What you are about to read (assuming you are a fully-fledged human) should be easy enough to follow. The problem, though, is that the common-sense marketing we prefer to champion is often spat on by the digital big wigs. They (mostly Google) like to imply that keeping your business competitive is extremely complicated and we think that’s silly. That’s why we choose to err on the side of the people. Maybe you’ll agree.
This is an article about why we need to employ critical thinking skills before making sacrifices to Google.
(As such, Google bots, be on your way! This one isn’t for you.)
When we say “People Before Google,” we’re talking about acting in the best interests of your customers and clients. Not Google. And sure, sometimes those motives overlap. But if you have to pick, we hope you’ll root for humanity.
So in terms of website development, “People Before Google” can mean creating an organized menu bar. It ought to look clean and modern. Most importantly, it shouldn’t be overwhelming. You want people to land on your home page and not feel like they’re in some weird maze or house of mirrors. It needs to be easy to navigate.
But things start to get tricky with content. Hopefully you aren’t using robotic-sounding phrases. Hopefully you’re using people-speak.
Because if you’re only writing with Google in mind, your brand is going to come across as super creepy.
Yes, there are things called keywords and there are certain Google Analytics things that are important to acknowledge. But it can (ahem, will) be weird if you go overboard. And anyway, some of that stuff can be taken care of on the backend of your website. You don’t necessarily have to praise Lord Google to have them smile down upon your company and lift you to the top of page one.
Providing relevant education through blog articles is one subtle way to get Google’s attention. Connecting with your current clients or customers through your business social media accounts is another option for showing Google that you’re still rocking and rolling. Sure, you can even buy ads or run fancy SEO reports if that’s the level you’re trying to reach. But you also don’t HAVE to do those things.
The heart of your marketing plan should always be geared toward people.
Because odds are, the relationships you build authentically are going to last a lot longer than the ones you paid Google to bring to your doorstep. That is, unless you have a people-centered website! Again, think about colloquial content. Not awkward phrases. Otherwise, the prospects who are coming to your website might be confused about how you’re trying to help them. Your language will be too clunky.
We’re not saying that you have to ignore Google and SEO altogether. Marketing is a multi-faceted and wily thing, and we obviously live in a digital age. Just don’t lose your head, okay? Try to not be too swayed by the marketing “it’s best if you…” or those commandments from Google. Solid brands survive because they’re built on trust. If you only rely on Google, then you’ll likely miss out on some awesome opportunities with the earthlings who matter most.