How to Use Data Driven Marketing with Customer Data and Search Engines - dummies

How to Use Data Driven Marketing with Customer Data and Search Engines

By David Semmelroth

When it comes to using data driven marketing analytics to serve up web content, search engine sites are at the top of the heap. This is their bread and butter. Many of the browsing sessions initiated on your website come from a search engine page.

This means it’s extremely important for you to make sure that your website gets displayed prominently when potential customers are searching for information related to something you sell. Search engine optimization, or SEO, as this process is called, is a subject unto itself. Most medium to large companies have a team dedicated to doing nothing else. But your customer database plays a role.

In its simplest form, SEO involves identifying keywords you think are relevant to your product offerings. If you own a resort hotel, for example, you would want your website to appear in searches that include words and phrases like vacation and spring break in addition to searches of your company name.

In the good old days, search results were primarily based on search history. The search engine looked at where users went after doing a similar search and served up the websites in order of popularity. Search engines now take into account the customer profiles of their users. Search results are informed by an individual’s previous searches as well as other past web browsing behavior.

More and more of the screen space on the results pages of many search engines reflects sponsored search results. There is an ongoing bidding war for sponsored search engine placement. And by ongoing, this mean continuous. Your website can appear at the top of the list for a given search one day and disappear from the first page of results the next.

Search engines do a great deal of customer profiling based on search behavior. When your search optimization team is bidding for prime real estate on a results page, they have the opportunity to bid on particular customer segments as defined by the search engine profile.

Here’s where you come in. You too have a great deal of customer profile information and profiling customers and creating customer segments. The customer segments you create from your data can be mapped to search engine profiles. This allows your optimization team to focus their bidding efforts on the right customers.