Mindshare is a measure of consumers’ awareness of your business or brand compared to your competitors. In other words, it refers to brand visibility and popularity. Think market share, but less concrete and numeric.
The most extreme examples of mindshare are the brands that are so ubiquitous that their names become synonymous with products. When was the last time someone asked a Walmart employee to point them towards the cotton swabs? It’s a Q-Tip.
When you cut your finger while slicing veggies for a summertime pasta salad, you don’t ask someone to get you an adhesive bandage. You ask for a Band-Aid. That’s mindshare.
(This content is sponsored by neither Q-Tip nor Band-Aid).
First things first: aiming to achieve the complete mindshare earned by Q-Tip and Band-Aid isn’t terribly realistic. Instead, SMB owners should focus their energy on building brand visibility. In the world of search marketing, visibility is basically reserved for one place: page one.
Let’s be frank: if you’re not organically ranking for your targeted keywords on the first search engine results page (SERP), you’re cooked. Your traffic will be insufficient, and your inflow of sales prospects will fall off a cliff into a sea of fire and despair.
That’s where search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play. SEO refers to the collection of practices a website can enact to improve its performance in organic search results and, thus, increase its mindshare. To put it as simply as possible, the goal of SEO is to become an authoritative, relevant resource in the eyes of the search engine overlords (e.g., Google).
In order to be considered authoritative, your website must earn as many backlinks from other websites as possible. Think of it this way. When a reputable website (say, TechCrunch) links to your website, they’re essentially saying to Google, “Hey! These guys know what they’re talking about!” The best way to earn those valuable backlinks: crank out awesome content. The better your stuff, the more likely it is to spread and get picked up elsewhere.
You have a little more control over your relevance. Whenever you create a page or a piece of content that targets a particularly keyword, make sure the keyword appears everywhere: the page title, the URL, the headings, the subheadings, the body copy, the image names, the alt texts, and so one. However, beware of keyword stuffing. If you overdo it to the point that it’s unnatural, those aforementioned search engine overlords will come down on you with the quickness.
Your business can improve its visibility in the paid results, too. Two factors affect your position in the Google Ads rankings: your maximum CPC bid, and your Quality Score. Your maximum CPC bid on a keyword is exactly what it sounds like: it’s the most money you’re willing to pay for each click on an ad. Quality Score is Google’s metric for the quality and relevance of your advertisements. Your click-through rate (CTR) is a huge part of Quality Score, and the quality of your landing pages matters, too. To learn more about how the Google auction works and how your ad rank is determined, read this.
Social media marketing is a terrific way to increase your mindshare. A common misconception is that the hashtag are exclusively used to flag different types of content. However, it is a powerful tool you can leverage to build a community of loyal customers and fans. Every time someone uses a hashtag tied to your brand, they spread your message to each of their followers, some of whom will likely get on board and start using the hashtag themselves. If you put hashtags to good use across social media platforms, you can inexpensively increase your mindshare online.
Remarketing via the Google Display Network (GDN) is another great tactic. Say someone visits your site via one of your paid search ads, but doesn’t provide any contact information and doesn’t convert. All hope is not lost! You can target that prospect with display ads and ensure that your brand stays on his or her mind. That way, when the prospect decides to become a buyer, your product is the first one that comes to mind.