4 Strategies to Make Your Website Personal Search-Friendly

As technology evolves, so do users. GPS location turned mobile users into local searchers. Digital assistants have increased users’ dependence on their devices to find the products, services and locations they need. And, because search engine algorithms continue to deliver highly relevant results, users are starting to rely on them to find advice and recommendations personalized for them, thus beginning the era of Personal Search.

What Is Personal Search?

Personal search is the use of search engines to find information, products, services, etc. that fit the unique demands or criteria of an individual searcher.

For instance, a general search may involve the question “What are trending colors for living room décor?” or the search term “popular living room paint colors.” Personal search, on the other hand, asks, “What color should I paint my living room?”

What Makes a Website Personal Search-Ready?

For websites to be personal-search-friendly, they must offer content that can be individualized and/or content that resonates on a personal level with the user.

Here’s the rub: you cannot “personalize” your website to rank better in personal searches just by changing the pronouns you use in your copy.

Most marketing copy is written in second person, addressing the user/reader as “you.” The business/company uses first-person pronouns (I, we, us, mine, our, etc.) to refer to itself. Like this:

You need custom web design. At SonicSEO.com, we deliver.

You can’t just switch that so that the website viewer feels like he/she is reading about themselves. It introduces all kinds of grammatical and theoretical conundrums—not to mention, search engine algorithms are smarter than that. Because search engines are starting to index websites in ways much more closely aligned with how humans read and evaluate content, search engines cannot be so easily manipulated to improve rankings in personal searches.

Strategies to Personalize Your Search Marketing

Yes, it will take more work than simple pronoun substitutions to make your website personal-search-friendly, but it is possible to optimize for this new way of searching. Ways you can revise, update or upgrade your content to improve ranking in “for me” searches include:

    Developing customization tools

    Your website may already have content that outlines options and factors to consider to select the best one. But users do not want to sort through information that applies to everyone. Make their search easier by providing tools that produce custom-tailored results or recommendations based on their input.

    Companies that have done this include:

    Company Customization Tool
    Lending Tree
    Bank rate
    Mortgage calculator
    Brooks Shoe Finder
    Hale Cosmeceuticals Personal Skin Assessment
    Findation Makeup color match tool

    Admittedly, developing customization tools may involve a serious investment. However, compare the cost of development to the potential returns—increased traffic, completed online sales, actual phone calls to schedule service. It may be that you can’t afford not to create a personalization tool.

    Including case studies and testimonials

    For many products/services, the right choice “for me” is simply a matter of personal preference. In that case, encourage users to prefer your brand by including content that resonates with them emotionally.

    Case studies and testimonials allow users to see themselves in your past clients, helping them visualize your products and services as the solution to their needs.

    Encouraging users to seek further personalization

    For some businesses, there are just too many factors that affect product or service selection. If those factors are confidential in nature or simply too numerous to outline or explain, you need to make sure your users have the ability to get more personalized information at their fingertips—i.e., your email and/or phone number.

    Create clear calls to action so that users click or call to continue their quest for personal information with your company/brand.

    Making your business the expert

    The rise of personal search is all due to Internet users’ trust in anonymous reviews and search engine rankings for guidance. Position your business as the expert they consult.

    How? By providing content that proves you’re an industry leader, like:

    • Expert blogs
    • Testimonials from past and current clients
    • Press releases
    • Technical publications

    Post and promote the content that your business/members of your team developed, contributed to, evaluated, etc. so that users know you know your stuff.

Much of what it takes to rank well in personal searches is really the same as what it takes to rank well, period. The Internet marketing experts at SonicSEO.com already develop personalized content to boost your search engine performance and conversion rates. So, the rise in personal search is no cause for panic for our clients.

But, if you are not so sure how your website may deliver “for me” content, contact us. We offer website evaluations and consultations to help you find the personal search marketing strategies that can increase your performance on- and offline.

How to Find the Right Social Media Platform for Your Business

For most businesses, effective online marketing requires more than a website; it requires genuine social media engagement with your existing and prospective customers and clients.

Although, creating an account for your business on just about any social media platform is free, maintaining an engaging presence isn’t. To make the best use of your time and resources, you need to identify the platforms that best reach your target market.

Think about Product Presentation

Social media is all about engaging your audience. But before you dive into analyzing your target market demographics, pause to think about what it is you are selling because that will likely determine what types of posts you have to publish.


