The SEO Explosion (and Inevitable Implosion)
As Google continues to take a greater share of local searches for products and services, the market for search engine optimization (SEO) services increases along with it. Unfortunately, that growth comes with a seeming endless flow of SPAM email and bogus use of customer lead forms on business’ websites. How many of you with a ‘Contact Me’ form on your website haven’t received requests from ‘SEO experts’, quite often in India, offering their services? The irony is that you added a contact form to bring you more leads, but they’re using the form to generate their own leads.
This huge market for SEO services is driven by the click distribution of Google search results. As much as Google would like a more even distribution of clicks among the top 10 results, the top spot gets an substantial plurality of clicks. The top three get as much as 70% of clicks, tapering off in dramatic fashion thereafter. Roughly 85% of searchers don’t even bother to look at the results 11-20 (page 2). When searchers do meander onto page two, they seldom click on the displayed results.
Search Results With an Emphasis on RELEVANCE
If you combine that information with the fact that Google services 3.5 BILLIONS (yes, with a ‘B’) of searches every DAY, then you have a marketer’s dream. Every Tom, Dick and Baljeet who fancy themselves a Google SEO expert are Googling (again with the irony) for clients, scouring pages 2-10 of search results promising to use their SEO skills (aka, tricks) to get your website to page 1 in no time flat.
Google’s success is due largely to their exhaustive efforts designed for “bringing forward the stuff that matters to you and getting all the other clutter out of your way”, as stated in Google’s official blog. Google’s massive investments in research have yielded a search engine that efficiently produces the sites that best match what the searcher seeks to find/buy/read/study. In a nutshell, Google cares about a site’s Visitor Engagement Factor. Your site must be liked by its visitors. Other sites with high Visitor Engagement Factors must link to your site. Your site visitors must remain on the site longer than on your competitors’ sites.
You Can’t Fool Google For Long
Search engine crawlers see through SEO experts’ tricks designed to boost search engine results page (SERP) position. Google’s algorithm notices when you over-stuff keywords into the text of your page, and knows if a site’s only purpose is to link to other sites. Google is aware of searchers’ locale, so purchased traffic from India and Pakistan isn’t going to help you rank your website in Anytown, USA.
If Google knows all the tricks, what can you do to get your website in the money positions – 1 to 5? It’s all about Visitor Engagement Optimization (VEO). Stop trying to fool Google into thinking your site is something it’s not. Instead, focus on providing the best, most effective user experience for your site visitors. Isn’t that what a website is for anyway?
Visitor Engagement Optimization – A Better Solution
By focusing on VEO, you can kill two birds with one stone. First of all, with effective VEO, the customers who do show up at your website will stay longer, get a better sense of what your company is about, and feel more confident choosing your company over your competitors. Your efforts to please your site visitors isn’t lost on Google. Statistics like pages visited, time spent on site, visitor location, all will be captured if you are using Google Analytics. Some of these stats will be picked up even without Google Analytics. The end result is that Google will reward those sites who best serve their visitors.
Providing customers with the best possible service is a primary factor that continues to contribute to Google’s massive success. If you follow along in its footsteps, Google will help you in your efforts to please your customers. Success follows!