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 tips on where and how to find information quickly:
Google trends: 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.
Wordstream: 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.
Search Optimization on another 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.
Use of operators to narrow search results:
It may be a little reminiscent of seventh grade math, but operators are your friend. These limiting elements will help return the exact information you’re looking for. Following is a list of some of the most useful:
Intext: Inurl: Intitle:—These search terms will limit your search to results with your search words in the location you’ve specified. For example, Intext: blue bicycle will only bring up pages with text referring to blue bicycles. Inurl: pdf will only bring up URLs that are also pdfs. Intitle: photography will only bring up pages with photography in their title.
Asterisk (*)—An asterisk is a placeholder for an unknown, which is great if you’re not exactly sure what you’re looking for. “Stop chasing the money * Tony” will be enough to bring back the quote “Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion.”
Quotes (“)—Use quotation marks if you know exactly what you’re searching for in order to eliminate other options. “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” in quotes will limit your search results to the book by Ben Horowitz and articles relating to the book.