Protect Your Business Forever | Inc.com
When it comes to understanding the importance of search engine optimization (SEO) to a business, the pendulum swings from “ignoring it completely” to “understanding and tracking every Google update”.
The truth, as usual, lies somewhere in the middle. It is certain that a website that is structurally flawed, slow to load and does not display correctly on mobile devices loses a significant part of its online business. Likewise, a website that’s optimized for search engines but fails to understand what those who find it actually want to do once they’re there, only wins half the online marketing game.
How to reconcile these two approaches requires a nuanced understanding of what SEO does and what a business is for. Stripped of all its esoteric gibberish, SEO is there to help a business find its audience just when that audience is actively looking for it. A business, in turn, exists to solve a problem.
From this perspective, search itself, for all of its many iterations through Google updates over the years, has always been focused on delivering the best relevant results in response to a searcher query. Research becomes the bridge between a company and its audience. This logically means that research is marketing. But that’s not all.
Human behavior determines the use of research
The greatest threat to your business of losing that connection between itself and its audience lies in factors that are well outside the remit of search itself and, by association, any SEO activity you might engage in. , Google is now making the placement of default search engine choices on its mobile devices free for competitors.
The majority of mobile device owners are not search experts. They don’t really understand how search engines work, which means qualified choices are based on purely subjective criteria. Based on this, even at a conservative estimate, Google mobile search will experience a reduction in usage. Alarm bells rang as early as 2015, when it was reported that few mobile devices were actually using Google Search.
At the time, Google Search was dominant on mobile devices, as it was the default setting that few mobile device owners bothered to change. Over the years since Google has had to change this policy and the impact of this has yet to become apparent. Additionally, mobile device owners use apps and social media accounts instead of a search engine to find what they need. Social media accounts connect them with friends and allow them to ask for recommendations while specific apps make it easier for them to engage in search behavior.
How to “seek proof” of your business
The reason we’re even talking about search engine optimization (SEO) right now is that initially, as the web grew, finding anything in it required the help of a search engine. research whose robots had indexed the websites and organized the information they contained.
However, the web, no matter how global in size, always has the most direct impact at the local level. The personal devices we use are geotagged and, increasingly, our laptops are too. This makes finding something determined by location. Recommendations from friends and the ability of apps to know where we are and use that knowledge to provide useful information make search the means by which we find solutions to the problems we face locally.
Google has made a name for itself thanks to the quality of its results. Search results that are delivered within the narrow confines of a location still have the potential to be of higher quality because the two bugbears of search: disambiguation and truthfulness can be resolved much faster when the information from which a pool of responses, to a search query, is drawn, is limited in nature.
The limitation imposed by geographic boundaries reduces the level of ambiguity created by massive amounts of information that is similar in nature but does not correspond to the same thing. It also makes it easier to filter out what is real from what is fake. The local search context then makes it easier to find a formula that helps “prove the research” for your business.
Whatever happens to the next search, whatever new updates to Google’s algorithm or the app, recommendation engine, or even the human word of mouth channel used, they both require same key ingredients to work:
- Live – A taste of what your company does, how it does it and why it does it.
- Trust – A feeling that your company is capable of totally solving the problem that the researcher is facing, easily, quickly and at a good price-performance ratio.
Find ways to make that happen through the content you create. Truly connect with those who come to you to find the solution they need to the problem they are having and you will find that worrying about SEO will be a thing of the past for you.