Analyze Your Target Audience

Now that you’ve limited your options down to those that best suit the types of posts you are most likely going to create—images or text-based posts—you need to identify the platform(s) your target market is using most.

Here’s a quick demographic breakdown:

Platform Volume Age Gender
Facebook Over 1 billion daily active users Largest demographic: 25-34 years old More women than men, although gap is small
Twitter 100 million daily active users

330 million monthly active users

Largest demographic:

18-29 years old, followed closely by users 30-49 years old

More men than women, although gap is small
LinkedIn 500 million users Largest demographic:

30-49 years old

More women than men, although gap is small
Pinterest 175 million monthly active users Largest demographic: 25-34 years old Significantly more women users, although more men are starting to sign up
Snapchat 187 million daily active users

300 million monthly active users

Largest demographic: 18-29 years old

71% of users are under the age of 34

Significantly higher use among females
Instagram 500 million daily active users

800 million monthly active users

Largest demographic: 18-29 years old Significantly higher use among females


  • Facebook has the largest reach across all age brackets. More than half of all seniors (aged 56 and older) are active Facebook users.
  • “Selfie sites” like Instagram and Snapchat are used significantly more by Millennials and Generation Z (the post-Millennial generation)
  • Twitter boasts the user demographic with the highest levels of education and annual income
  • Most of Instagram’s users are outside the US

So, what does this mean for your business?

If your target audience is:
Use this social medial platform
Mature adults (age 40 or older)
Facebook / Twitter
Professionals (B2B market)
Millennials and/or young adults
Instagram / Snapchat
Mostly men
Twitter / Linked In
Mostly women

    Please note: We do not mean to suggest that you should only use the recommended social media platform… just consider it as:

    • As an addition to your existing social media accounts
    • A good place to start a social media marketing strategy

You may also use these demographic data and post considerations to craft messages on any social media platform that better resonates with your target market.

A Note about Instagram and Snapchat:
Instagram and Snapchat have similar user demographics and offer many of the same capabilities for individual users. However, for marketers, Instagram may offer a better choice for engagement with your target market because it is designed to be more public and provides native user analytics to help you track your posts’ performance.

Consider Practical Capabilities and Constraints

When it comes to finding the right social media platform to market your business, it’s not all about where your target audience is spending their time online; you matter, too. If your organization has the resources to support a full-time social media manager who can take, edit and upload photos all day, every day, then any social media platform can work for you.

However, a full-time, in-house social media manager is not the reality for the majority of local businesses. So, platforms with users who expect real-time engagement and new content added continuously—as in, several times per day—may not be the best fit. But you do not have to give up on social media completely. It can work for you; you just need a platform that:

  • Allows you to schedule postsThe pace of business is not constant. So, when you have some downtime, you may be able to create a number of posts, tweets, pins, etc. And if the platform allows you to schedule them (or integrates with a scheduling app), then you can spread your content out over the course of a week, a month or beyond so that your content always appears fresh even if it has been “on the shelves” for months.
    One note about this strategy: be mindful of what’s going on around the time you schedule the post. If you wrote a lot of holiday-themed posts because you had some extra time in December, it’s likely not the best fit for spring posts.
  • Enhance posts with stock images
    Users on any platform are not likely to engage with text-only posts, but if you’re too busy for impromptu photos or your work is not conducive to photo sharing (because who really wants to see live images of plumbing repair?), you can dress up your posts with stock images. (Just be careful to use images with open licenses or purchase a license.)

Because social media engagement on any platform will require a significant investment of time, any size business can benefit from a little help. SonicSEO.com offers social media and online brand reputation management services. Contact us to explore your options for social media marketing.

What Is a USP and Why Do You Need One?

At SonicSEO.com, we know your website can be the most powerful marketing tool you have. It has the potential to boost leads and sales because it can help more prospective customers find and choose you. One key factor in how effectively your website converts viewers to customers is your unique selling proposition, or USP.

USP Explained

Your unique selling proposition (USP) is the summary of what makes you—your company culture, your products, your approach to services, etc.—different from your competitors. (more…)

How to Make Search Engines Go Crazy 4 U

The evolution of Internet search—the shift to voice-activated search, the expected merge of desktop and mobile algorithms, etc.—presents some promising opportunities for small businesses to get noticed—by the search engines and by the people using the search engines. If you invest in enhancing your locally focused SEO, you could be one of the local businesses rewarded with increased foot traffic, leads and sales from mobile users looking for something in their neck of the woods to meet their needs.

