Star Wars: The Force Awakens is set to pump new life into the most popular movie franchise of all time! With Disney taking it over we can expect over the top special effects and star wars to be on just about every product under the sun.
Whether it’s toys, food, clothes, diapers, toilets, video games or tooth brushes were going to see Star Wars everywhere we look for a very long time.
This is great for star wars fans as it gives us an opportunity to celebrate our favorite franchise in everything we do. This may also make navigating Google Search similar to when Han Solo flew the Millennium Falcon through an asteroid field to escape the empire.
In other words, it can be difficult to find exactly what you’re looking for and somethings may simply pop up due to chance encounters. We can learn a lot about SEO and how search engines work by using one of the worlds most beloved movie franchises as an example. Lets breakdown how search results come about and how this can help you understand as a business owner why it’s so important to understand.
When searching for movie times people can Google in an infinite number of ways. The language used differs from person to person and because of this so can the results. Google has become excellent at understanding what you’re search intention is and creates the most relevant list of results. If you type in “star wars the force awakens” something like this may pop up.
This is what you see when using the search term “star wars the force awakens” in Google. How this is laid out is important to understanding search and SEO in general. If you’re a beginner in the SEO world the holy grail of digital marketing is getting to the top of this page. Google search is all about showing you the most relevant result. When most people are searching “star wars the force awakens” they are most likely searching for movie times and where its showing near them. This is the most prominent result and almost at the very top. Because Google puts such an emphasis on location it’s going to show you times for movie theaters in your area. While it would be cool to go see Star Wars in Moscow, Russia most people wouldn’t waste the time, money and energy to plan a trip there just to see it in a foreign country.
On the right of the search result you’ll also see a description of what Star Wars: The Force Awakens is as well as an option to watch the trailer on YouTube. YouTube is owned by Google and is the second biggest search engine in the world. This should give a business owner and an SEO expert a clue as to where your efforts should lie to both drive traffic and also build an online presence for a business. Ranking is a by product of focusing in on Google and YouTube first and foremost. It’s much easier to rank on Bing then on Google so you don’t necessarily need to focus on Bing separately because if you just try and rank on Google you’ll rank on Bing as well.
At the very top below the search bar and suggested search terms you’ll see the very first result. It is marked clearly as an advertisement by the yellow symbol that says “ad.” Believe it or not while this is clearly marked as an advertisement 30% of the population can’t differentiate and advertisement with an organic search result. This is valuable information to know. Almost as valuable as if Luke Skywalker would have known he was about to kiss his sister. In other words, it’s information that you could have used yesterday because it can effect your search marketing strategy positively and negatively. In Luke Skywalkers case it was slightly embarrassing to have kissed his sister but like an SEO company or business you can still move on from it and become a Jedi Master/SEO master. For example, Luke uses the force to increase conversions when he has conversations with people and wants to get his way. An SEO company can plan to rank both organically and through paid advertisements to maximize their conversions! You could call it an SEO Jedi Mind Trick!
Taking a closer look at this ad shows that www.Fandango.com is paying to have their result at the very top above all other results. For a keyword that involves “Star Wars” it is most likely expensive and highly competitive to rank for. Fandango.com most likely paid an amount of money that rivals the construction of 2 death stars.
As a business owner who would like to understand how SEO works it’s important to understand the difference between paid results and organic results. Most business owners looking to hire an SEO company have difficulty grasping that how much you pay effects one more than the other. You can outrank any company in your area and get to the number one spot with a PPC campaign but ranking organically for the same set of keywords can take months and in some cases years!
So why would a company waste their time ranking organically when they could just pay to be on top?
Going back to that 30% number that still leaves 70% who know the difference between the two results. Not everyone likes clicking on ads. It can be a turnoff. This comes from getting bombarded by years of in your face advertising similar to having to deal with Jar Jar Binks in between your favorite Saturday Morning cartoons. It’s annoying and gets old really fast but you had to kind of just deal with it at the time. Now we have a choice just like some of us prefer the Anakin Skywalker path while others the Obi Wan Kenobi path.
We had no choice but to deal with this way of marketing growing up but now the world prefers a subtle, informational way that drives their buying behavior. Below is where the majority of the population looks at upon typing in a search term.
