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10 October 2016

Five Ways to use Search Data in Your Work Today

Written by: Peter McIntyre, Senior Account Manager at Edelman

Media, Technology

For any business looking to influence its presence in search engines there are two options available, paid and organic search.

Paid search requires brands to buy adverts which are then displayed in response to select queries, chosen by the brand.

Organic search results aim to provide searchers with the most relevant content for their query and are generated using algorithms.

Of the two, organic results are overwhelmingly more popular with searchers. One study even found that while one-hundred percent of audiences look at the first organic result, only fifty percent looked at the paid result.

So how can organizations ensure they are at the top of those all-important organic searches? Moreover, how can they measure the benefits.

1. Creating Content People Want

It’s something we already do, but search data can help turbocharge content creation. One great tool which helps harness search data is Answer the Public. Using data from search engines, this tool presents questions, prepositions and alphabetical lists related to your keyword, in a ready-to-share graphic.

Take Big Data: Using Answer the Public, we know that online audiences interested in the technology want to know:

  • How is Big Data transforming healthcare?
  • What Big Data skills do businesses need?
  • Why do Big Data projects fail?

2. Selecting the Right Influencer

It is easy to get stuck in a routine. Do you find it difficult to change the mindset of someone who is only interested in the same influencers and publications? Mozbar and SimilarWeb are two great options for persuading anyone that there is life beyond their circle of trust.

Still using the web traffic figures provided by Gorkana (a media database) or news publications themselves? Stop. SimilarWeb is user-friendly, provides a more advanced traffic estimate and other useful details such as location.

3. Encourage Influencers to Link

The algorithms employed by search engines are now incredibly sophisticated, and place a premium on editorial content from media outlets and bloggers – it’s harder than ever for search professionals to “game the system.”

Thus, earned media has become one of the most valuable influences.

When editorial content links to a company’s website, search engines’ algorithms perceive this as an indication that the website’s content is relevant and authoritative to the topic being discussed.

When searchers then conduct queries relevant to that topic, that businesses’ website will appear higher in organic results, increasing site visits and if the website is up to par, sales, and other business critical results.

How can you encourage influencers to do it?

Without quality and engaging content to refer to, an influencer or site editor has no reason to direct people away from their site. Provide them with a good reason by integrating owned content with your influencer relations plan.

4. Analyzing a Website’s Strength in Search

Mozbar predicts how well any website will rank on search engines. Why does rank matter? Websites which perform better on search engines are seen by more people and if well setup, more likely to be successful.

If your site performs worse than your competitors, you will need to consider how to address that. For example, you may want to consider checking your backlinks, as they remain an extremely important Google ranking factor.

5. Measuring Return on Investment

You’ve developed great content which influencers are sharing and linking to. How can you then demonstrate that your hard work has provided measurable outcomes that benefit your clients? Through platforms such as Google Analytics.

Using Google Analytics on behalf of what3words, a UK based Edelman client, we found that media coverage generated over 1,000 sales leads in just six months. Moreover, one article in The Daily Telegraph alone, resulted in a 450 percent increase in web traffic week-on-week to the what3words website.

This blog originally appeared on

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