How to Rethink First Impressions to Work with Google Algorithms
3 Minute Read
Most digital leaders have experienced the frustration of trying to keep up with Google’s ever-changing algorithm updates. It is costly and time-consuming to implement search engine optimization (SEO) changes across websites and landing pages. Even worse, often by the time the changes are fully rolled out, they’re nullified by yet another Google update. How do companies stand out, when they can’t even keep up? Is playing the ranking game even worth it?
Google’s December 2020 Update
Google’s latest update in December 2020 has caused quite a stir.
It’s requiring digital leaders to rethink their website optimization efforts to go beyond keywords, backlinks and technical design. The focus is now squarely on first impressions.
Frustration aside, when analyzing the updates over the years a clear pattern emerges. Google has a primary goal in mind and it’s one worth aligning to; they aim to consistently improve user experiences by serving up the most accurate information as quickly as possible.
Admittedly, Google doesn’t always get it right. Search the word "apple," for example, and the first few pages of search engine results will be dominated by Apple Inc. product offerings rather than varieties of fruit. But Google isn’t buying your products, customers are—and customers won’t make the same mistake.
Customers know what they want and expect companies to serve up what they’re looking for when they visit a website. Having a customer-centric website optimization strategy will win more customers and get Google loving the experiences you’re offering online.
Finding those winning first impressions
To play the Google game, the advice from SEO experts is consistent: aim to create high-quality, engaging digital experiences and you stand a better chance at aligning with what Google is looking for. This may sound simple, but the challenge is that Google algorithms are not the only things that are constantly changing—everything else is, too!
Creating those winning first impressions that customers find engaging is even more challenging, like finding a needle in a haystack. There are so many ways to present ideas and so many variables influencing their performance. Plus each visitor is unique. The best way to engage them is to be able to serve up unique experiences with information that they will find useful and relevant.
AI-driven optimization creates unique experiences
The challenge with trying to create engaging digital experiences is having the testing tools and technology that can process the many variables and keep up with the pace of change. Traditional testing tools, unfortunately, are not up to the task. They’re limited by traffic, take time to generate results, and cannot change mid-way to account for variables.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) can do what traditional testing tools can’t and much more, including serving up unique and engaging digital experiences that customers love. The same type of experiences that Google is prioritizing in its search results and connecting to first impressions.
Changing website optimization priorities
This customer-centric approach is changing everything digital leaders have believed about website optimization. Up until now, to achieve search rankings, the conventional wisdom has been to focus on keywords, paid search, and fine-tuning the various elements that contribute to search engine optimization. Google realized that there are too many companies that go after search rankings to the detriment of customer experiences and that’s what the algorithm changes are targeting. The message is fairly clear: optimize for better digital experiences, listen to the voice of the customer (VoC), and personalize optimization efforts by serving up unique experiences with relevant information.
How to find the ideas that create great digital experiences
Evolv’s growth optimization solution leverages AI to turn a few website optimization ideas into winning experiences that customers and Google will respond to. By using ideation at AI-scale, ideas are quickly developed into hundreds of combinations and thousands of unique experiences. Instead of just testing whether the CTA button works better in red or orange, for example, you can simultaneously experiment with its position, size, text, when and how it appears—any variable you'd like. Rather than only having the answer to which of two options gets the best response, you can experiment with thousands of variables and get meaningful insights quickly.
But the biggest benefit is being able to keep pace with change. Without having to stop an optimization, ideas can be added midstream. Ideas that aren’t performing can be removed so that you’re continually optimizing to get the best possible combinations that generate the best results.
Customer-centric website optimization means you no longer need to chase the ever-changing Google Algorithms. Optimize for the best digital customer experiences, and Google will come to you.