Is Your Business Ready for Some Football?

The NFL playoffs are in full swing.

That means that the Super Bowl is only a few weeks away.

Is your business ready?

If your business hasn’t developed a strategy to help it get found when your potential customers use Google or any of the other search engines, then your business might not be as ready as you think.

Sage Advice From a Former Google Employee

Major brands pay millions of dollars to air commercials during the Super Bowl. However, if they forget that those commercials can cause people to search online for additional information about their products, services, brand or even their advertising campaign, then they are missing out on a huge opportunity to extend their message and further engage with their potential customers.

For the past few years, Vanessa Fox, former Google employee and founder of Nine by Blue, has analyzed how well brands integrate their television commercials with organic search (i.e., she takes note of which Super Bowl commercials cause search spikes and then examines what brands show up in the organic search results.)

Last year, brands did very well. In fact, according to a blog post that she wrote in February of 2011, with the exception of movies, 100% of brands had at least some search visibility. Furthermore, when URLs were included in the commercial, they were almost always visible in the search results.

However, this wasn’t always the case in the past.

In fact, in her book, “Marketing in the Age of Google,” (affiliate link) she points out that during the 2009 Super Bowl, Hyundai spent approximately $13.5 million to sponsor the pregame show and run ads throughout the game, only to drop the ball when it came to integrating organic search into their advertising campaign.

For additional information about this topic, you might want to check out a guest blog post that I wrote for the strategyessentials.com blog a few months ago. In it, I summarized that particular section of Fox’s book.

The Super Bowl, SEO and Small Business

It’s true that most local businesses don’t have the marketing budgets to run a commercial during the Super Bowl.

However, that doesn’t mean that they can’t benefit from the search traffic that the Super Bowl generates.

First of all, while your business might not be airing a commercial during the Super Bowl, it might be selling some of the products that are being advertised.

For example, if auto manufacturers run Super Bowl ads, it will be beneficial for local dealerships to be included on the first page of search results.

Likewise, local grocery stores might want to optimize their sites so that they are visible when consumers search for the consumer packaged goods that they see advertised (e.g., Doritos, Budweiser, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Snickers, etc.)

Furthermore, local businesses can benefit from the search traffic on the days leading up to the Super Bowl.

When people search for supplies for a Super Bowl party online, the businesses that appear in the search results will have a better chance of making the sale.

Also, if people are looking for a place to watch the game, there is a chance that they will search the web for ideas. That’s why bars and restaurants that are looking to get people to watch the Super Bowl at their establishments should also optimize their websites.

Note: Keep in mind that optimizing your site for highly competitive keyword phrases might not always be achievable. Therefore, it might be a better idea to optimize your site for less competitive long-tail phrases that are still searched for by your potential customers.

Paid Search Marketing

Also, don’t forget about running a paid search campaign to help get additional clicks.

Paid search campaigns will get you quickly listed on search engine results pages for keyword phrases that you don’t rank for organically. This can potentially be a way to drive more people to your website in the days leading up to the Super Bowl.

It is also noteworthy that according to a Google study, sites that appear in both the organic and paid search results have a higher number of site visitors than they normally would achieve from their organic listings alone.

Final Thoughts

Search engine optimization should be a part of your marketing strategy all year long.

However, if your business sells the products or services that will be advertised during one of the most watched sporting events of the year, then it only makes sense to optimize your website so that your business will be found when your potential customers search online.

The same holds true for businesses that sell the products or services that consumers will be looking for in the days leading up to the game.

Therefore, with less than a month to go before the Super Bowl is played in Indianapolis, I again ask you the question: Is your business ready for some football?

Photo credit: Eric Kilby on Flickr.

Chad Thiele

Marketing analyst and strategist, content curator, applied sociologist, proud UW-Madison alumnus, and an Auburn-trained mobile marketer. My goal is to help businesses identify trends that will help them achieve their marketing objectives and business goals. I'm currently looking for my next career challenge. Please feel free to contact me anytime at: chadjthiele@gmail.com.

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