Here’s how to get the search engines to show your local business some love:

Complete, Current and Optimized My Business Listing

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Top 5 SEO Trends for 2018

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Typically, ringing in the New Year involves an “out with the old, in with the new” attitude and approach. For search engine optimization, it’s a little more complicated.

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SEO Bootcamp Day 12 – Call SonicSEO.com for a Free Consultation

Contact UsOn the 12th day of boot camp, my marketing expert told me:  CALL SONICSEO.COM FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

Business owners and managers: you’ve got enough to do to keep your company running. Let the experts help you with your Internet marketing needs.

SonicSEO.com has been around longer than Google. We have the experience and expertise to design, engineer and maintain an effective website with all the search engine optimization goodies, like regular blogs, social media, PPC and more! We can help you develop and execute a comprehensive online marketing campaign that increases your online visibility and your conversion. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

SEO Bootcamp Day 11 – Implement a Review Management Strategy

ReviewsOn the 11th day of boot camp, my marketing expert told me:  IMPLEMENT A REVIEW MANAGEMENT STRATEGY

You’re never going to please everyone all of the time. That’s just life. But to make even negative reviews work for your business instead of against it, you need to do something with them rather than ignore them or try furiously to block them. That’s where review management comes in.

Assign someone (maybe someone from SonicSEO.com) to monitor online platforms where people can post reviews about your business—e.g., Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google, etc. When you come across a negative review, respond to it calmly, courteously and with the intent to learn from and/or correct the problem. Your respectful, proactive response may salvage an existing client relationship, but (possibly more importantly), it may bolster confidence, trust and loyalty in the clients and potential clients who view this online exchange.

You are under no obligation to give away freebies or discounts, but you are required to use respectful language to inquire into the situation and/or request that the reviewer contact you on a private platform.

SEO Bootcamp Day 10 – Pic-up Your Website

PhotosOn the 10th day of boot camp, my marketing expert told me:  PIC-up YOUR WEBSITE

By PIC-up, we mean make your website image friendly…and maybe venture into the world of visually-driven social media, like Pinterest and Instagram.

As the saying goes, a picture is worth 1,000 words. Say more with less by using trust-building, interest-capturing and telling images. Original pictures are best; they often humanize an otherwise nameless, faceless “we” behind your company name. But if you can’t get original pics (or you can’t find one that Barney from the Mail Room didn’t photo bomb), stock imagery has (literally) millions of options. Paid stock photos tend to be higher quality, but even free stockpiles like Pixabay or Pexels have a wide array that might fit the bill. With nearly any stock photo, if possible, do a bit of editing to make it more yours.

No matter where you get your images, do make sure that the images convey positive messages to your audience. Think about it: is a close-up of a dentist’s drill really likely to ease a potential patient’s dental phobia? Is a unicorn-inspired dye job really what you want your potential clients to associate with your salon’s coloring capabilities? Select images that portray the emotions and experiences you want your customers and clients to have when they interact with you—lots of smiles and energy.

Don’t have the time? Contact SonicSEO.com for assistance managing the visual appeal of your online presence.

SEO Bootcamp Day 9 – Clean Up Your 404 Errors

404 errorOn the 9th day of boot camp, my marketing expert told me:  CLEAN UP YOUR 404 ERRORS

In Internet speak, a 404 is a “page not found” error. It’s the disheartening (or enraging) message searchers get when the search result they clicked on really doesn’t go anywhere. As you can imagine, these hurt both your ranking potential and goodwill with your human users…so you want to eliminate them.

To eliminate 404s, you first have to find them. And that’s actually pretty easy with Google Webmaster Tools/Search Console.

To log into Search Console, you have to have a Google account. If you have Google Analytics embedded on your site, then you can use the same login credentials. Once you’re in Search Console, navigate to the “Crawl” tab and select “Crawl Errors”. This will show you how many 404 errors there are and help you find them.

Once you find the 404s, you need to fix them. Most of the time, 404s happen because a page or blog got moved (i.e., the URL slug changed) and the redirect wasn’t done properly (or at all). That’s an easy fix. When you login to your website, assign a new URL that you want users to be redirected to when they click on the URL that is currently taking them to the 404 error page.

There may be times when 404s aren’t avoidable or are just hard to find. The next best option is to customize your 404-error page. If you can at least make users laugh about their dead-end (like these clever designers) and help them restart their search, then the momentary inconvenience may be forgiven without bouncing.

If you’ve got broken links all over the place, call in professional help. Contact SonicSEO.com.