Will Google take over the world?

I typed this into a popular search engine, no prizes for guessing which one… Its a question which has plagued me for a while, I already have Google as my home page on my phone, desktop, laptop and tablet, I have gmail on 2 android phones, Google play  where I store music and books and obviously I have preferred search engine.

Not sure who it is but this blogger wrote about gooogle world domination in 2004, and he was probably on to something, at the time, Google play wasn’t invented, there wasn’t too many android handsets about and I dunno if Chrome was invented or whether they had bought YouTube at that point or had double click, I’m not going to write a list of Google products here but the point is Google has come a long way in the 10 years since the article. Just look at this:

The next article was on where 67% of people think that Google will take over the world, (read some of the comments, for comedy gold.) The 3rd post was viralnova’s google facts which is quite a fun read and many a true word is spoken in jest.

Anyway, the answer to the question depends on your perspective. Given that Google know what you searched for last, who you emailed 3 years ago, what video’s you like watching and porn tastes, and every “curiosity” search you’ve ever done, what you like to read, who your friends are and your music tastes, it probably already has.

Half the the people who work in marketing have had to adapt to Google, and go on courses just to stay relevant. Google is in the dictionary and my Gran even says “Google it” You can’t really escape Google and I don’t know what’s next, they may lose a bit to IOS using Bing as default, but I doubt it makes a difference, because IOS sucks. Also the amount of times my other half as text me to say “have you seen Google today, its funny.”

Like it or not, its part of your life and all in all it ain’t half bad for a bunch of geeks who sit around on bean bags all day. Anyway watching this video will help you make your own mind up.

Optimisation v Optimism

SEO and other animals

Over the years, there have been umpteen articles on SEO, Penguins, Spiders, Bigger penguins, panda’s and all sorts of other creatures I’m not going to go on about here.

Does it mean anything? Is it relevant? What if the internet’s down, this all means jack shit.

While it’s true that a well optimised site exposes your business to the masses.  Should so much emphasis be put on meta tags, page titles, keywords alt tagging, XML site maps and a list of all these other search engine related things that a lot of people don’t get. If you are one of these people that doesn’t get it, or are just late to the party, fear not. You should read this SEO in a nutshell post by David Robinson. I’ll also embed this video for those of you that care.

Imagine if there was no internet

Now that you know what SEO is, think about the question.

Imagine the internet goes down for a week, day, month. What do you do then?

Do you have any non digital marketing collateral? No? Now what would you do? Hopefully if you have Youtube videos there are DVD’s, if you have stories, testimonials, case studies or any of the other recommendation any digital agency will tell you to have, you should have these backed up with hard copies.

You should have something else

Yes, SEO is a vital part of the marketing mix, but it’s not the be all and end all, if the internet ceased working tomorrow, you are going to have to start prospecting, direct mail, all the other old school stuff that seems irrelevant now. It’s not irrelevant, it’s just evolved.

I am not saying the net will go out of date, but if you have good content it wont matter what format it is.

Not content marketing..content

SEO has to be part of your game plan, but the content is what matters, I’m not even talking about content marketing, Consider the value it provides. You could have the best optimised shit website in history, but it’s still a shit website.

Follow the rules and trends but make sure it means something to audiences, putting SEO above content is is more optimism than optimisation.

Consider the impact of PPC on your offline goals.

I’ve decided to rehash this post as its relevant to work I’ve been doing lately. This scenario may be familiar to millions: You haven’t had any sales on your site, but your spending tons on Adwords. What are you missing?

Take a look at this picture of an experiment on an E-commerce site. What does it show?

Analytics screen shot

what is this even showing?

A decrease in web traffic

All it shows is less hits on a website once Adwords was paused. To some it looks like the site is doomed.  If I was to show you a conversion for E-commerce sales and monetize this then it would look even worse. This is a real problem for SMEs the world over.

What’s more important… Traffic or leads? What impact does ad words have on overall business? 70 percent of the visitors are new. 1,886 unique people have seen this site in 7 weeks. 50% of them are from Adwords. How would a business cope if it got that many extra phone calls? Or that much passing trade… most SMEs would need more staff to cope with that. Anyway, what happened was: 15% of website visitors from the campaign requested a call back – for information on high ticket items.  The number of times the website was cited under “how did you hear about us” increased by 5%. This is all linked.

So what?

If the sales team that deal with these inquiries can convert, you’ve returned your investment. Just because a goal isn’t met in your E-commerce site, does not mean something else hasn’t improved – make sure you see the bigger picture. Many people are researching online but purchasing offline. Consider the impact of your digital activities on offline activities and you might just realise your efforts are working.

How can I track this?

It’s difficult, half the time you rely on other people to do make your metrics work. A lot of web agencies will tell you now that they can put  a phone number on each advert and port it to your phone, whilst this works, you rely on the agency. Consider having an “adwords phone” where you use one number for all ads, or make sure that the adverts go to a unique landing page.