People use search engines a lot. According to Google there are more than 2.3 million searches performed on their search engine every minute. Surprisingly, not all of these searches are performed by people who are trying to prove their friend wrong to win a bet. In some cases these searches are performed by consumers looking for products and services.
Consumers now rely on Google and other search engines as their main source for information. It’s vital that your company appear high on the search engine results page for search queries related to your products and services.
At our agency, we work with dozens of clients to help improve their organic search engine rankings, a practice known as search engine optimization (SEO). This has become a huge industry spawning thousands of companies and freelancers that claim to specialize in SEO services. How do I know there are thousands of companies and freelancers that claim this? Because most of them email each of my clients every day.
Back on May 24th I sat at my desk and watched a live stream of the Google Performance Summit keynote presentation. The annual event provides a glimpse into changes the search giant will be rolling out for advertisers. I know what you’re thinking and you’re right, I am living the dream.
This year Google announced changes to the ads that appear on the search engine result page (SERP). They said that in the coming months ads would get smaller and less noticeable in order to make the experience better for their users. Just kidding! It was the opposite. You may have noticed that the ads on the SERP not only take up more real estate, they’re more disguised than ever.
Remember when the guy who walked into the meeting with his laptop in hand and wearing jeans was referred to as the “interactive specialist?” Or maybe the “interactive guru?” Yuck, I’m glad both of those words have left the lexicon. The word “guru” we can all agree is just dumb, but why did “interactive” become “digital?”
Let’s start with why we used the word interactive in the first place. As internet advertising emerged as a new medium, marketers were overjoyed with the idea that audiences could now interact with ads. One of the first banner ads to run was an AT&T advertisement that read “Have you ever clicked your mouse right here? You will.”
In January’s Digital Trends report from Econsultancy, the question “What’s the most exciting digital marketing opportunity in 2016?” was posed to over 7,000 marketing professionals. The top three answers were “optimizing the customer experience (CX),” “creating compelling content for digital experiences” and “data-driven marketing that focuses on the individual.” When asked to identify their strategic priorities for 2016, 53% of organizations chose data-driven marketing with their top vote.
The focus on data-driven marketing comes directly from the desire to improve customer experience at every touch point using analytics to measure success. Content marketing can play a huge role in creating a positive customer experience. These three components of digital marketing only work when strategically aligned; content should be developed and distributed to enhance the customer experience and data analysis should be used to determine the effectiveness of those initiatives and define opportunities to improve the overall performance.
If your company is currently going through the torturous exercise of developing a new website, this message may be too late. If you haven’t traveled too far down the road of developing a new site yet you should read this article. But don’t just read it, commit it to memory, post a copy of it in the break room, and email it to loved ones. Help stop the suffering.
Why would a guy who leads a company that develops award-winning websites for businesses of all sizes tell you not to develop a new website? Hmm, perhaps I didn’t think this one all the way through.
Or, perhaps I’m channeling my inner Ghost of Christmas Future. I’m bringing you knowledge from a not-so-distant tomorrow. In the future, businesses are going to wise up. They will escape the “website redesign cycle” that curses their marketing and leadership team every three years.