Search Engines Drive All Economic Activity
The landscape of marketing and advertising for your business has changed forever. We have grown up exposed to advertising and marketing from an era on which the show Mad Men is based. Marketing walked the fine line of “puffery”, which is another way of saying it exaggerated everything!
Marketing was usually centered around immediate response. If you blast out enough of the same screaming deal or “Urgent” offer to as many people as possible, something has to convert, right? Not much has changed since then because “puffery” has worked so well for so long.
Businesses have now hit a wall with their marketing efforts as traditional ads aren’t as effective as they used to be. To top it all off, they are taking those old concepts and trying to force feed them to potential customers even though most are now turned off by it.
Old School Advertising Tactics Don’t Work
We are all just about numb from the non-stop barrage of junk mail, commercials, coupons books and other types of print advertising. With Netflix and other streaming services we are eager to pay to bypass commercials, customizing our viewing experience on the fly. When we see a commercial on TV or a coupon book in our mailbox, our minds are programmed to not see it. We all have better things to do then waste a third of a TV show’s air time watching commercials about products we don’t care about.
There are companies however that have changed their marketing strategy.
What drives economic activity more than ever is that little search bar created by Google. People aren’t passively waiting to be told what they should or shouldn’t buy. They are actively going out to look for it. Think about it. When you want to find the best pizza restaurant, you enter it into Google search as “Best Pizza restaurant Near Me” or “Best Pizza Denver” (or where ever you live). The “Do It Yourself” generation is here and more people everyday are either born into this mindset or learning to embrace it.
If you have a problem or a question, you look to Google or other search engines for the answer. For example, people may now Google Search “How do I knit a sweater” instead of asking Grandma. Sorry Grandma.
They might search things such as “Best Mechanic”, “Cheap Lunch Places Nearby” or “Movie Times for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” The one thing that these string of words have in common is that they are people with a question looking for an answer. No matter how big or small, the first thing people do is ask Google where they should go and then look for why they should go there. People don’t use phone books anymore and why should they? With a few words and a lot less time, they can look up the phone number and address for thousands of businesses as well as what other people think of them.
Search Engines drive traffic for thousands of businesses around the world. They can also drive traffic to your business whether you live in Denver, Los Angeles, Boston or any other city in the United States. Because of this, search engine optimization (SEO) and your website are now the most important aspect of your business.
SEO is all about getting your company found as fast as possible and putting your business in front of the people that are most likely to make a purchase. It’s about connecting you with the people who have a question or a problem to which your business is the solution. A business at their core is a problem solving entity. Search engines and businesses have a lot in common in that respect as both can provide a solution at multiple different phases of the buyers journey.
If you aren’t listed in the results of what thousands of potential customers are searching each day, then you’re losing money and maybe a lot of it. SEO is evolving. It shifts and changes with each new Google update and there are multiple updates, big and small, each year. The idea is to stay ahead of the curve and find a team of SEO experts that can both anticipate and adjust to these changes. Just like your business has everything in place to thrive when unexpected changes come about, the right team of SEO experts can do the same thing for you.
SEO is fundamentally important to your business because you can place your expertise for your products and services directly to consumers at different points in their buyers journey. What is the buyers journey?
The Buyer’s Journey
The buyers journey is the process or steps a person goes through to make a purchase or decision.
Step 1: Awareness – the buyer becomes aware of a problem, need or want
Step 2: Consideration – the buyer does research to find out solutions, options and choices
Step 3: Decision – the buyer decides what to do or which product and moves forward to do something
Nurturing a buyer through all phases of this journey is a growing part of SEO. This process may involve multiple different channels but it can create a lifelong relationship with that person who finds you.
With SEO the possibilities are endless and you don’t have to feel constrained by something similar to a mailer. The conversion rates of a mailer is less than 1% nowadays and most people just automatically throw them away.
You can SEO yourself right into the communities that matter the most, in front of the people who are more interested in your product or service. If you sent out a coupon of 10,000, you’re taking a huge risk that a 100 people will not only respond to your coupon but also purchase your product or service. That 1% conversion rate doesn’t mean they will make a purchase, it just means that it could become a lead. From that 100 people maybe only 10 will buy or even engage your business. An interaction with your business could be a one and done phone call.
With SEO, whether you live in Denver or other Cities in the United States, your website can become optimized to the point where it speaks to the person who finds it. Everything on your website can be optimized and set up to convert into a lead or a sale. Most of the time, if someone is looking for your website, they are enthusiastic to work with you. A well optimized site can create timeless content that is positioned to be in the most relevant search results at all times. It never goes away and is always there to be found by others looking for the same solution.
SEO now goes beyond what most people were exposed to just 3-4 years ago. In the early days of search marketing, it was all about appealing to search engines and launching your website to the top of search anywhere in the world.
This can be both good and bad. It’s good if you’re an online only retailer but doesn’t make sense if you’re a pizza place in Long Beach, California while the person who wants Pizza is in New York City. The new Google algorithm is more centered on local search and organizing businesses in your city or state. While you can still get found anywhere in the United States, optimizing your website to convert locally is more important than ever before.
Search engines also are built for human interaction and not for automated SEO tactics. This wasn’t the case when Google first rolled out the worlds most advanced search engine back in 1998. It was easily exploited by automated scripts and backdoor website hacks referred to as “Black Hat SEO.”
The new SEO is all about people and connecting people with a solution to a problem. This solution could be the nearest Dentist office, a new roof or home improvement process or a wedding DJ for your most special day.
Google makes a lot of money from online advertising through their search engines. While their goal is to increase their bottom line, it’s in their best interest to create a level playing field that favors business rather than an automated script or group of hackers. If quality businesses get found and thrive within their online ecosystem, they will ultimately make a lot more money as well.
The two most important things to take away from this article are:
The Old Way is Ineffective: The way people interact with the world has completely changed. People are more informed than ever and have been empowered to seek out answers on their own. It’s not about throwing spaghetti on the wall and seeing what sticks anymore. People are turned off by overly aggressive marketing tactics and can now more than ever control their experience across every channel including retail.
SEO is Ever Changing: Search engine optimization is evolving and will continue to evolve. It’s gone from being exploitable by black hat SEO to more people and content centered. The keyword to keep in mind is “people.” Search engines drive economic activity but it’s people who are actively searching for a solution. Your business can be that solution – so make sure your website provides that information.
SEO isn’t going away anytime soon. It’s actually become the most important aspect of your business and will only become more vital as time moves forward. If you hire the right SEO team and embrace the changes, your business can thrive.
For a full website SEO assessment click the link below.