Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Painting over the cracks might make a building look better , but it won’t fix structural defects beneath the surface.
Restoring a business’ search rankings is harder work than preventing the slide in the first place. It is also more expensive.
Until things are fixed, your business will move at a snail’s pace, limping around, losing money, underperforming, and being overtaken by competitors.
Organic Search Is Ubiquitous
The popularity and growth of organic search is hard to deny. According to the Pew Internet & American Life’s Search Engine Use 2012 report:
In January 2002, 52% of all Americans used search engines. In February 2012, that figure grew to 73% of all Americans. On any given day in early 2012, more than half of adults using the internet used a search engine (59%). That is double the 30% of internet users who were using search engines on a typical day in 2004. And people’s frequency of using search engines has jumped dramatically.
Organic search impacts nearly everything your customers do today, and it will only become more ubiquitous in the years to come. Now is the time to position yourself to take advantage of this shift. The action you take must be professional, strategic and meaningful – cosmetic changes aren’t enough.
You must integrate organic search into your marketing strategy in a manner that connects it to all other business processes. Make it the heart of your customer acquisition — because just as the heart pumps blood to every part of your body, organic search will pump customers and cash into each section of your business!
Mobile Search: A New Frontier
Mobile search has created a paradigm shift as well. When I use my smartphone to search for sushi, Google shows me results for Nydalen in Oslo where I live, not in Bergen (which is another part of the country).
Even within Oslo, my search result rankings change as I move around. That’s because Google is tracking where searchers are (through GPS) and serving up results from the vicinity.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a pure online business or a brick-and-mortar store. Mobile search with a local flavor has changed the game, and organic search results have never been more critical.
It’s no longer 10 blue links on a page. You must start thinking differently to dominate the results so your best customers and prospects can find you.
Things like how well you treat customers, how delighted buyers are with your service, and even apparently trivial things like whether your restaurant smells of cigarette smoke, could influence customer reviews… and in turn impact your search rankings.
Consumers have made organic search an integral part of their lives, and businesses and the economy have been deeply transformed as a result. Some are calling this a revolution. I think of it as an evolution of how businesses have changed to better serve their clients.
Because ultimately, this isn’t Google dictating terms to you – it’s your customers who are really driving the shift. And If you don’t listen to them, you won’t survive.