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Every friday I get an email, a facebook notification, and and a twitter ping.

As most SEO’s know, Friday means the end of the week, the end of the business week, and “whiteboard friday” with Rand Fishkin.


I don’t watch them religiously, but if I see something interesting I tune in.

Today was one I had on in the background while I finished another task, but by the end of it, I had a lot of thoughts. So I’ll put them here.

I think you’ll agree with me, the “related searches” at the bottom of a google search page are extremely helpful.

Not just helpful to searches, but SEO’s as well.

The help define searches related to the query, broader/narrower topics, and especially searcher intent.

This got me thinking:

“How can I use those related searches better in my marketing?”

The easy answer is to use those search terms within the context of the page I want to rank.

But let’s go a step further.

At the bottom of a google search page, it basically asks searchers, “did you find what you were looking for? Would you be interested in _________?”

Depending on how the user interacts with those and other related search queries, Google can better learn something that is catastrophically important.


It learns what the user actually wants to find from a given search.

Let’s talk a little about bed bugs now. You know, those mini blood-sucking vampires that only come out at night?

Yep, those are bed bugs.

Let’s use them as an example for how to decypher user intent and what an SEO’s job should be in order to capitalize on this knowledge.

First, let’s do a search on bed bug bites.


Whoa, so a half a million people a looking up bed bug bites every month.

But what does this mean?

Are that many people really that curious about bed bugs?

If so, that’s weird.

But we’re trying to find intent here, so let’s check the related searches:


Ahh, so people want to see what they look like.

They want to see pictures, a page with rich media sprinkled throughout.

They want to know what to look for.

They want to figure out how to get the redness and itchiness to subside.

So they search for Bed Bugs in general or Bed Bug Bites.


This surprised me a little bit. When I first started looking these up, I assumed most people would jump from this search to “HOW DO I KILL THESE THINGS?!” or “bed bug treatment company” or something like that.

It turns out that searchers in general want to go step-by-step from one logical place to another before taking a major action like that.



The last search, and most specific, is how to actually get rid of them.

This entails homemade solutions and sending out the bed bug guy.

A call, in other words.



This may all sound obvious to you, but it really changed the way I think about getting users to get on the site, stay on the site, and be brought to an action by the time they leave it.



If I were SEO’ing a bed bug niche site, I would write up a massive expose on bed bugs, informational down to the most minute detail.



Throughout the piece, I’d show a little link that says something like, “See Pictures” here.

There would be lots of pictures and videos, followed by FAQ’s and more pix on that next page.



At the end of that page, I’d say something like, “sick of bed bugs in your house?”




At this point it would be a hard sale, an attention-grabbing offer or service that would reel in customers and convince them that a professional is needed.

When a searcher enters any of these pages in the middle of the process, it just shows that they are closer to making a buying decision. No problem.

All of this was just by thinking about related terms and how searcher intent matters so much with the content that we publish.



Feel free to point out any flaws in my thinking, I’d like to hear what you think.

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Day 5:

  • Got a horrific email from client saying they want to cut back their budget. If anything, this 90 day challenge may teach how to keep going in the face of adversity 🙂
  • Verified local citation
  • Set an email chain in place to go out on Tuesday to over 700 people (we’ll see how this goes)
  • Wrote this post
  • Hours: 10

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