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The psychology of search

Knowing all the virtual nuts and bolts that make SEO work isn’t enough to build a solid search engine marketing strategy.

Knowing all the virtual nuts and bolts that make SEO work isn’t enough to build a solid search engine marketing strategy.

Be discovered, not announced: The psychology of search

Let’s face it. Search engines are nothing new. They were around before the internet made its mainstream debut in 1990. However, unlike many things in the 90s, such as dial-up connections, laughable Hotmail email addresses and MC Hammer’s career, the search engine has withstood the test of time.

Search engines have become so integrated into our everyday lives that using them has become a reflex. The world’s most popular search engine’s name is even used as a verb, like when someone says “I need to Google that.” As a result, marketers have identified search engines as a valuable platform to promote their brand and attract potential customers.

However, knowing all the virtual nuts and bolts that make search engines chug along isn’t enough to build a solid search engine marketing strategy. High performing brands are not only savvy about search engine functionality, they’ve also got a deep understanding of how these are programmed to respond to customer queries.

Unlike their analog counterparts (surely those of you who laughed at our 90s references will remember the Yellow Pages and encyclopaedias), search engines don’t respond to queries with an alphabetized list. Instead, they provide a list of options best-suited to your search terms and ranked based on accuracy.

That said, searches are rarely done and dusted in one effort. No one just Googles “music” because consumers’ tastes are far more niche, making them more likely to refine their search terms to their exact needs. People are more likely to search for “top 10 K-pop songs”, “Spanish flamenco guitar music” or “Beijing underground thrash metal bands”.

Our advice to any brand that starts search engine marketing, paid or organic, is to understand the motives behind user queries. Interpreting the search intent correctly is like skating to where the puck will be, rather than chasing it across the rink. Investing in audience insights will helps you better understand and interpret data points from keywords, search queries, performance data and more.

This is our most basic guiding principle for search engine marketing at Text100. We’re focused on the “why” behind each query, always trying to put ourselves in the mindset of the searcher. This helps us position brands at the forefront of the Googleverse, ensuring it recognizes that your website contains relevant information and connects you to an audience that cares.

Even if they’re considered ancient history, understanding search engines and how they’re used is still a major ace to have up your brand’s sleeve. It goes much further beyond keywords, bids, rankings and tags, which is why it pays to set your strategy at a higher level. You don’t need to be scrambling for potential customers. A solid search engine marketing strategy will help them come to you.


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