Have you noticed the change in your search habits? They’re different than they were just a few short years ago.
We used to search for everything. We looked for the right vendor, restaurant, retail establishment or other business by opening up Google and typing in a few words.
Think about it (and watch your kids, too).
Nowadays, we open up Google and talk to it. We talk to on our phones when we’re in a hurry. We go to YouTube more often and use that as an information source.
Also, think about how you’re *really* using search. More often than not, we use it for “HOW TO” information. We go to YouTube and Google to find out how to:
- Fix our WordPress site
- Make a Photoshop edit
- Find crafts and magic tricks for our kids
- Fix email problems
- Tie a tie
- Write a case study
- Pick up girls
What we do much less of these days is look for businesses by typing into Google. For businesses, Google is now more commonly used for looking up competitors and seeing what they’re up to.
We just don’t like or trust the SEO-gamed information that comes through via Google searches. Plus, recommendation information data is much more easily garnered by surfacing it through our social networks. These are our trusted friends and associates. They’re smart, experienced, and they live on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram and elsewhere.
We also look to social networks for *serendipity*. We cruise our feeds to find cool stuff by chance and then consider it “in the cards,” or a discovery of fate, or just plain fun discovery.
What does this mean for businesses?
- You’re going to rely less and less on traditional SEO vendors for getting your pages to rank high in Google searches *because it matters much less these days!*
- You’ll need to have some portion of your creative team concentrate on “How to” content that relates to your core business value.
- You need to pay attention to how you look to competitors and make sure some content surfaces that shows what you want to show them when they look for you (this is a complex subject that requires another post)
- You need to pour more resources into social media channels. I hate to say it, but this is a big one. A lot of small to medium sized businesses blow this off, but it’s a mistake. People find and recommend other businesses via trusted social channels. They don’t open up Google, search for a great graphic designer (example), click on the first link, and then hire that person based on how cool their web site looks. It just doesn’t happen that way these days.
- STOP agonizing over traditional SEO and start creating original, jaw-dropping content!!! Write, produce, video yourself, make SlideShare presentations, make infographics, get creative, get inspired! And go fast. Your best competitors are beating you to the punch as we speak.