they don't just drive clicks and land conversions, they also improve brand awareness and recall as well as consumer perception over product quality.

In fact, a person rarely begins a search with a specific brand already in mind. Rather they’re looking for the most relevant and helpful information to propel him or her to the next stage of their purchase journey. They’re also often looking for options near them.

Put simply, doing a search suggests that the person has the intent to eventually go, do, or purchase something.

Related: Why search intent is important for marketers

It is at this early stage that brands have the valuable opportunity to make sense of (and address) the searcher’s intent. Delivering the right message at the right time doesn’t just drive clicks – it also guides the consumer through the sales funnel.

Related: The purchase journey: What small businesses need to know

How your brand can benefit from search

With more and more people spending time online – across all generations – there’s really no excuse for ignoring the power of search.

You must put in the effort to improve visibility on search engines. Because that’s one way to reach consumers throughout their purchase journey – and influence purchase decisions down the line!

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Here’s what you need to know about how to benefit from search.

First of all, your presence is required

Even if people don’t click on your ad or visit one of your pages, simply being visible already works wonders for brand awareness and recall.

That means ensuring you are present and reaching consumers with the right content at the right time should really be a crucial part of your marketing strategy.

Here are a few things you can do:

  • Work on improving your organic rankings with effective copywriting and SEO.
  • Create evergreen content that is always in demand and that will stand the test of time.
  • If your budget allows, consider using landing pages and investing in paid / sponsored ads to gain a prime position on search engine results pages.
  • Don’t just focus on brand-specific search terms – make sure you also account for and to cater to generic keyword searches.

You might also like: Write content for readers and search engines – tips for small businesses

You must understand consumers’ search intent

An online search reveals a consumer’s intent and that intent eventually leads to action.  That action could be anything from an online purchase to a visit to your physical store, a call to your office, or signing up for a newsletter.

In other words, searchers will eventually choose to do something based on what they’ve seen and read online. So if you are to benefit from that intent in any way, then you need to seize attention and capture clicks when they matter most.

Remember that if they’re searching for information, it means they want to know more, are thinking about buying such a product, or plan to view the item in-store and in person. That is to say they’re expressing their interest for a product / service, category, or specific topic—direct them to yours!

Keep the following in mind:

  1. Understand what potential customers are looking for and expecting—and, most importantly, how to get them to click through to (and stay) on your site.
  2. Be visible – easily and instantly findable.
  3. Follow that up by being a source of relevant, useful, and helpful information as well as actionable content to move them down the sales funnel.

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Cater to every stage of the purchase journey

You want your brand to be present wherever your potential customers may be in their purchase journey. Remember: The right content at the right time.

And because search isn’t solely used at the beginning or end of that journey that means creating category-specific material and targeted content that will capture their attention during the various stages or moments of need.

For example: special landing pages, product pages, blog posts, and other relevant content.

Did you know? There are more category-led searches than there are brand-led searches. Use that to your advantage!

Here are a few things to do and think about:

  • Think about what your target reader’s full purchase journey may be like. Then develop content that will attract, appeal to, and be of use to your target market at all stages of their purchase journey—and that closes the sale!
  • Consider that consumers turn to search for inspiration and ideas well before they even know what to buy. For example: They would browse different ‘best father’s day gifts’ lists before buying something for dad.
  • Don’t bore or confuse readers with subpar ad copy – craft a focused and high-impact message that centers around one or two key points that differentiate you from the competition.