Searching for something you want or need?
How do you like to do that… and when was the last time you thumbed through one of those old local directories to search for an item or service you wanted?
If you are anything like me those ‘free’ directories now remain sealed in their plastic wrapping where they belong and instead I, like millions of others, do my pre- purchase research and or transactions using the internet – this is as true for locally available products and services as it is for those sourced from distance.
So it’s simple, if your business is still paying for a paper directory you are wasting your money.
Most people use the internet to gather information about a prospective purchase by exploring, reviewing and comparing alternate products, services and their suppliers. Others like to view videos which provide product or service explanations, give demonstrations or search images to satisfy their curiosity or interest.
This research provides knowledge plus a level of reassurance to the consumer prior to the commitment to buy, this being especially important if using a previously untried online supplier or an unproven local business.
This depth of information is just not provided by the old style ‘advert in the directory’. As a consequence millions rely on internet search results to inform and aid their selection of items, businesses or services in the expectation ‘they get what they want, when they want it, without a problem.’
Interestingly search engines ‘want’ exactly the same and are designed to enable users to find what they are searching for straight away. Millions of gigabytes of data are sieved following the imputing of a search term or specific query in an effort to deliver content which is most relevant to the user.
In addition to multiple mediums, multiple ways of conducting a search now exist. Personally I still prefer to type my searches, but many now use the vocal option to ask for information and receive a verbal response. This is particularly useful when busy doing something such as driving.J
Most searches are made by those seeking information to support decision making therefore they will check ‘Answers’ to get confirmation and reassurance that others have successfully resolved the same issue or are satisfied with a similar purchase.
Way outstripping these two methods is the current reliance on customer Review Checking which aims to support decision making by confirming that the promised outcome has been delivered in an exemplary fashion, with five star ratings being the optimum currency.
All search result information is displayed to the user in a fraction of a second and in an order specific to the preferences set in the algorithm of the search service provider. This information has been recorded by the ‘spider’ which visited and categorised the content in its many formats.
Google, Yahoo, Badu, and Bing are amongst the biggest of the search engines however people whose preference is to use social media for searching use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
My advice to digital marketers is to “choose your words carefully”!
Why? Because your position in search engine results is dependent upon on how relevant your ‘words’ are to the content you provide.
To clarify, using ‘misleading’ words which attract visitors but are followed by irrelevant content which was not sought, will lead to disappointment for the searcher and disapproval from the search engines – thus any kind of short cut, system or software used to supply quick results should be avoided. In contrast words which attract visitors and lead to relevant informative content which is sought, will lead to satisfaction for the searcher and approval from the search engines.
It has been suggested by many recently that SEO or search engine optimisation is dead, is no longer relevant or effective. That is nonsense, for as long as there is a need for search, there will remain a need to arrange and deliver those search results in a structured way.