Personalisation and real-time have been seriously big topics in SEO and social media news in recent weeks. Prior to Googles recent real-time search results announcement, my interest in real-time search was beginning to wane, as although it was en vogue and certainly cool technology, there was rarely any real industry-changing news. This release though, has got me interested in it all over again " if it retains its influence in the SERPs then this could indeed be a game changer. Here though, Im going to consider the ramifications of ignoring this area of search for big brands and those looking to grow.
Multiple Digital Channels & Asset Development
SEO now spans in to the reaches of social media like most would expect " hence the rising interest in SMO (social media optimisation). This is fascinating from an SEO perspective, as those that work in broad, organic visibility roles are no longer considering organic SERPs from a pure website optimisation / link-building perspective but through a multi-channel optimisationdeveloping many online assets for multiple listings that capture the breadth of searchers intent on generic and niche terms.
Essentially, this might mean that a large corporation or a SME ecommerce site must consider what channels they can look to harness, within their budgets, in order to directly or indirectly drive sales / conversion volumes. But this complex decision is only getting more complex with more emerging online channels
Changing competition, economics, marketing channels and an online marketplace
In the olden days, people might have been able to rank for generic terms with just a few minor on-site considerations and a handful of links, but as link-profiles get larger, marketplaces get bigger and alternative online marketing channels emerge, its becoming more economical to compete with larger assets and larger ambitions online. SMO and SEO are seeing integration like never before.
SMO, SEO, ORM and SERM,
Acronyms aside, there has been a stack of news of late that quite literally has the potential to shake the industry up. The two that have most closely sprung to mind are personalization and real-time. You might have seen a recent tweet or two about how spammable SERPs are, and for me this is the classic example of how easily SERPs, via social media, can be manipulated with such little effort. As a result, I think the threats (and opportunities) of such brand mentions can be quite clearly highlighted.
3 Roles of Organic (Earned) Optimisation
If search engines maintain their role as consumers go-to place for information online, then we are going to have to maintain our role across three areas. We will be charged with not only protecting the reputation of these brands but also building their awareness, whist also optimising search engine and social media channels to meet and exceed the financial business goals.
Taking the personalisation revelation too, we can also see the ramifications of passing behavioural signals to Google " so the bigger the recognition of the brand, the more likely that the searcher will click-through " creating a self-fulfilling circle of:
- Brand-building (via SEO / SMO)
- Visibility (via SEO / SMO)
- Brand recognition
- Behavioural factors, e.g. click-throughs (via search engines)
- Greater visibility again
Brand development has never been such an integral part of SEO.
Meeting business goals through optimisation, whatever the channel
As Google continues to dominate online share of voice on who makes it big, items such as real-time results and personalisation must force brand owners to consider how they develop web assets as go-to places in their own right, take control of their brand, manage the SERPs and add genuine value to their consumers.
Running for the hills and staying there is not going to avoid bad PR. Social media engagement and optimisation might indeed be the only way you can protect your brand.
About Ben McKay