What to do when there are no more searches?

Have you ever thought of what you would do if your site was well positioned for all of your main keywords? Say you are DeWALT. What happens when you rank well for drills, miter saws, electric drills, cordless drills, power tools, reciprocating saw, etc, etc?

Do you stop SEO altogether?

Maybe you do. But what about the mindset of someone who uses these tools?

Why are they seeking out drills and saws?
Could they be repairing their homes?
Is there something DeWALT could offer to add value?

Recently I had the privilege of doing some research around a few kids games online. It became immediately noticeable that many big companies who could easily leverage the strength of their massive domains aren’t thinking of the “application” keywords. Application keywords often focus on how people USE the things you offer on your site.

After reading a case study many months ago on’s expansion to keywords like “Outdoor Weddings” it has had me thinking for some time.

Since SEO is still so new to so many companies, many are still targeting their primary keywords only and that is a great start! Heck, most companies are totally screwing up opportunities to rank well for primary terms. What do you do when you had a great ROI, exhausted top rankings, and maximized traffic for those primary keywords?

The answer.

You start seeking out secondary and tertiary opportunities that make sense. So for a few industries I found some opportunities and thought I’d post them. I hope this gets your juices flowing a bit:

Opportunity #1 – Follow the KIDS!!!

Companies that are licensed to sell SpongeBob merchandise are sitting on great secondary keywords if they were willing to expand their horizons a bit. By providing coloring pages, games, wallpapers, screensavers, ring tones and the like, big companies like Wal-Mart, Target, Toys “R” Us, and many more could develop content sections around these areas and provide new content or web sites to address this need and easily gain a foothold in the top 10. Don’t believe me? Use SEOBOOK’s tool to see the volume of monthly searches around all types of products relating to SpongeBob.

Wal-Mart is a trusted name. If they optimized their site for kids videos or kids games for many of the products they have licenses for, they could use online games (free) to bring traffic to their sites where maybe kids could create wishlists or they could show available products of the same characters in the space around the game. A screensaver could be a reminder to kids at every boot up of the computer that Wal-Mart is a destination for them to have fun.

Opportunity #2 – Optimize for brands you sell

Hardware companies are easy to pick on here, so I will. I took a look at the term “Kohler Toilets” which was searched pretty significantly last month according to one tool I use. What amazes me is that Lowe’s and Home Depot both list many models of Kohler Toilets on their web sites but don’t rank in the top 30 for the term. Yet I do find Kohler (of course), ebay, craigslist, and plumbingsupply (while I commend them for high rankings, does exude confidence? Would you use a credit card here??), Yahoo, Pricegrabber, and Nextag. How about a hardware store?

At SEER, we call this an “architecture play” — where large sites of thousands or tens of thousands of pages may not be able to be actively optimized for each keyword for each brand for each product. A big retailer may select their top brands, prioritize those, and allow the development of a proper architecture to help them rank well for the brands and products they carry. You could have fun with this all day (well, this is fun for me but I’m an SEO nerd). Try “DeWALT drills” or “DeWALT tools” next and see the results. Talk about an opportunity!

Opportunity #3 – DIY Projects, Brands and Solutions

You know where DIY TV shows fall short? Most times when I watch them, they are showing me stuff that I can’t use right away. But when I search for “leaky toilet” or “window replacment,” the DIY networks should really make sure they show up as I NEED their help at that time, but anyway… Think about it. When was the last time you searched on Google and got 0 results for a search? So that begs the question — who is going to step up and SHOW UP? Kohler? Ace Hardware? Lowe’s? Home Depot? DIY Network? NOPE!!!

Let’s just put it this way — in the top 15, the only one that shows up for the word “toilet leak” is HGTV, but the page is pretty whack when it comes to helping me fix my toilet. I’ll cut them all some slack though. There tons and tons of keyword combinations that people may type in when the toilet is leaking. The moral is this — when large brands & retailers do not show up, they miss out on many opportunities to:

  1. Become a brand that people associate with solutions
  2. Introduce products (if you are already fixing a toilet, would you caulk the tub too?)
  3. Offer coupons / incentives to drive sales (either as a retailer or affiliate)
  4. Get users to interact with your brand
  5. Improve your content quality though feedback and ratings
  6. Grow e-newsletter subscribers lists
  7. Sell ads (for publishers)

Last ones – Wedding registries & Fashion – When searching for wedding registries (Um, why would I do that?), I see some companies in paid search like Bed, Bath & Beyond, Williams-Sonoma, Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn and a few others that are paying between $2 – $3 per click. Yet in the natural results, not a one of those guys are in the top 20. Amazing.

On the fashion side, type “Black Dress” in Google (yes, I once typed in the type of dress I wanted to buy someone as a gift, ok, so I know this process). You’ll see Ann Taylor, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Bluefly, Bloomingdale’s, Avenue and many more paying for listings, yet not a one in natural. Someday we’ll learn, right? Someone’s got to take advantage of the opportunity, but who? While these players are asleep at the wheel, companies like Fashmatch show up to provide creative solutions.