Do You Know What Words Your Users are Searching For?

by on November 13, 2012

Whether you’re running a SEO / PPC campaign or trying to increase the conversion rate on your website, understanding the words that people use when thinking about your products and services is critical.

The current elections for the UK police commissioners proves this point.

Unlike the national elections, none of the candidates have been provided with free postage, so the main place for information is the web.

As people are unlikely to know the address of the official website, a search engine is the most likely place to start their journey.

According to Google Trends, the three most popular search terms at the moment are

Google Trends for UK Police Commissioner Elections

  1. police commissioner candidates
  2. police elections
  3. police commissioner elections

Select links 1 and 2 above and you’ll see that the top result isn’t the official site which is

http://www.choosemypcc.org.uk/ 

but an alternative setup by Policy Exchange

www.policeelections.com/

Why Does This Matter?
If both sites contained the same content, then it wouldn’t make a difference.

However, despite the fact that the policelections.com is going to have more visitors coming from the search engines, some of the candidates havn’t uploaded their details to the alternative site

Below is a screenshot showing my choice of candidates and neither the Caroline Jones (Conservative) or Alun Michael (Labour) has uploaded their details two days before the election.

south wales police commissioner candidates

People may therefore make the assumption they have nothing to say and won’t necessarily visit the official website.

What Could The Official Site Could Have Better
There are two things that would have made a difference

1. Use the words people are actually using in their searches

The policelections.com website has used words that people are using in their searches throughout the site and this means they have a far greater chance of being found

2. Done a far better job of optimising the site for search

The following is are the title tags for the candidates from the two sites. These are key as they are used by the search engines when displayed a sites page in their results

PoliceElection.com -
Mike Baker | Independent | South Wales Police – PCC Candidate Profile – PoliceElections.com

Choosemypcc.org.uk/
Choose My PCC | Mike Baker

The policeelection one clearly provides more information for both the search engine robots and the person looking at Google’s search results.

What Could The Candidates Have Done Better
To be fair to the candidates, I wouldn’t have expected them to have a knowledge of how people search on the web.

However, I would have expected digital strategy teams in both the Labour and Conservative parties to have been onto this far sooner.


If you’d like to make sure that you don’t make mistakes highlighted above, please do get in touch


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