Have you ever heard of “exploratory” search queries? If not, you’re really missing the boat when it comes to maximizing your site’s exposure in the search engines. In this quick guide you’ll find out exactly what exploratory search queries are, how to uncover new opportunities that take advantage of them, and what to do with these searchers once they land on your site.
What is an Exploratory Query?
An exploratory query is, simply, one that is formed when a searcher doesn’t really know what they’re looking for. A great example is someone who knows that Carl Sagan hosted and narrated a documentary about the universe, but can’t remember what it was called. Their query might look like this: “Carl Sagan Documentary.”
Once they find what they were looking for (the name of the documentary) they’ll typically go back to the search engine and form a new query based on that information. You will learn how to keep them on your site shortly. For now, you should learn how to find these phrases.
Ask Your Parents, Other Old People, and Keyword Research Tools for Help
You’re probably a very tech savvy person. Otherwise you wouldn’t be here reading this. So it’s going to be very difficult for you to operate in the same frame of mind as these users. They’re typically older people who are inexperienced at finding information on the web.
Instead of trying to come up with them on your own, just ask anyone who is older how they would search for something. Give them an example that is similar to the Carl Sagan query presented above. Something like, “Hey Grampa, say you wanted to use Google to find out the name of a book about losing weight but you don’t really know the name of it. How would you search for it?”
You’re going to have to come up with your own “interview questions,” of course, but you should get the idea. It really is going to open your eyes learning how they search. For maximum effect, put them in front of a computer and see what they come up with.
Keyword Research Tool to the Rescue
Now, take the queries that they used, punch them into the Google Keyword Research Tool (or whichever you prefer) and let it spew out similar queries for your recommendation. What you have just uncovered is a veritable gold mine.
Now, taking these keywords and turning them into profitable content is all that’s left. You already know that your searchers are going to go back to the search engines after they have new information that helps them refine their search. But they won’t need to do that if you format your pages properly.
Make sure that your page has plenty of links to exactly what you know they’re looking for. These links can point to other content on your site, affiliate links (like Amazon.com), or even encourage them to sign up for your mailing list to gain access to what they were looking for.
As long as you know what they were looking for and make it easy for them to access it on your page, you’re job is done and you’re going to get paid.
About the Author: Find Kevin on Google+ to find out more about him.