I’ve been brushing up on my search engine optimisation skills recently (by attending a great morning session courtesy of Verto which I would highly recommend attending if you get the chance).
When I first encountered SEO it was all about finding sneaky ways around algorithms like stuffing web pages with keywords. Things have moved on somewhat, but the idea of trying to beat (or at least second guess) the Google algorithm still remains….and yet the inevitable extrapolation of digital progress means that we will reach a point where we, as humans, will simply not be able to keep up with the rate of change that will be taking place. In fact, if you spend too long thinking about the rate of technological progress that we are teetering on the edge of, it could easily put you into a dizzy spin.
But this got me thinking…what is the Google algorithm all about?
In essence, I have to assume the Google algorithm exists to give the user the best possible experience – the user types in a search term and Google returns the best results it can find. Of course, there is a massive commercial benefit to Google for making this experience as great as possible, but this in itself is driving the business forward to create a search engine that responds in the way that a human would.
So, how about this for an idea, how about going back to basics and rather than trying to ‘beat the system’, why not focus on making sure your online marketing proposition is exactly what your customers need and want? Surely, if Google wants to give the best results, then those businesses that are most in touch with their customers are naturally going to be ranking pretty well?
I appreciate there is still a need for technical know-how behind the scenes, and I am certainly not suggesting there is no place for SEO, however, I believe the time has come to put our focus back into knowing our customers inside out first, and challenging the algorithms second.
“By understanding our customers better, whether this is through market research, listening strategies, or trend spotting, we will all be better placed to create what they need, and to sell it in a marketplace and in a way that feels appropriate and compelling.”
When was the last time you took a step back and used the internet as one of your customers would? In many ways, it is time for marketers to go back to basics. It’s time to put the human back into our communication.
And for those who think this view is a little deluded and simplistic, watch this space and see what the next 5 years bring…Share....