I just got into work this morning and as I suspected someone mentioned the word, "Starbucks." My eyes widened and I immediately went to the stock, Grande Soy Vanilla Latte with Add Shot for my order. Yet I hesitated and desired something different this morning.

So what did I do next?

I went to my web browser and went to www.starbucks.com and low and behold, no online menu.

Are you kidding me?

Even if it were on that site somewhere, it wasn't easily found in the first 10-15 seconds and I'm a power user of searching. So I went to good ole trusty Google and searched for "starbucks menu." What do you think I found?

Well, I didn't find starbucks.com anywhere, but I did find a lot of websites featuring the menu with nutritional information. So I hit up the following website: Starbucks Menu.

As I handed in my order I thought about the significance of this because a large mainstream brand wasn't utilizing search to its fullest potential. If I head over to the Yahoo Search Marketing tool and look up "Starbucks Menu" I find that 4,541 people searched for this keyphrase in February 2007 as well as ten other similar variations of this keyphrase. What was Starbucks thinking?

This keyphrase was the fourth most popular "Starbucks" themed keyphrase out of the list. So I thought to myself, well maybe their website just isn't focused on organic search engine optimization, so let's see if they've paid for this keyphrase. What do you think? Wrong again. When I searched under the other top keyphrases I found, Starbucks was organically positioned at the top of the list and rightfully so.

What we have here is a classic case of a brand that has so much emphasis offline, missing opportunities online to connect with potential customers in all aspects of their life. For a power user, who has brand loyalty, I want instant gratification and if you don't give it to me I might just end up across the street at Diner Joe's Coffee Shack on my next ride into work.

Big brands listen up. Search is not just about going into Google, Yahoo and MSN to be found on those big 10 million plus SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

It's about the linguistics of the activity and how that associates with the brand.

If someone is expressing that they want to be able to look up your menu online prior to giving their order to a co-worker or before coming into work, then make sure they can find you whether it's on Google at their desk, on their cell phone or PDA. Start thinking outside the box and you just might find some of those golden grinds you never thought about.

(Photo insert from M@rcopako)

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July 24, 2007

BJ Cook started off his internet marketing career by starting Laundry Media in 1997, offering full-service integrated marketing solutions for small businesses. His dual degree in design and creative writing would prove useful in the near future. Combining his knowledge of design, development, usability and marketing found his way into the world of SEO.

Working in-house for over 3 years as the designer/developer/SEO for an international travel firm and freelancer, he found his calling at Interactivate Inc., where he moved from the search engine marketing strategist for over 40 clients to a more challenging role. Creating and building out the Search Marketing Group (SMG) at Interactivate entailed hiring 2 search marketing specialists and 1 associate. At Interactivate, he developed internet marketing strategies for a variety of Fortune 500 clients such as Jenny Craig, Hard Rock Hotel, Merry Maids, Hilo Hattie, Sunkist, William Lyon Homes, John Laing Homes, Centex Homes, California Avocado Commission, Hass Avocado Board and Shea Homes.

After seeing the complexity of the web shift to more multi-faceted solutions with email, search, PR, media planning, Web 2.0 and analytics, BJ joined the team at digital-telepathy Inc. As Digital Marketing Director, he is the marketing liaison responsible for new business development, sales and the identification of emerging trends in this ever-changing digital marketing industry. He loves the ever-evolving challenge of finding new and creative ways to help his clients tap into their audience.

digital-telepathy Inc. is a San Diego-based digital marketing agency comprised of experts in website design, XHTML/CSS programming, Ajax development, Flash, copywriting, search engine marketing, media planning, firm project deadlines, business strategy, product launches and more, we always have one foot over the line of innovation in technology and determine the best ways to integrate and apply it all in our already cutting-edge practices.

Search Engine Guide > BJ Cook > Search+ :: It’s All In The Grinds