Saturday I asked my friends in my private group dedicated to Pinterest to name 3 search engines. Sunday I followed up and asked how they work/what they do.
Everyone seems to recognize Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. as search engines. These are websites within an internet browser that conduct searches for users based on a query.
Although it’s easy to think of Google as a browser, since Google owns so many internet things, it in fact is not. Chrome is the browser owned by the company Google.
Google.com is the search engine itself. Just a website
Only one person answered that Pinterest was a search engine… and they were right!
Pinterest is a website, that conducts searches for a user based on a query.
As opposed to Facebook or Instagram, which focus on the sharing of information by it’s users, Pinterest’s focus for it’s users is the FINDING of information.
Sharing focused = a social media site
Finding focused = a search engine
It’s true that in order for users to find what they are looking for, some other entity must then be sharing that information. But that doesn’t mean a search engine is sharing focused. That means that businesses and people who have things they want seen, use the behaviors of users who are searching for specific content and the nature of search engines being “finding focused” to catalog (share) their own stuff so their businesses/content will get found in queries.
The goal of Pinterest then is to get found. NOT to share your content directly to followers. To get it FOUND.
We’ve been using SEO forever. Even before the internet was a thing.
Back in the days of phone books, how would you find a phone number?
Say you needed someone to come fix an electrical issue in your home… You might have looked under “electrician” or “handyman”
If you needed to see a doctor, you might have looked under “physicians” or perhaps the specific type of doctor you needed such as “neurologist” or “pediatrician”.
You were using SEO!
SEO seems so scary or confusing sometimes when we are trying to get our own stuff found, yet we use it every single day as consumers.
I bet you use a search engine at least once a day to find something for yourself…. A recipe, a phone number, an address, a bit of trivia or other knowledge. How do you find that which you seek? SEO!
You put in a search term and results that match that term appear within your chosen search engine in order of relevancy, recency, popularity, and/or sponsorship (paid ads). The algorithms which determine the order in the focus here so let’s skip discussing that variable….
My point is, searching for content using SEO and using SEO to get our own stuff found isn’t really that different, yet we mentally freeze when it comes to the latter.
Granted, some of us may not be the best at searching….still asking whole questions for instance, rather than keyword phrases.
What’s a keyword phrase? Let me show you, because this is super important to grasp in order to start using SEO more effectively.
Here’s an example. Let’s take this sentence and convert it to a keyword phrase…
“How do you make flowers with fondant?”
Keyword Phrase: Fondant Flower Tutorials
To do this, first find the “what”. The what here is flowers, we want to make flowers.
Then, expand on it. Are we looking for a specific type of “what”? We’re looking for adjectives here. In this sentence “fondant” describes what kind of flowers we want to make.
Finally, find the question and turn it into a noun. In this sentence “how” can be turned into “tutorials”. Alternatively, we could use “Tips” “How To’s” or “Instructions” or anything else that would be the thing that provides the answer to “how”.
So when you’re thinking about SEO, think about what you’d naturally search for. Or think about what question you are answering and then convert that to a keyword phrase.
Let’s give it a try!
Convert these sentence/phrase queries to keyword phrases:
“What are the most popular places to go on a honeymoon?”
“What are some smoothies I can make with apples?”
“How do you make bath bombs?”
“How to keep kids busy during a road trip?”
Bonus, tricky one!
This one takes a little more understanding of what the person is looking for and how to convey that in 4 words or less!
“Which essential oils should I avoid when pregnant?”
Post your answers below if you dare!