April 13th, 2008 | 2 MIN READ

An Example of Excellent Search Result Marketing

Written by author_profile_images Linda Bustos

Linda is an ecommerce industry analyst and consultant specializing in conversion optimization and digital transformation.

Click ThroughToday is my first day back at my desk here in Vancouver after a lovely week in the Canadian Rocky mountains. While at the CWC/Corus Digital Media Career Accelerator program, I enjoyed the best green tea I've ever had in my life. The brand is "Higgins & Burke" and this is the only green tea I've tasted that hasn't given me a bit of nausea after drinking it. I must have it here at my home office!

So I turn to my trusted Google search engine to find out where I can get my lips on more of this tea. Typing in "Higgins and Burke" into the search engine delivers these results:

Higgins And Burke Search 1

I have always been under the impression that "and" and "&" were "stop words" that had no influence on search results, since search engines would strip them out of the query. Yet I have always found a variance in results when I actually search with and without stop words and characters.

This is what I see when I type "Higgins & Burke tea":

Higgins & Burke search 1

The second result with the title tag "Site Map" slips to 5th position. PS: "Site Map" is possibly the worst title tag I've ever seen.

Example of Great Search Engine Optimization

Notice the first result is first for both search queries. It's been optimized for both versions - including them both in the title tag - and at the beginning of the title tag rather than the store name first. You'll also notice its meta description:

Well Optimized Search Result

Higgins and Burke Tea: American Coffee Services has it! Higgins & Burke just $4.79 for a 20-count box. Google Shopping Links

Another observation I made is that Google's Shopping results appear at the bottom of the organic results today (this may be Google experimenting with it's results strategies, as Matt from eCommerce Optimization observed last week). However, when you type "buy Higgins & Burke tea" which signals an intent for an ecommerce transaction right now, rather than researching the product for comparison, Google Shopping links appear at the top where we've come to expect them.

Google Shopping at Top

What do you know? OfficeMax sells this tea.

Optimizing for Misspellings

Perhaps I don't represent the majority. Maybe "Higgins & Burke" or "Higgins Burke" gets more searches than my "Higgins and Burke"

Of course there are other spelling variants like "Higins" and "Birke" or "Burk."

Higgins and Burk

These are great keyword opportunities for PPC that I don't see any of these etailers capitalizing on - not even BizRate! It could be that their campaigns are geotargeted and exclude my region - but ads appear for the correct spelling, so I suspect these retailers haven't thought of it.

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