Why SEO and Searching is important
SEO and Searching on the internet is so critical these days for everyone, but why is this so?
At the start of SEO and searching online, people searched to find a list of documents that contained the words they typed. This is no longer the case anymore. It has evolved to so much more.
Today people search search to solve problems, answer questions, and to “do” something. For example they might be searching to book a hotel, buy something, see a concert, or browse pet photos, what do all these have in common? These are all actions. Or, as Bill Gates refers ‘verbs’.
When someone starts a search, they are starting a journey. Digital Marketers love to talk about something named “the consumer journey”, which is a fancy word of referencing a user’s direction from inception of their task to the end – and these journeys start with a simple search.
The consumer journey has been slowly playing a more important role in searching over the last 10 years. Originally portrayed as a siphon where a user moves from awareness to consideration to buy, this old journey is now outdated (although we still use this way for illustrative purposes and to make persona research easier).
Progression of SEO and Searching & that Consumer Journey
The latest consumer journey no longer portrays a siphon, but looks more like a crazy straw, what I mean by this is with different twists and turns representing the different channels, mediums, and devices that a user interacts with these days.
To fit this new model, searching has had to grow from simple words on the page to understanding the users intent at each stage of the journey. Searching is no longer just about keywords, but has grown to providing the right information to the right user at the right time in their journey to help them accomplish their function.
For a user, it’s about the verbs. For search marketers, it’s all about serving the user on their personal journey (and, ideally, persuading them even more along the way.
Staying with the straw model theory, today’s consumer journey no longer happens on a one device. Users could start a search on their mobile, then continue on their work laptop or tablet, and purchase from their desktop.
Searching isn’t just limited to computers or mobiles. Users can now search from a number of different devices, which can include smart watches and bluetooth speaker assistants (like Google Home). Today, even a fridge has its own Facebook account – and search marketers need to be observant of how different devices relate to each other and play a part in a user’s search experience.
There’s some debate as to whether this has always been the way, but in today’s always on digital-connected world, SEO has transformed into what we call “real marketing.”
The days of tricks, hacks and trying to reverse-engineer algorithms are over.
Today SEO focuses more on:
- Data-driven insights.
- Content strategies.
- Understanding personality.
- Solve technical issues that deliver content invisible to search engines.
- Integrate with social media.
- Find ways to speed up your site.
The 3 Main Steps of Digital Marketing Strategy
Searching utilises all three of these areas:
How many of you have heard “If you build it, they will come”, but it that does not work with websites. It’s not enough to have an amazing product. You must somehow attract customers by multiple ways.
This is why, some claims to the contrary from clients or web design agencies, every webpage is a SEO page. If a webpage is involved in attracting or engaging visitors there needs t be an important SEO element to that page.
Why Is SEO So Important?
Users are important and many of them start with a search, so searching is important.
Today’s websites are more applications than they are a website, and applications come with lots of pretty features that don’t always play well with search engines.
We’ve come a long way from keywords on pages to full-service marketing. SEO gets to wear different hats as it helps connect development, user experience, content strategy, marketing and social. It’s like a game of give and take – all in an crack to create something that works for search engines and users.