Marthe types the word “Melkeallergi” into Google.no, searching for information about a health condition she’s worried about.
In her discussion group for Norwegian school moms, one parent suffered from stomach cramps just like she did, and mentioned the diagnosis of “milk allergy“.
“Could this be what I have, too?” Marthe wondered, and decided to find out. So she ran a search on Google.
But like hundreds of potential customers of TINE, a Norway-based company that sells milk, Marthe was influencing the outcome by choosing a specific keyword. The search results point at websites that explain milk allergy, listing the symptoms and treatment options – among them, becoming 100% milk-free.
Where’s the problem? TINE is adversely affected by this search because there is a related condition called “lactose intolerance“, and many people like Marthe don’t know that there is a difference. But there is – and it’s very big.
If she had searched using the term “Laktoseintoleranse”, Marthe would have found different information – and avoided an incorrect diagnosis.
Hundreds of mothers throng Google because they want the best for their children. What they find in search listings, on forums and blogs, and on other online sources, will impact the way they think, share and act.
The information they find, even if wrong or misleading, gets shared in dinner-table conversation, or in casual chit-chat with friends. Myths spread like ripples in a pond, and affect behavior. Stopping myths, and factual untruths that adversely impact sales, is an important strategic move for any business – and SEO plays a vital role in it.
How Keywords, Content & SEO Can Shape Societal Shifts
How can a company selling milk prevent buyers from deciding to stop buying milk, recommending that others stop drinking milk, and spreading wrong information about milk on the Internet where Google will find it, index it and present it to others seeking this information? The answer is SEO.
Companies must fight myths with the correct information. Starting with keyword analysis to uncover the most frequently used search terms, a company like TINE might spotlight the 2 related keywords – “Melkeallergi” and “Laktoseintoleranse” – and design optimized landing pages to present the right facts.
When these landing pages rank in the top 3 results on Google, where +35% of all clicks go, this straightforward information backed by research and proof can nip in the bud any confusion and misunderstanding about milk allergy.
In one swoop, this strategy would prevent the loss of prospective customers who might otherwise have given up drinking milk completely, believing in a wrong diagnosis and cure.
In a competitive environment where milk consumption overall is going down, and milk companies are struggling with newcomers who are offering substitutes for milk and milk products, like yoghurt and cheese, plugging these “sales leaks” can make the difference between a thriving business and one that struggles for survival.
Just like any other business in any industry, a company like TINE faces the irksome problem of unique myths spreading in the community such as these:
- Milk rots inside the body
- Milk interferes with a child’s concentration at school
- Milk is for cows, not humans
Against this must be set the undoubted benefits of drinking milk, such as the high protein content that helps build muscle, and the rich source of calcium that strengthens bones. These advantages can be showcased and promoted to a large audience through intelligent and strategic SEO.
How Keyword Selection Impacts The Content & SEO Strategy
Keyword analysis with the Google Keyword Tool can uncover the words most often employed by search engine users. By optimizing their site to rank well for these terms, a company could dominate the front page of search results, pulling people to their landing pages where the information is presented correctly and convincingly.
A content development strategy rooted in keyword research will help the company achieve business goals, both in the short and long term.
Even if the absolute numbers of search volumes are small (for example, “laktoseintoleranse” only gets 1,600 searches per month, and “melkeallergi” barely half as many), these keywords are not “long tail” but are critically important search terms for a business like TINE.
This strategy must also be viewed from a broader and creative perspective. While information about milk allergy and lactose intolerance may not immediately influence more people to buy more milk right away, it might influence how mothers write in forums, or how journalists spin a well-researched article, or how a teacher or opinion leader thinks, writes or talks about these conditions.
It will have a far-reaching impact while stopping the spread of harmful lies. That’s why the next time Marthe fires up Google to look for information, she must find TINE’s fact-laden informative website at the top!
To do this, the site presenting the facts should rank high. They must own the top spots in search engine results for specific search phrases.
In this way, SEO can help with reputation management and brand protection, and become a defense strategy, an attack plan and a business development tool, all rolled into one.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.