Back in the days, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) really meant something. No matter if it was about white hat, grey hat or black hat tactics, all of the focus, time and energy was targeted on the SEARCH ENGINE. Which, of course, was a mistake. A mistake that time and history have repeatedly shown us. We even have names for them. Animal names if you could believe such a thing: Penguin, Panda, Hummingbird etc. (these are Google updates targeting spammers and shady websites).
Nowadays when somebody wants to talk to me about SEO or a client asks about it, my brains stops for a second. I get some sort of internal error. It quickly remembers bits and pieces from the past and weights them with today’s landscape. Therefore I cannot find any sort of correlation between SEO and today’s world.
And if this wasn’t enough, I see different industries where organic (or ‘free’) searches are cannibalised by paid results. These are the reasons why the SEO term doesn’t mean almost anything for me. It’s not helping me in any way. And it clearly doesn’t explain anything to a present or future client.
An alternative to this term, which appeared several years ago I think was “Inbound Marketing”. Which really mean something else; something more like stepping away from the search engine and focusing on all the other channels that can bring natural and targeted traffic to you.
And while I like Inbound Marketing a lot, sometimes it’s an overkill.
For freelancers and even some agencies, talking to small business about Inbound Marketing can be frustrating. It requires a lot of time, energy, channels, people etc. Basically it means high costs. Or at least that’s how it’s perceived. Which is an impediment.
Since Inbound Marketing doesn’t really have a strict definition, some interpret and include different things. One such example would be another acronym – CRO (which is Conversion Rate Optimisation). Some people include CRO as part of Inbound Marketing. Others do not.
For some people CRO is a must. For others it’s just something ‘to be done sometime’.
We are strong believers in CRO. Every member of our team that joins gets at least the obligatory crash course on this topic even if they work in PPC or Design or any other field connected with i or not.
Therefore we have a proposal. Let’s move on from Search Engine Optimisation and let’s talk about Site Visitor Optimisation or SVO. Isn’t this want site owners really want? Isn’t this what they need?
Yes, they need money. And money comes from clients. Clients come from online. Your online property is your website. Any site visitor is a potential client. If you optimise his visit, if you put the best offer for him in front of his eyes and fingers he will convert. He will become your client.
If we try and focus on each and every visitor of the site rather than on search engines we won’t be troubled by any other future animal that will come from Google or any other engine for that matter. We will not get sad by encrypted searches which lead to lack of keyword data.
With SVO we will not fight the currents/trends. We will create and be part of them. And everybody wins.