What The Average Consumer Understands About Search Engines And SEO: Diddly-Squat.

I think it’s safe to assume that if you’re reading this you are smarter than the average bear when it comes to all things Internet. As marketers and business owners we have to stay plugged in to all of the things that have an impact in how well or how poorly we show up on the Internet. This is especially true when it comes to understanding the search engines and how we might gain a better standing in search results.

We’ve learned all that we can and we utilize this to stay ahead of the curve. We search for the most authoritative resources and we’ve learned all about the lingo, the landscape, the tools, and the tactics…but this is not necessarily a good thing.

Let me just say that we’re all guilty of getting lost in our own forest sometimes. We have our objectives and we do everything within our power to reach them. With search engines, the better we understand them; the better we can maneuver and manipulate things in order to get what we want and need, right?

There’s a whole other side to all of this though, his name is Average Joe. Average consumers are the people who use the Internet and we’re all trying to get in front of them. What these people know about search engine optimization (SEO) and how the search engines work could fit in a thimble.

The good news is that it doesn’t really matter what this group knows. The bad news is that this group makes up the majority. I want to make a few points really quickly and then I want you to have a look at the Infographic below that I hijacked from smart guy Danny Richman.

  • We should never lose sight of the people we hope to reach through all of our efforts.
  • As marketers, we need to always consider the attitudes, behaviors, and understanding of the average consumer.
  • We should temper our marketing efforts and spending based on the perception of our audience.
  • Our content should always be relevant and valuable to real human beings first and then optimized for the search engines…in that order.
  • We have to find a perfect balance that works best for us…the rest of the world, including our competitors are not as important as we give them credit for.
  • Trust and relevance will always trump tricks and tactics when it comes to loyalty and who will ultimately convert from a searcher to a customer.

We’re always going to try to improve and it’s very true that the Internet forces us to take a more technical stance. We also have to learn to think like the machines and our intuition should absolutely be allowed to be shaped by the mechanics. I just wanted to bring you back down to a human place today and remind you that this is where you will ultimately find your victory in business.

Search and SEO - Public Perception