How to Find What You’re Looking For: “Fine Tune” Your Google Search

At Sprinkle Caldwell, one of our ongoing tasks is researching to find new exhibitors, however finding the right folks for our target market isn’t as easy as it sounds. The burden of marketing is not only finding the right companies, but also finding the right person to approach. 

Your company may only want to talk to one person at a particular school, but the challenge is this: how do you find that person? At Sprinkle Caldwell, we use a couple of handy Google search strategies we’ve found effective for finding those elusive “blue” marketing waters.

Tip One: “Quotation Marks” 

No, I don’t mean dialogue. By using quotation marks in a Google search, Google will search for a specific combination of words. When Google performs a search it automatically excludes words deemed unnecessary. For example, “the” or “of” don’t make the cut. Many school names begin with “The” and if you left “The” out, you may find yourself researching the wrong school!

Try searching for “plaster of Paris” then search “plaster Paris”, both without quotation marks. You got the same result didn’t you? Now try “plaster for Paris” without quotation marks. Because this is an uncommon search, Google will auto correct, but choose the option “Search instead for plaster for Paris.” What are the results? Google leaves out “for” and the results are the same. So, if you want to search something that includes the word “the” or “for”, make sure it’s within quotes. If you really want to search “plaster for Paris” (or The XYZ Academy), put the whole phrase in quotation marks. 

Tip Two: site:

The classic situation: You’re looking for one particular person at a school to directly contact. You can look through archives for hours at 200 Bill Smiths, or you can learn to use the “site:” feature. The “site:” function allows us to search for keywords directly on a specific website. “site:cnn.com honey bee” yields all instances of “honey bee” on CNN. The trick is that this can be used to find that elusive CFO at a particular school. 

This is an incredibly powerful tool that can dramatically reduce the time spent data mining. The beauty is that “site:” works on all websites. If you’re shopping for a particular item, check out “site:amazon.com item-name” — you’ll like the results.

Hint: Make sure you include the “.com” or your search will fail.

Targeted outreach is key to successful marketing. Try these tips, and watch your sales improve. 

We hope these quick tips help you find whatever it is you’re searching for. If you know more good search tricks, post them in the comments below!

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