Resources & Blog


#34 With Jen Penaluna

Resources & Blog

#34 With Jen Penaluna

Using razors to understand search intent.

This might be the most valuable podcast episode that we've ever recorded. Whether you're a business owner, a marketing generalist, or an SEO manager, there is a lot of value to be learned. We spoke with Jen Penaluna from Bigfoot Digital, which is a specialist SEO agency based in Barnsley.

Jen uses the episodes to talk about search intent. This is a hugely important topic because a lot of people automatically assume that you should aim to rank website pages based on searches with the highest volume. However, this is not always the way to go. Jen uses a great example throughout the episode by talking about the word razor. She shares some surprising results about the results that Google shows.

We also cover other things such as keyword research, duplicate content, free tools, and more. If you aren't too familiar with those things, then don't be put off. Jen breaks them down into simplistic terms to ensure that anyone can understand the topic.

You can listen to the full episode by searching for 20 Minute Marketing on your favourite streaming service. Additionally, you can check out the episode on our website. Just head to our page, The Reach Podcast, to listen in full.

Liam

On a basic level, what is search intent? And, why is it so important?

Jen

The way that I would explain search intent is literally the intent of the search. So, when somebody is sat at their phone or their laptop, and they're searching for something, what do they mean when they search? Are they looking for a piece of information quickly? Are they looking to buy something? There are so many different reasons why people search, I think it's important to understand what the majority of people doing that particular search mean.

Liam

Let's talk about razors then. I assume there are lots of monthly searches using the word razor.

Jen

If we plug this into Ahrefs, it shows that razor is searched for 27,000 times per month. For a headline, that's pretty big. If you're an e-commerce site that sells razors, you might assume that it's the golden ticket. Getting all of those visitors to your site would be a big win. However, you need to look at the actual search results. What do you think would be the top results when you search razor?

Liam

My guess would be Gillette. They're probably the first brand that comes to me first when I think of razors.

Jen

I think that's a fair assumption. But if we do a manual search, and we just plug in the word razor to Google, we get a site called razor.com. It's an exact match domain, which does make sense. However, it's an electric scooter company for children. Not quite what we had in mind, being an e-commerce razor company. It's got a lot of backlinks as well. Google will consider it a popular brand because there are so many people linking. So, I think from Google's point of view, it's quite a fair assumption to think people searching for the word razor are searching for the brand Razor, not just razors to buy.

Liam

I'm intrigued now. What else shows up on the results page?

Jen

You get another couple of results that aren't quite right. Google isn't quite sure what kind of results to return. There's a knowledge panel on the right that breaks down into some different categories. It explains what a razor is. You also get Razor USA, which is the scooter company. You also get Razer Incorporated, which is a hardware company. Out of those 27,000 people that are searching, some are looking for a shaving razor, some are looking for a scooter, and others are looking for hardware.

Liam

Interesting. You've given us a list there which contains zero companies that sell razors. What's going on further down the page?

Jen

We get a Wikipedia article on razors. Most people, I hope, will know what a razor is. Then we have Boots, Gillette, and Amazon. The big players within the industry. Anyone below that will have pretty low click-through rates. So, we might need to start looking at other keyword ideas that we can use.

Liam

There are some big companies there. When you throw paid ads into the equation then you're in a real battle to be seen. That's going to take a lot of serious time and investment.

Jen

Absolutely. I think it's almost not worth competing unless you've got an exceptionally high budget and a talented SEO team. The return that you're going to get on that is going to be quite low. I think you're better off trying to focus on something a little bit more refined, where people know a little bit more about what it is that they're searching for.

Liam

Companies like Gillette and Boots will have exceptionally large marketing and web teams too. They'll be continuously working around the clock. So, as you're working hard to try and overtake them, they're also working hard to try and outrank each other and overtake the scooter and the hardware company.

Jen

I agree. They've also got the power of the known brand behind them. You see them on TV, radio, and on social. They are completely cross-channel. Whereas an e-commerce brand might solely invest in SEO and a bit of paid ads. So, a lot of people will be pulled into the familiarity of those household brands.

Find out more

The second half of our discussion focused on how you can find refined keywords that you'll have a realistic chance at ranking for. Jen shared several great examples that can be implemented right away.

Cutomer Account manager
by Liam Quinn | Marketing Executive

Hi, I'm Liam, Marketing Executive at Reach Interactive. I have a background in international marketing and love branding, social media and seeing how companies communicate with their customers.

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