by Dylan Welsh, Digital Marketer at Big Pond
First things first, what do we mean by ‘Integrated Search’? The best way to understand it is to break it down into three areas: your Paid Media (e.g. Google Pay-Per-Click ads); Owned Media (your optimised website and social media profiles within your control); and Earned Media (User-Generated Content like reviews and shares, and any press posted about your company).
When it comes to strategising, rather than looking at all of these separately in silos, they can be used in an integrated and intentional way to showcase what you offer. As your target users look around online on their phones or laptops, you can utilise all these digital touchpoints to tap into their search journey and get your brand in front of them at the right time.
Wherever a user sees your brand, they should be served a clear, concise message and set of visuals that are recognisably consistent across the internet. This will create a strong synergy and solidify your brand in their mind.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION (SEO)
As opposed to paying to be in front of a specific audience, you can improve your website through SEO to appear organically in Page 1 Google results. There are many ways to do this. Your site’s homepage should feature content that clearly outlines what you’re offering and why users should trust and choose you over competitors – including relevant keywords in this text and your meta title and description tags is a must.
Once you verify and set-up a free Google My Business listing, you can embed the map on your site too, helping you show up for local searches. Organising other authoritative websites in your niche to link back to your site is also crucial for SEO.
Appearing on search engines organically is notoriously a longer-term project. Especially so if you’re selling into a saturated, competitive market. Alongside optimising your site, you can start generating leads via paid ads on Google and retargeting users later via paid social media ads. Every ad, and the landing page that it leads to, should help users decide to buy from you or reach out to you as easily as possible. Having clear, clickable Call-To-Action buttons; striking, high-quality images or videos; and product reviews/ratings will all help with this.
Your brand’s social media presence is a vital part of an Integrated Search approach. Your Facebook, Instagram, Threads, Twitter, TikTok, and LinkedIn profiles should all fit cohesively together with the same unified brand aesthetics, story, and voice across them. Using an automation tool, like Loomly, can help you plan and publish content simultaneously on all these channels. As well as linking your social profiles on your site, you can create a linktr.ee listing that houses all your owned assets together. Simply include your unique Linktree-URL in all your social media bios.
So, get your Owned and Paid Media on point, complementing each other whilst encouraging positive Earned Media wherever possible. And there you have it, an Integrated Search campaign is probably the most powerful thing you can do for developing your brand, and awareness of it, in today’s noisy business environment.