I’m always amazed at how much CEOs care about Search Marketing. Since I’ve been helping clients develop successful search marketing programs for over 10 years, it’s easy for me to focus on the details of organic and paid search advertising and forget how strategic it is. When you are concentrating on click through rates, display ad targeting options and organic link building, it’s hard to remember that search marketing can achieve important objectives for company leaders.
CEO’s have a challenging job keeping the company focused on the right strategic mission, building the team, focusing on the most important customers and making sure that operations are well managed. In the middle of this complexity, most smart CEOs find time to focus on search. Why? Search marketing tells CEOs important things about their industry and their market position that they can’t get anywhere else.
Here are 4 insights that CEOs get from Search.
- Brand. CEOs are concerned with the power and attractiveness of their company’s brand. A solid brand makes everything in a business easier, from sales and marketing to recruiting top employees. Search marketers can tell a CEO how search traffic on their brand is growing or declining and this can be a proxy to measure the effectiveness of all brand advertising and PR. In addition, search marketing can tell the CEO how search traffic on brand keywords is converting on their website, which is a measure of the power of branded terms, not just how often they are used.
- Effectiveness of key messages. CEOs are thought leaders who are strategic about the direction of their company and their industry. As they build new ideas and use tried and true messages, it’s import to know how popular these ideas are and if they are growing in importance. Search marketing can provide trend data on the use of key ideas by measuring the number of searches on keyword phrases. It can also allow CEOs to test ideas at a very low cost by creating A/B ad tests to compare one message against another. The ability to easily test messages can give the CEO a powerful tool to understand trends and keep the company positioned in the best way possible.
- Thought Leadership Engagement. Once the CEO determines the direction of the company and establishes the strategy, Search Marketing can be used to quickly and easily promote the messages and content. The CEO is not at the mercy of the business press to get his or her message across. By creating videos, whitepapers, and podcasts and then using search marketing and display advertising to promote the content, CEOs can build engagement around important topics. They can then measure the impact of each idea with metrics around views and engagement. Search marketing can also tell the CEO their “share of voice” compared to how their competitors are using the same subjects.
- Competition – CEOs are very focused on what their competitors are doing and how they stack up. Search marketing can tell the CEO how much search traffic is happening on the competitors brand and product keywords, relative to their own. By understanding the power of their competitor’s brand, they can make adjustments to their own marketing and product strategies to better compete.
Smart CEOs leverage data to make smarter decisions, and Search Marketing can be an important tool to give them the information they need to guide the company in the right direction.