Bill Gates once said: "The future of search is verbs." He wasn't talking about the words people use in search boxes; he was referring to why people search. Search used to produce a list of documents that contained words typed by the user, but that's changed. Searchers today are looking to solve problems, get tasks accomplished, or "do" something.
That could mean booking a flight, buying something, learning Taylor Swift's new lyrics, or browsing through endless cat photos - but the key is - as Gates said - they're all verbs.
Essentially, search is the start of what marketers call "the consumer journey." A user's path, from the inception of their task to the completion, often starts with a search. To cope with the complexities of the average consumer journey, search has had to evolve from words on a page to understanding user intent at different stages of what they're trying to achieve. It's not just about keywords any more; it's all about providing relevant, helpful content at the correct time - or stage of journeys.
As a result, SEO has evolved into what the author calls "real marketing." Modern SEO focuses on:
- Understanding personas.
- Data-driven insights.
- Content strategy.
- Technical problem-solving.
- The 3 Main Tenets of Any Marketing Strategy or Campaign
Search impacts all three of the following areas
But search heavily leans toward that first phase: Attract. In 2021, you can't just have an amazing product; you've got to attract customers using multiple channels and outlets. Any webpage that's involved in attracting visitors, engaging visitors, or converting them, should have a significant element of SEO.
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