Even Major Sites are Not Yet Benefiting From the Full Power of Search

@glenngabe‘s post on  FaceYahoogle – The Impact of Facebook, Yahoo, and Google on Website Traffic inspired me to also look at the search terms driving traffic.  Most sites, even major ones have their own brand terms driving traffic. This is OK, but it is taking significantly less advantage of the full power of search.A more ideal scenario for sites is that they have a large number of non-brand terms driving traffic — i.e. the keywords they want to be known for are driving traffic to them.  The premise is that if the user already knew the brand or brand name, it would be redundant for the advertiser to spend awareness ad dollars on them. The advertiser wants to get users to their site who do not already know their brand name.  This is especially true for pharma drug websites, as you will see in the following examples.

GENERAL SITES

These sites have such a diverse set of products, services, or topics, we don’t expect the top search terms driving traffic to be anything other than their brand terms.  But they should have a long tail of thousands of keywords driving traffic (and they are, in the following examples).

NYTimes.com

nytimes

LinkedIn.com

linkedin

Weather.com

weather

CATEGORY SPECIFIC SITES

These sites focus on specific product categories, so one would expect that they should have keywords around their product category driving traffic — e.g. clothing, chocolate, wine, etc.  But as you can see, most don’t and the total number of keywords driving traffic could be larger than it is now (implying more long tail keywords).

JCrew.com – clothing

jcrew

Apple.com – computers, consumer electronics, iPod, music

apple

Godiva.com – chocolate

godiva

AnnTaylor.com – clothing, women’s

anntaylor

SINGLE NICHE SITES

Such sites should be all over search terms that surround the topic areas that they want to be known for. But as you see from the analytics, most don’t. Instead, the top terms driving traffic are their own brand name. Again, if the user already knew the brand, additional advertising would be wasted on them. The sites need to make efforts to “own” additional keywords (or at least “show up at the party”) so people who don’t know the brand name might still have a chance finding them when they type in other keywords surrounding the specific niche.

Sutent (Pfizer) – cancer drug

sutent

Nucynta (J0hnson & Johnson) – pain drug

nucynta

Spiriva (Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer) – COPD drug

NOTE: This is the best of the bunch of drug sites.  COPD, the disease area they want to be known for, does actually show up in the first 5 search terms driving traffic, along with emphysema and their product name handihaler. Also, notice they have nearly 10 times the number of keywords driving traffic compared to the other 2 drugs cited (65 vs 7 or 8 )

spiriva

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By: Dr. Augustine Fou Sunday, December 6th, 2009 digital

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Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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