Free Marketing Seminars

BSA Marketing have teamed up with Business link East Midlands to bring a series of seminars entitled “Marketing Fundamentals”. In the series, there will be 3 Seminars as follows: Book on line Marketing Fundamentals for Retail – Glossop Gasworks, Glossop – Wednesday 29th October 9:30-12:30 (followed by lunch) Book on line Marketing Fundamentals for Service – Glossop Gasworks, Glossop – Wednesday 29th October 13:30-16:00 (preceded by lunch) Book on line Marketing Fundamentals for Leisure – Old Hall Hotel Buxton – Wednesday 6th November 9:30-12:30

SEO is Dead (killed by Google Instant). Long Live Web Marketing

Today Google have launched a new feature on their website. “Google Instant” is a predictive search feature that starts to deliver search results as soon as you start typing, refining the search as you type more. It seems like a neat feature which Google claim will speed up and improve the accuracy of searches, the question from our end is how will this affect SEO? The simple answer to which is “Only time will tell!!”. Some experts claim that this “Will kill SEO”- (eg, Steve Rubel of Edelman Digital) – however most people seem to have the opinion that it will simply move the goal  posts. But what do we think? As anyone who has read this blog before will know we have always felt that SEO should be a part of a broader web marketing strategy, and that it is not the magic wand that will solve all your web marketing issues with a single wave. We do not subscribe to the idea that “All I need is to be number one on Google for my chosen keyword(s) then the sales will roll in“. In saying this, I am not rubbishing SEO. Being easy to find on Google is critical, but it should be seen in the context of a wider marketing program – both online and offline. Focusing on the Web Marketing Mix Before the internet, marketing focus was on “The Marketing Mix”. This meant considering the total array of marketing tools to in deciding which combination is best to deliver your message. Since the launch of Google, SEO and “Getting to the top of Google” has somewhat eclipsed this approach (wrongly in my opinion). As a Marketer I believe that  “Focusing on the Marketing Mix” is still as important as ever, the difference is that with the advent of web marketing, the range of tools and options available to businesses – particularly SME businesses – has increased dramatically. Key tools now include

  • Email
  • SEO
  • Pay Per Click
  • Web Advertising (eg Directories)
  • Web PR
  • Social media
  • Off line marketing (yes this is still important)

Getting the mix of these tools right will always be more effective than simply focusing on “Getting to the top of Google”. How will Google Instant Affect this Coming back to the question I asked earlier, I believe Google Instant will have significant impact on web marketing, some positive, some negative:

  • Google Instant only works if you are logged in to Google, so if people like the service they are more likely to log in. As well as activating Google instant, being logged in to your Google account also has (and has had for a while) a significant impact on the search results you see because  it uses the individual account history of previous web activity as part of the search algorithm.  So, the better your relationship with a searcher (i.e. they have searched for you/visited your site often in the past) the better your SEO performance. Consequently SEO ranking reports produced by SEO companies will become increasingly meaningless as the results they show will no longer reflect the results in the real world.
  • Experts are predicting that Google Instant will reduce the length of search terms from the current average of 3 words to 2 words. This will significantly skew the searches and make searched for keywords more competitive (hence more expensive either from PPC or SEO point of view) thus making search marketing more difficult for smaller companies. Consequently it will become increasingly difficult to find niche keywords that are searched for, but that have little competition on the search engines, thus making SEO more difficult for smaller companies. However if you that the Web Marketing Mix approach and look to build Fans not Customers (read our earlier blog post on this subject), your SEO performance can still improve.

In conclusion, we would suggest that Google Instant will have an impact on SEO. It may well make it more difficult for samller companies to “get to the top of Google”. This said, it does not change our opinion that Web Marketing should be seen as a process mixing appropriate use of all available tools (see above), and in this context, I believe that SEO will continue to be an accessible and valuable element of that Web Marketing Mix.