This is where prominence rules in Google Search. Googles algorithm puts a lot of weight into something called E-A-T. This stands for Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness. The first article is from RollingStone.com, which is one of the most well respected media outlets in the world. They have some of the best writers and also withstood the test of time outlasting thousands of other magazines and publications along the way that have gone out of business for failure to embrace the internet. Below that we have Forbes.com, which is also a well known and respected magazine and online publication that focuses on the economical impact that franchises such as star wars has on our lives
These are the most relevant and informational articles for these specific search results. Keep in mind when searching that your local results may vary. While a website such as RollingStone.com may show up in just about any place in the world, a local article may show up and even outrank RollingStone.com in certain instances. It’s whatever Google deems the most relevant for the area that you’re in. Putting an emphasis on local variables in search levels the playing field quite a bit. It gives your company the opportunity to rank highly in your own back yard
Which articles rank and why is a whole other subject in itself which will be covered in future articles.
These are the organic results most people often scan to look for what they were originally searching for. If you’ll notice there is also a YouTube video that pops up. This will most likely happen more often as Google is making it a larger piece of their search algorithm pie. They have also launched YouTube Red, which you can pay $10 a month for and may eventually rival streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Spotify and Pandora.
This is valuable information for a business owner and SEO professional to understand and implement. Above that YouTube video are a couple other results. Using the search term “Star Wars The Force Awakens” is broad and Googles best guess is that you’re looking for movie times and a theater to go watch it at. You could also be looking for a trailer, cast or description which is all reflected in the results. You’ll see www.imbd.com in the results which is a well respected and informative website that can let you know who the actors are in the new star wars and which character they play. It also gives a description, pictures, another trailer, who it’s directed by, who it’s written by and the movie poster among other very informative pieces of information you can use and share with your friends. There is even a place where you can purchase movie tickets. This is all very useful situation as someone clicking thru to this page may be planning to go see the movie at some point. It’s convenient as well but never in your face. The page is organized in a manner where it’s easy on the eyes and also easy to navigate and click what you want.
It’s all about providing a solution or creating a bridge to a solution in search. This result could be everything you’re looking for or it could put you onto the right path to what exactly it is you’re looking for. Both can be solutions to a problem or they can ignite more interest driving you to either share this piece of content or click thru to other areas on the page.
If you click thru enough you may find what you’re looking for or, if you’re lucky, end up in a galaxy far far away! The results that we just went through could all be relevant and useful for anyone looking for Star Wars: The Force Awakens information at that point in time. What they may be looking for could change which will reflect on how they search the next time.
If you’re looking “Star Wars The Force Awakens Toys” then it will bring about a completely different result. “Toys” changes everything while also bringing up the results in almost the same format as if you just searched “Star Wars The Force Awakes.”
There are still advertisements from big companies such as Amazon and Kohl’s who have paid a kings ransom to outrank everyone else. Because it’s the holiday season Amazon most likely paid more as their are several other big name companies who would like to be featured in the same spot as they are currently. Below that you’ll see the first organic result which is toysrus.com. Toys “R” Us, like Rolling Stone Magazine, are considered experts in their industry. They have been around for a while, are prominently featured on TV commercials and often times have the most relevant toys that kids want at this point and time. They also have the most variety, have the keyword “Toys” featured in their URL and company name and have thousands of toys that kids may be interested at this time.
In this case when someone searches “Star Wars The Force Awakens Toys” they are most likely at some point in the buying cycle. They could either be researching different toys and prices, planning to buy a toy for Christmas or a birthday, or maybe they just recently bought a star wars toy and would like to buy more. They could be looking for a place to go buy them locally. In that case if you’re near a Toys “R” Us that location and phone number could pop up for you.
If you’re a business owner looking for an SEO company this is a good introduction of how your screen populates with results. This also gives you an idea of what an SEO company has to deal with. Keep in mind that even when you pay an SEO company to get to the top their are thousands of other companies also trying to get to that top spot. It takes careful planning and targeting to get a business to the top of search rankings. First you have to figure out who your targeting and in what phase they’re in. Are they just researching Star Wars or are they looking to purchase a gift? There are even more different reasons people search star wars in between the two I just listed.
Targeting different phases in the buying process can result in different results and rankings at the top of search engines. It can also result in different types of leads and conversions for your business. You’d ideally want to provide your customers or clients enough information to make an informed decision on their own. You provide the info and make it easy for them to make a buying decision on your website. Everything should be available for them on the page they land on to make an informed buying decision.
SEO is a none stop game of targeting, adjusting and re-adjusting. Hiring the right SEO company can make this seamless and allow your company to not only anticipate the none stop changes but also thrive when Google releases new updates along the way.