By Heather Lutze, CSP, Master Trainer, Findability University, CEO, Findability Consulting & Speaking
Shoe phones, cones of silence, British sports cars, and intelligence gathering is not just for James Bond and Mr. Gadget. Let’s put on our trench coats, grab our briefcases and start to SPY. This mission is yours if you choose to accept it.
As speakers, we are pulled in a thousand different directions to market ourselves and build a brand. However, when meeting planners and potential clients search for us, they may not necessarily know us by name. Instead, they seek a desired outcome for their event. With a sea of speakers and so many variables, meeting planners turn to Google for answers. Our greatest marketing challenge is to know intimately what the client needs, what keyword phrases are important to THEM and also how we see ourselves.
What is Findability?
After working with many speakers for years, I can tell you that “speaker” keywords like “keynote speaker”, “business speaker” and other variations are just the tip of iceberg for the clients use for their searches. We often create websites, blogs and social content based on how we see ourselves and not what problem the client needs resolved. They are turning to a robot for solutions. We need to appeal to the robot AND the human to be truly findable. I call this “Findability” or industry experts call it SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
I want to challenge you to think differently. Let us take a proactive approach to marketing and see if we can figure out what is inside the mind of your IDEAL online searcher. We often guess at what might work for online exposure and guessing is expensive! The ONLY way to STOP guessing and to know for sure what your customers are doing is to SPY on them. Don’t worry, all the tools and tricks I will show you are ethical, legal and everyday practice for Internet Marketers. These tools have been my secret Spying Tool Kit to outsmart the competition online and win new business. I am thrilled to share with you the best Findability tools anyone can use…no geek knowledge required.
OK, let’s get to work. Fill out this form below so you can implement the recommendations as you read this article.
SPY ON YOURSELF: GRADING TOOLS
Spy On Your Own Website to Establish a Baseline.
Your Website: ____________________________
MARKETINGGRADER.COM: This tool will give you a WIDE perspective of your current website and a quick assessment of the key attributes search engines expect of an authority web presence. Remember that search engines covet their search results. They only want to put the best of the best under keyword searches based on blogging, social engagement, lead generation and other key factors. NOW RUN YOUR SCORE. Once you write your score down, scroll down the page for detailed recommendations on how to improve your score.
YOUR SCORE: ___________________
WOORANK.COM: This is my biggest secret weapon. This site is a real “nerd” moment as it provides a free 15-page SEO report on all the improvements you can make on your site for better Findability. Run this report, save it as a PDF and give it to the webmaster in your life. Walk through the report and see how much of the “red” you can eliminate from the report. If you manage your site yourself, review the document and make the suggested changes.
YOUR SCORE: ___________________
EXTRA CREDIT: Check out WORDLE.NET OR TAGUL.COM. This word cloud tool is nothing special – there are a million of them online. However, if you use it correctly, you can tell how search engines interpret your site and what keyword phrase is most relevant. Copy and paste ALL your homepage content into wordle.net and run the tool.
The BIGGEST word on the word cloud is the MOST REPEATED keyword on the page. Search engines want to rank the pages that are most relevant by keyword phrase. Circle the biggest keyword on the page, the second biggest and so forth. Now you can see how search engines interpret what your homepage is about. If the biggest word on the page is your name, you may want to consider other phrases (besides your name) for which your homepage should rank. Or you can do this on a competitor’s site too.
SPY ON YOUR COMPETITORS: WHAT ARE THEY UP TO?
COMPETITOR #1: WWW.____________________________.COM
COMPETITOR #2: WWW.____________________________.COM
SEMRush.com: This is a great tool to see exactly what keywords you currently rank under in search engines, as well as your how your competitors rank. Go ahead and run a report for your website. You will get a treasure trove of data on yourself including keyword positions on a search result page, searches per month and any trending for that phrase. Warning: This tool will let you run a single report before asking for your credit card. You can get around this by using different browsers to run more than one report. You are going to love this tool since it offers tons of great insights in a format that’s easy to understand.
ISpionage.com: This tool is free and you can run as many reports as you like. I have used it for years to perform competitive analyses. Type a competitor domain name into the tool to discover what keywords they rank for and exactly what they are doing to achieve this rank. This is like reverse engineering what your competition is doing and you can glean a strategy that is either aligned with them or different. Remember, just because you think they are competitors offline, does not mean they are a competitor online under a particular keyword phrase. We want to become findable to meeting planners that DO NOT know us but should. EXTRA CREDIT: Check out KeywordSpy.com. which is another great intelligence tool.
SPY ON YOUR CUSTOMERS: TAP THE PSYCHE OF THE SEARCHER
ADWORDS KEYWORD PLANNER: Some of you may know this tool if you run a paid search campaign (PPC). If not, this is the best tool by far to get keyword ideas. Visit Adwords.Google.com, setup an account, and use the keyword planner. Even though you have to enter a credit card number, there is no fee for opening the account and you do NOT have to start a campaign. Just use and abuse the keyword planner to discover your ideal keywords.
Remember, you want keyword phrases that are 2 – 3 keywords long such as. “Social Media Expert”, “Business Keynote Speaker” or “Leadership Team Training”, etc. Try to be as specific as possible. Create a list of all the keyword phrases you would like to rank for in search engines. Consider creating content based on these keywords for blogs, social media, or web pages. This tool gives you monthly search volume for each keyword phrase. Pick keywords that have over 250 searches per month to gage if writing content based on the phrase is worth your time.
SPYFU.COM: This is a great intelligence gathering device. They have a number of valuable tools such as the Kombat tool to “fight” with your competitor (your domain verses their domain), and it breaks down the websites piece by piece. They also have a keyword tool called SmartSearch. Here you will get search engine data from Google, Yahoo and Bing search engines. Play around and run some reports to get helpful keyword ideas, as well as understand why that pesky competitor ranks for a particular keyword phrase and you do not. They have so many great offerings, it’s worth setting up a free 30-day trial.
Have fun playing with these tools. Rip this page out and keep it handy for the next time you see a competitor ranking under a sought-after keyword phrase. Use this Spying Tool Kit to dive into what they are doing, discover what keywords they are using and how you can compete with them in search results. This message will self destruct in 10 seconds.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Heather Lutze, CSP is the widely acclaimed speaker, trainer, and consultant who literally wrote the book on search engine marketing. Two books, in fact—The Findability Formula: The Easy, Non-Technical Approach to Search Engine Marketing and the brand new Thumbonomics: The Essential Business Roadmap for Social Media & Mobile Marketing. Her writing and in-demand keynotes and Findability University workshops are delivered with the same witty, “no-geek-speak” style that has managed to demystify internet marketing for countless business owners. Her new book Marketing Espionage: How to Ethically Spy on your Competitors and Customers to Dominate Online is due out Fall of 2014. You can visit heather at findability.com.