Our job as search marketers is to make the brands we service – whether in-house or at an agency – discoverable. And then, ideally, turn that discoverability into leads.
But how exactly can this be done on today’s competitive search landscape?
On June 26, I moderated a sponsored SEJ ThinkTank webinar presented by Garrett Mehrguth, CEO and co-founder at Directive.
In the webinar, Mehrguth shared actionable tips on how to improve your search discoverability in order to drive qualified leads and deliver results.
Here’s a recap of the webinar presentation.
Today, brands are not only facing off against direct competitors, but they’re also going up against a variety of SERP features that often get the user’s click.
So how do you make your brand discoverable and stand out?
Try the “Share of SERP” strategy.
What Is Share of SERP?
Share of SERP is the practice of taking as many positions in Google as possible for your most valuable queries.
When you look at your Google Ads search term report, you’ll find every term that’s truly driving results for your business.
In share of SERP, the goal is not to launch more new keywords but to take more market share throughout the entire search engine results page for the important terms you already have.
It’s more effective to “supply the demand” than to generate it.
This is a new approach to search marketing.
The idea in our industry is that when you’re starting to see SEO success, we scale by going after more keywords.
But the truth is, you should scale first by taking more market share for the keywords that are already working.
Why Does It Matter?
When you do a B2B search, for instance with the query [Top SERP Software], what you’re gonna find is that 10 of 10 organic listings are review sites or paid sites.
Individual websites no longer rank at the bottom of the funnel – when purchase intent is strongest.
In other words, users are showing you through their query that they’re actually in this buying stage, at the bottom of the funnel.
You’ll also notice that keywords like this are the most expensive in Google Ads. That’s because we know the intent is correct.
You’re not even going to see large enterprise players in the SERPs – that’s not because they have a terrible SEO program. It’s just that customers are looking at reviews at this stage and Google knows that.
Remember, we’re simply borrowing Google’s customers, and they want to satisfy each search query the best they can.
They know that when people start to have buying intent, individual websites are not the best answer.
In fact, 61% of B2B buyers look to third-party sources for reviews.
Almost all people are used to looking at reviews when they’re looking for household items in Amazon or checking out Yelp for the best breakfast burritos in town.
They are especially going to look at reviews for large purchasing decisions and we need to make sure we’ll be discovered. Here’s how to do it.
How to Become Discoverable Through Share of SERP
Step 1: Analyze SERP
Is your site the best answer for this query or do you need to think outside the box?
Step 2: Analyze Competitive Landscape
Would your target customer shop/look at review sites you’re listed in?
Step 3: Launch & Test
Are paid lists outperforming paid search or organic?
Step 4: Measure ROI
When looking at your cost per sales qualified opportunity, does it make sense to re-allocate budget?
8 Tactics to Improve Your Discoverability
1. Analyze Competitive Landscape
Say you had your website listed on some paid business listing sites. How do you know if your target customer shops there?
It’s important to build custom landing pages and split test everything. You need to control your landing pages so you won’t lose out on performance opportunities.
Every one of these campaigns should have a custom landing page that you’re split testing.
2. Frictionless Call to Action (CTA)
On your custom landing pages, make sure that your CTAs are as frictionless and seamless as possible.
In the software niche, the most common calls to action are “Schedule a Demo” and “Request a Demo.” But the truth is, nobody really likes demos.
Instead of these CTAs, have your best account executive or a video agency build a demo video that you can use on your gated landing pages.
Garrett and his team have seen a conversion rate increase by up to 300% with this tactic.
You need to lower psychological friction within your landing pages and main website. Provide value early on as it will help push prospects down the funnel.
3. Test Ditching Your Brand Name
Your “brand” is already in your URL so why not ditch your brand name in title tags and meta descriptions?
Title tags and meta descriptions should not be primarily focused on your brand.
If you can allude to the value in your content, users will get on the page and you’ll increase CTR.
4. Decrease Click-Through-Rates
This tip might seem counterintuitive. One of the biggest mistakes we make in advertising is thinking that our solution is for everyone. You’ll want to decrease cost and increase your opportunities.
When creating product copy, branded product names mean nothing to new users. Focus on the value and the clarity of the offer as it almost always wins when testing copy.
5. Double Down on Top Performing Lists
Once you know a directory is working launch ads on those terms.
Using SEMrush, you can analyze keywords and choose which ones to build Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs) around.
Bonus: Segment Your Product
If you serve small business and enterprise, segment your product and take more market share.
6. Targeted Placements via GDN
Build custom display ads for targeted placements on sites ranking in the top 5.
Find all sites with GDN in the top 5. You may want to build GIF ads and place them as banner ads and sidebar ads for pages that rank for keywords you are targeting.
7. Experiment with Ad Networks That Rank
There are many ad networks where your target term may be ranking. For instance, Quora can be a good one – if you know how to make it work.
Try answering questions on Quora in a really strategic way and put your brand as part of the ongoing conversation that’s happening.
Simply add Quora.com to SEMrush or and then simply filter any keywords that are relevant with your search term report.
Anytime Quora ranks in the top 5 for any keyword that’s relevant to our buying journey, we can put an ad on that topic or we can answer the questions people have.
Only answer questions that you know our actively getting views and will drive results for your business.
8. Use the Wildcard to Expand
Already ranking well? Then you should start creating more content.
Search your primary keywords and ads, paste them into Answer the Public, and export it into CSV.
Re-upload the CSV to Moz Keyword Explorer and then prioritize your content calendar for your topical content based on volume difficulty and brand fit.
This way, you’re strategically riding the right concept based on data, not just guessing.
Prioritization in marketing is one of the most important things. It’s not just about doing things – it’s doing the right things at the right time and the most impactful things first, before anything else.
[Video Recap] Paying for SEO: A Method for Increasing Lead Volume by 300%
Watch the video recap of the webinar presentation and Q&A session below.
Or check out the SlideShare below.