The “cosmology” of SEINov 25, 2020
When you look at online marketing it can seem overwhelmingly complicated – SEO, PPC advertising, Google algorithms, content marketing, smart chat bots, and .. and… and …
It feels like it’s all about what search engines and their supporting technology want – things that are changing all the time – with new algorithms, new tools, new demands.
Complexity and perspective
Back in the 1600s, astronomy was like that – complexity on complexity on complexity.
What was limiting them wasn’t their capabilities – it was their basic “mental model”, which was built on the fundamental assumption that the sun went around the earth in a circle.
As telescope technology developed, their calculations got ever more complex and difficult as they had more exact planetary movements to explain.
New thinking began to develop (very quietly)
Smart thinkers started to test a heretical notion – that their fundamental assumption was wrong. Very quietly (to avoid getting burned at the stake) they asked some new questions and tested some “new math”.
What if the sun doesn’t go around the earth? What if the earth goes around the sun?
What if heavenly objects don’t move in perfect circles? What if their orbits are oval instead?
While it stayed dangerous to life and limb for decades, the mathematics of astronomy got a whole lot simpler.
What does astronomy have to do with online marketing?
In recent years, more and more and more effort has gone into Search Engine Optimisation and related disciplines. It’s been focussed on working out what will get the best results from search engines and social media.
It can be an endless amount of work – because both hardware and software capabilities are multiplying.
SEI and perspective
So let’s take a step back from “What is the latest Google algorithm doing?” and ask a different question.
“Why does Google do what it does?”
Google is in the advertising game. They want to give their users useful, interesting, entertaining material that will keep them online.
So what if the deeper game isn’t about Google?
What if the deeper game is connecting two human beings – connecting one human being who wants a solution with another human being who can provide that solution?
Re-centering on the human in the equation
We all know that “people do business with people that they know, like and trust” – but how many people REALLY apply it to how they do business online?
Google is a communications channel that can enable you to be known, like and trusted by more people in more places than ever before AND it’s still a communications channel.
Too many Search Engine Optimisation approaches are about the optimising your relationship with search engines.
The deeper game is developing influential relationships with your ideal prospects – relationships that turn visitors into prospects and prospects into customers.
Google is the gatekeeper – not the endgame
Treat Google with respect – and put your customer at the centre of your business.
Make your website about solving your customer’s problems, orient your content to helping and supporting your customers, write your copy about the benefits you deliver to your customers, build your sales funnel and your landing pages around your customers.
Then SEO stops being just Search Engine Optimisation and becomes Search Engine Influencing. The game stops being about expensive maintenance and becomes about proactive business development.
What about Google?
Think about Google more like an extra customer – a distributor of your products. That includes:
- be consistent and reliable
- be interesting (especially to end customers)
- don’t cheat
Treat Google like a human being – be consistent with your presentation. Think about the last time your local supermarket re-arranged their aisles – how irritating was that.
- If you do a major website upgrade, make sure your tech does redirections.
- Don’t change ALL your language ALL at once, or delete huge amounts of old material.
Be interesting and helpful
Google favours websites that keep their visitors on the site for a meaningful period of time – so be that website that people love. That’s the heart of content marketing – keywords are a means to an end, not the end in themselves.
Once upon a time, misguided SEO experts tried to “beat” Google by loading websites with keywords in white text on white backgrounds. Then for a while the game was all about “How many backlinks can we create from low value, irrelevant websites?”
Where’s the centre of your online marketing cosmology?
If all your focus is on winning Google rankings, then you could be focussed on the wrong thing.
Fundamentally, every Internet interaction is a 1-to-1 relationship – your customer reading your content, watching your videos, listening to your voice.
Put your customer at the heart of a long term, strategic Search Engine Influence program designed to build real relationships – it’s the best marketing investment you can make.