The SEO pundits and practitioners are scrambling these days. Google’s algorithm changes which rewarded businesses that have truly valuable and readable content changed the game for many who relied on the vanity metrics of getting clicks to their site. Of course, there’s a draw to the hype of getting as many eyeballs on your site as possible.
The problem is around the precipitous drop off between the actual number of visitors to those that actually become customers. It is not surprising in many cases that this is a 20,000 to 1 ratio, if that. There’s lots of activity but not much results.
Building Sites For Readers Not Machines
The poor results can come from different mindsets. On the one hand, an entire industry has grown up on the web to fool machines rather than serve readers. What an algorithm reads and translates becomes the primary goal rather than delivering meaningful content to a person.
However, the web is primarily used by human beings. People look for what interests them and they either engage or disengage if it is relevant. The web has always been about connecting with people based on content and that has only grown over time. As the web continually matures, the filtering of irrelevant information that only clutters what people are really interested continues to happen from email governance bodies, search engines and social media sites, as well as self-governance on sites such as Wikipedia.
I can remember just a few years ago finding a mixed bag in my search results for keywords. Some of the results that snuck on the front page were nothing more than garbled keyword packed pages or portal redirect pages. These don’t show up anymore and I like it all the more. That was noise I clicked off of quickly. That’s what typically happens after the click. If it’s not relevant or engaging, then we simply click off and forget that site forever creating a high bounce rate in our wake.
Content That Helps Is What Will Persist
The web is transforming from anonymity to reputation these days. This is what Google Authorship is about. Put your name and face on it and claim the content you put out and you are ascribed greater reputation over time. The previous anonymity that those who created noise and misleading clicks enjoyed has changed the game forever.
The great thing is that if you have done the hard work and adopted a no gimmick approach to building your content and reputation, then the self-correction leans your way in a highly favorable way. The hard work of getting in the mind of your audience and helping them with their problems is what allows you to not only get found but build a relationship of trust.
It’s Always Been About Trust
Who is going to pull out their wallet around a gimmick? We are smarter than that. After the click, the hard work of deep engagement is what substantiates the attention you got in the first place. If you are an authority around your knowledge, then you will build trust with those that are looking for answers or seeking to stay abreast of what is happening in your industry. You become a hub of trusted information and resources.
That’s the best strategy to pursue in the long run. How do you become a trusted resource that becomes indispensable over time? It comes with content that has authority about your specific industry. It is continued persistence and knowledge sharing. Just like real-world relationships, we don’t just trust people instantly. It takes time and experiences which help reinforce our continued viewpoint of a person.
The challenge today is less about getting the clicks and much more about the deep engagement and eventual conversion of a person who trusts your authority. The ratios may turn into 100 to 5 clicks to customers. The glamour may not be as high from the lack of noise in click traffic, but the results and efficiency from human-centered content that creates engagement is where the web is tuning into continually. It is a useful and smarter web.
The strategy then should be to build a true asset that works together and delivers a smooth experience for readers to move through a process that helps them find what they are looking for and say, “Yes”. That’s what should happen after the click.
What would this mean for your online strategy today?