Ever since we started in the internet marketing game, we've heard warnings about the death of SEO. And frankly, we've always hoped that these warnings would come true. Wait what? Why would an online marketing company want SEO to go away? Read on and we'll explain the method to our madness.
The "Death" of SEO
You could read dozens and dozens of articles dating back almost a decade claiming that SEO is just about on its last breath. But we'll spare you the boredom. The point every one of these articles makes is the same: Google doesn't need your help anymore to optimize sites, they can figure out how good your site is all by themselves, thank you very much.
And actually, this is pretty darn accurate circa 2014. Google is damn good now about interpreting what you really want when you type a query into its search engine, and it's getting better every day. If you search "bike shop," chances are very good that you are going to get listings of bike shops near you, along with hours, customer ratings, and other info. This means that if you run a bike shop in Seattle, you don't need to stuff your site with artificial and dumb-sounding keywords like "bicycle bike store Seattle WA" so that Google knows what you are about.
The Birth of Something New
So if the Goog doesn't need all of these marketing geniuses helping it to figure out what a page is about, it sounds like game over for the online marketing biz. But actually, not so much. Thankfully, all the "marketers" that were really only hawking backlinks or working on other tricks to game the search engines are indeed a dying breed.
But there's still a lot of marketing you need to do on the web to grow your business, even if SEO is dead as a doornail. Just keeping the focus on your website, you very likely need a more advanced marketing service that we like to call USEO.
What Is USEO?
USEO is the next wave of marketing help for your website. We came up with the term USEO, figuring that if we're going to keep throwing around acronyms, why don't we stick with something pretty close to what we already know? Here's what we're talking about:
- OLD: SEO - Search Engine Optimization
- NEW: USEO - User Site Experience Optimization
What we love about USEO is that we aren't focusing on what some algorithm thinks about the text or layout of your site - we're focusing on the actual users.
Some Elements of USEO
Here are just a few of the factors we consider when evaluating USEO:
- Easy to use navigation
- Intuitive layouts (akin to what car designers call ergonomics)
- Engaging interactivity
- Unique, sharable content
- Captivating messaging
- Clear paths toward information, resources and products
- Social proof
Measuring USEO Success
USEO is all about creating a positive feedback loop for your online marketing. Build a great site that people love to use. Google sees this and sends more people your way. Those people have a good experience, Google finds out through site metrics, social shares, reviews and more, and the cycle builds upon itself.
Not surprisingly, a key metric for USEO is visitation. If you are offering a good user experience, we expect to see Google reward you with more traffic. But that just scratches the surface. We also want to look at metrics such as your conversion ratio (a higher ratio indicates that you've built more trust with more users), top landing pages (which represent the key first impression of your business among users and need to be a showcase) and even user experience surveys (such as group-based usability testing or eye tracking studies).
Burying the Dead
So we're glad to see that SEO is on the decline for realsies this time. And we're excited to help our clients in the ongoing transition toward making the most of the user experience on their sites. After all, your business still runs on serving people, not robots.