Does SEO Matter Anymore?
The push is on to put SEO to the bottom of the pile and for good reason. The web has become a sea of discoverability, no longer dictated by outdated SEO placement tactics and replaced with what can only be described as a true content push.
Your users or customers are less and less fooled by the SEO tactics of the past and are now drawn into content that has personal value. Strong content pushed to social circles by friends, followers and business peers is now drawing as much, if not more, audience than any well placed search term.
Large scale online properties, such as The Atlantic, are now pushing traffic through social channels much more effectively than through SEO based placement.
[info]“Sixteen months ago we received the same number of monthly referrals from search as social. Now 40% of traffic comes from social media,”
Scott Havens, Senior Vice President of finance and digital operations at The Atlantic Media Company.
The creation and dissemination of content may be what binds your marketing message together, however, that content now needs to be offered with in the right context. Pushing that content within the right context requires deep, cohesive strategy that goes well beyond key words and a strong headline. Contextual content that your readers are compelled to share to their respective networks is the key to a successful strategy.
There is a deep shift occurring in how people find what they are looking for online. This shift is not solely based on algorithms and programming but also takes into account – location, browsing habits, relevancy and social connections. Users are now provided with web search, particularly Google, that is predictive in nature.
With the advent of Google Now users are beginning to see the shift in how they will search for online content. By combining predictive search technology with real time visualization we can see Google’s continual shift from a simply a search engine to a predictive, personal assistant that will understand what you are searching for within context. Google Now achieves this by accessing your email, calendar, contacts, text messages, location, shopping habits, payment history, music choices, books read and movies you have watched. For some this may seem to be a deep breach of privacy and those privacy parameters are yet to be fully established. For others, like myself, this appears to be the natural progression of technology to become the personal assistant we have only seen in science fiction until now.
The key motivator for this shift in contextual search results is, without a doubt, the deep market penetration of mobile devices. Predictive in its results, this type of search technology is pushing information to you based on what information the device already knows about your likes, habits and social connections.
So how will effective marketing campaigns have to reshape themselves within a world driven by predictive, location aware search results?
Effective marketing campaigns will now have to adopt an active listening approach to fully incorporate customers in the feedback loop. The consumer voice has never been so strong and those businesses that pay attention to active consumer voices will see the rewards. Your companies reputation online has never been as important as is it now. Products and services spoken of favorably online will, without a doubt, see themselves pushed to the top of predictive search results.
In addition to active listening, inbound marketing becomes an important factor in an effective marketing strategy. Focusing on being found by your customers by providing high value content that is relevant to their wants and draws them into contacting you is now the strongest tool in attracting potential clients. As your content takes shape and becomes distributed across networks your offering obtains authenticity. For many marketers this is a drastic shift from the traditional outbound model, however, brands that do not shift a portion of their marketing budget to an inbound marketing model will have more and more difficulty conveying their message.
So does this mean that SEO is still a relevant means to garner traffic for your online properties? Probably yes. However, predictive search technology does create some division in how content will be optimized depending on the platform you are focusing your efforts on. With mobile access now exceeding desktop access for many online services, a deeper focus will be weighed on relevance and reputation in regards to predictive search results.
It’s all about location, location, location.
Need Help With Organic?
Enter your name and email address below for more information.