Diving into Search

Hello all.

If there is one thing I’ve learned from 2011, it’s that life can lead you down some interesting paths if you let it. Luckily, I’ve been fortunate enough to have met a lot of great people and had an awesome experience along the way.

A lot has changed for me this past year. Friends have come and gone, I landed two nice jobs in under four months time and one ended up becoming my main place of work for the time being. But through it all, I’ve been your typical Web traveller using search to guide my next step online.

Search as a tool for the Web

Before 2011, to search online has always been to come to an answer or quickly find information – be it a video or a song or whatever – for entertainment, to buy something or to find an answer to a question I was curious about.

But after taking a full time job as an in-house SEO this past year, I’ve become the person who sets up a Web site for the purpose of being found by the person seeking an answer to a question, etc.

Search as a pathway to success

Odds are, if you are a company trying to sell a product and you take the Web seriously (either by choice or by force from a large part of your customer base being online), you probably have some knowledge about the impact search has had on consumer products over the past few years.

Got a hot new product? It’s important to understand that after properly marketing whatever you are selling, the next step to achieve great online sales is to make sure it is easy to find what you are selling by using the most popular channels on the Web.

Enter Search Engine Marketing and Optimization. Regardless of what you are trying to sell, the Web has grown to a point now where there pretty much is a market for anything these days.

And thanks to search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo!, it’s now just a matter of you following simple guidelines when building your Web site to help facilitate the means for your customer to easily find you.

Search as a way to being found

Over this past year, I’ve slowly shed my skin as a Web Developer obsessed with Front End Design – focused on the user experience as a form of guiding the customer along the point of sale.

Instead, as the more and more I’ve learned about the method of how a First Click search turns into a Second or Third long tail keyword chase for information, I’ve found myself fascinated with what I now realize to have been my original intention all along as a person who makes Web sites for others to use.

Guide to a successful Web site:

First, make it functional, so that they stay on your Web site when they find it in search.

Second, make it personal, so that they return again for more.

And last, make it pleasurable, so they share it with others and help convert them into customers for free.

There is a careful method to the madness that is the search for something important or of nothing at all.

A lot of the time we start out searching for something, because we don’t know enough about our query. But along the way, we can quickly become well informed on a topic that only moments earlier we hardly knew enough to find the right Web site to answer our question.

Then the query stops and we usually move on to whatever kept our attention before.

But once in a while, we do something amazing. We dig deeper and learn more. A search for shoes quickly becomes a quest for a particular kind of shoes we’re interested in. After a few more searches, we end up with an exact color and size, etc.

Until finally the search stops again – only to be picked up at a later date with an even longer search query than before (usually including a store name or a specific location). And from there, either a sale was made online or the right information was found to help facilitate a sale in person.

Needless to say, this stuff fascinates me – to know that there is a science to how we buy online, and more importantly that there is a trackable metric to measure the value of attribution levels and what best  leads to a point of sale.

And the search goes on…

Over time, I’ll be updating you along my journey into search as a learned SEO and tinkering Web Developer turned marketer. Along the way, hopefully I can share a thing or two about the world of search that you didn’t know before, or maybe I can help answer a question you were looking for and you found me with a simple search.

No matter the case, thanks for reading.

All the best,

Eli Heiss