As SEO experts, it’s easy to get so deep into the weeds that we forget how to explain how simple search really is from a business perspective. We get mired down in tactics such as guest blogging outreach, content marketing, topic modeling, site architecture audits, keyword research and social media strategies. We over complicate everything to the extent we forget how to explain the point of it all. We find it easy and natural to have complex conversations with Interactive marketing managers and other technical staff dedicated to understanding and implementing Internet marketing strategies.
Now for the hard part… The CEO asks us to explain what we do and the value it brings to the organization. We stutter, pause and start to mumble as sweat beads begin forming on our foreheads. These seemingly simple conversations can be terrifying when you’re put on the spot.
If we had time to collect our thoughts we may have said something like… “Prospects are searching on Google for the products and services you offer and I help make sure you’re first in line to greet them.”
Do you offer the product or service a searcher is looking for? People use Google for a number of reasons, but in every situation there is intent. They’re looking for something or asking a question expecting Google to serve up the answer. It’s extremely lucrative for your business to come up first AND satisfy the searchers’ intent.
The aim of SEO is to help influence your web contents’ visibility when someone conducts a search related to your market.
Why is SEO materially more valuable than most other forms of marketing? It’s one of the most targeted forms of marketing. A searcher conducts a search at the time of their need for, or interest in, something. Proper positioning in the search results will allow you to capitalize and satisfy the demand at the right time.
Google is often the first place and the last place someone goes before making a purchase. It may take hours, days, weeks or months for someone to make a buying decision, but be assured that search almost always plays a role. For example, if you were in the market for a new mp3 player you may first search Google for “mp3 player”, browsing multiple sites and reading reviews. Within the hour your searches would likely evolve to more specific devices like “iPod nano” or apps for your phone “Pandora radio for the iPhone”. Along the way you’re being exposed to brands and products. Hours, days or weeks later you return to Google to search for a brand you remember such as “Apple”, a store you remember such as “Best Buy” or a specific device such as “16 GB black iPod nano” or better yet you combine all of those phrases to find exactly what you’re looking for and make your purchase. Where did your website show up for these searches? Ideally you’d be in the mix for all of them and your brand would have left an good impression.
Don’t take my word for it; take note of your own actions over the next couple weeks. How often do you use Google and how does it influence your buying decisions?
Other marketing channels play a role in the buying process, but again, Google is often the first place and the last place someone goes before making a buying decision. This great video by Google highlights the interactivity between multiple marketing channels and introduces a relatively new way to gain insights from Google Analytics.