Practical Ecommerce

Blended Search: Four Ways to Optimize Content for Better Search Rankings

Gone are the days when a search is performed and only a list of pertinent websites appears in the search engine results page. Instead, what can be found now is a blend of websites, videos, images, social media profiles, blogs, news stories, press releases, podcasts and maps. With blended search, all findings— official company websites and YouTube videos alike— are joined together on the search engine results page. By integrating this blend of media into your company’s site and marketing plan you can obtain search success and improve customer satisfaction, ultimately boosting your company’s overall sales. Below are four ways that your company can get started to ensure successful search marketing results.

  1. Create a Company Blog. If your company doesn’t already have a blog, now is the time to create one. Even if your company has one, keep reading. It’s vital that this blog is updated on a regular basis with relevant information pertaining to your industry. Encourage employees to write posts about the company, industry, products, services or events that affect your business. Blogs bring business to a more personal level and provide a forum for valuable consumer feedback. Ultimately, your blog will gain tags and links from other relevant blogs and websites as it gains recognition, providing indexable content that can improve search results for your company.
  2. Incorporate Video and Images. While uploading company videos to sharing sites like YouTube is a great way to gain exposure, it’s also valuable to incorporate video and images into your site. Be sure that these videos and images are relevant to your business. For example, if you own a car detailing business, include videos of customer testimonials on your site or before and after images of the cars you’ve worked on. In order to maximize indexable content, be sure to fully describe and tag your videos and images. Incorporating this rich media into your company’s website can improve its search rankings and enhance the customer experience.
  3. Utilize Press Release and News Sites. News sites are increasingly popular and are impacting blended search results. Many news sites have become more social and are encouraging users to post what they deem to be “newsworthy” content. Additionally, widespread distribution of press releases that incorporate rich media has become popular. If your company has recently received an award or taken part in a significant event, let it be known. Submit your story to a news site and take advantage of distribution outlets. Companies that seize the opportunity to optimize and market press releases containing rich media on a regular basis can dominate higher search positions. Occupying these higher positions will ultimately lead more traffic to your site, further increasing your probability of driving sales.
  4. Start Podcasting. Podcasting has experienced exceptional growth in the last few years. Podcasts can be optimized (similar to blogs, images and videos) and tagged and linked to your company website. Visitors who download your podcast can also tag, evaluate and share your podcast, leading to more traffic to your company website. Record podcasts on a regular basis that include newsworthy or interesting information from your company newsletter, blog or elsewhere to drive traffic and rankings.

Embrace Blended Search

Overall, the sites with the most successful search positions are integrating and optimizing all of their content—including blogs, video, images and press releases. In order to keep up with your competitors, it’s vital for your company to embrace blended search and begin implementing various forms of content into its site. These enhancements can lead to a better user experience, higher search rankings and increased sales.

Lisa Wehr

Lisa Wehr

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  1. Jan Riley May 19, 2009 Reply

    I agree that search is no longer about optimizing web pages – it is about optimizing your web presence.

    Dress for success
    Instead of just choosing to matching a shirt with a pair of pants, you now can choose to coordinate an entire outfit, hat, shoes, bracelets, rings, necklace, watch, tie, jacket and more, A website is a starting point, a base to grow from but can be much enhanced with the right accesories.

    Another advantage of using articles, images, videos, podcasts, Press releases and blogs are that this reaches all different types of people in whatever way they prefer to hear from you. This is almost as important as the message itself.

    Great job with this article


  2. Just Another Geek May 21, 2009 Reply

    You are correct, the secret to separating yourself from the horde is by creating good quality content using all available mediums (assigning appropriate tags required), and letting others know about it.