By Marla Keene
Information overload, be damned. You need the right information at your fingertips in order to run your business properly.
The problem with information for many of us is twofold: One, we don’t have a dedicated research department to take care of our backlog of product research, market trend analysis, and other small information needs that crop up on a daily basis; and secondly, we’re not exactly sure how to pull all the information we need from the 1.5 billion (give or take a few) websites currently on the world wide web because we’re too busy with two dozen other demands to become research experts.
The following are six tips on where and how to find information quickly—a crash course in web research—so you can get the information you need and move on to more important tasks.
1. Always know market trends through Google
Google is a powerful indicator of what people are currently searching for. You can access this information by going to trends.google.com where you can either view recently trending terms, or research trending information relating to your own industry. This data can be limited by time, by geographic area, or by subgroup search like image search or news. It can also be compared to a second, third, or fourth term by entering these into the search boxes at the top of the page.
2. Get your keywords for free
WordStream (www.wordstream.com/keywords) allows users to access the keyword search tool more than two dozen times at no charge. Keywords are still very important for optimizing your online content, for driving the right traffic to your website, and for moving your site to the top of search results. But do you know if you’re using the right ones?
Search terms have become longer as more users search via their smartphones using voice queries. Use this tool to research your keyword use and to tailor your online marketing for better SEO results.
3. Optimize the search on any website
Have you ever spent valuable time staring at yet another page of a seemingly endless website because they don’t have a search option, looking for a piece of information you need but that you forgot to bookmark? Don’t ever feel that pain again. Instead, type site:websitename.com search term. Press enter.
When I tried this for site:allbusiness.com expert, I was rewarded with 11,300 results in less than half a second. By adding another search term I can narrow down the search results and find exactly what I’m looking for.
Incidentally, this works for entire domains as well. If I were to enter site: Edu NC engineering scholarship, I could quickly find every scholarship available for an engineering degree at a North Carolina university.
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4. Go back to the future
It’s been said you cannot erase the digital past. In many ways, that’s true, but sometimes things happen that make websites go poof, at least on the front side of the web. If that’s ever happened to you and you’re suddenly left with a void to fill, or if you need to find some market research from a page that used to be there but no longer is, try going to web.archive.org to see if that page has ever been archived.
Published at Sat, 30 Nov 2019 22:31:13 +0000