How Do You Motivate a Search Engine? Motivate a Customer!

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better search engine rankings require motivating your customersSuccessful SEO is all about leveraging the right amount of motivation. There are a lot of technical aspects of SEO. But really, take all the techno-mumbo-jumbo away and what you’re left with is concepts of how to motivate search engines to pay attention to your site and apply the right amount of “value” to it so that you rank better for your keywords.
SEO is almost that simple. Just apply the right amount of persuasion and you get the results you want. But like most things, persuasion is an art that relies on timing, concern and demonstrating the value in the desired action to the persuadee.
In short, if you want to motivate a search engine to rank your website, focus on persuading your customers. Search engines only want to give their searchers what they want, and if they want you, then you’ve done your job!

How to Motivate Your Customers (and Search Engines)

Motivation is a funny thing. You can try to encourage people to do something by telling them the features and benefits of what you are offering, but sometimes it’s just not enough. Talking is just talking. People talk all the time, but they feel even more.
Most of us can write pages of content about our business. But shoppers want more than content. They want to feel what is behind the content. There is something that motivates you as the seller, and that information is important to convey if you want to motivate your audience. If you craft your message right, you can convey your feelings using words. Poets, songwriters and authors do it all the time.
Let’s look at a few examples.

  • Fast food restaurants use words (and pictures) to make you feel hungry. Rarely do you see a sign that says “eat” with a picture of some random burger in the display window. No, instead, you learn about the burger through the words and pictures. And it’s not some random picture, it’s the perfect picture, the one most likely to stir your stomach!
  • Non-profits raise money by making you feel sad, important, angry, helpful and a whole host of other valuable emotions that get you to take action. And it’s almost all done with words (and, again, some pictures). But it has to be the right words, because, “Hey dude, like, would you donate to my charity. Please?” doesn’t really motivate anyone.
  • Employers motivate by making their employees feel valuable and important. Good bosses give their team a sense of control over the direction of the department or company, all because of the work they do. Is this all just lip service? It shouldn’t be. Feelings only last so long as the actions behind them support it.

In advertising, online marketing and SEO you can create powerful words and pictures that make people feel what you feel.

You can create feelings of pain, anger, relief, desire, attraction, want, hope, satisfaction, love, etc. If you really want to close the sale, make people feel like what you are selling is important in meeting their wants and needs. When your words convey feeling, then you are motivating readers to take the action you desire. Essentially you’re helping them make a decision they’ll feel good about, because, ultimately, it is going to help them do succeed at something. You’re also helping them feel good about the result because they are confident it is the right solution. People love making right decisions, and you just helped them do that!

We all know search engines don’t have feelings, but they have an amazing way of knowing what people are passionate about. You’re not the only one that reads Twitter, Facebook or Google+. The search engines do, too! They know what people are talking about and linking to.

The more passionate you can make your customers through your words, the more you motivate them to talk about you. The more they talk, the more the search engines listen. And, to a search engine, there is no greater motivation for wanting to deliver traffic to your site than what you are saying about you!

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!, and President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading web presence optimization firm... Read Full Bio
Stoney G deGeyter
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  • People really do buy benefits – not features, but I always have explained that it is a little more than that. Your job is to solve their problems. Sometimes, it is a real problem and they are looking for a product to solve it. Sometimes, they know that they need a product but aren’t sure which one to get. Other times, they know exactly what they want to buy, but aren’t sure where they are going to get it because they are torn between price, service and confidence in the place they are thinking about buying the product from. Many times, it is all three.

    If your website can solve all three of those “problems,” you are well on your way to converting a sale. The customer feels good about buying from you and stayed on your website a good amount of time, clicking through various pages. That’s what makes the search engines feel good!

  • The search engines are definitely looking at what people are talking about on social networking sites. The more times your content is shared the more valuable it becomes in the eyes of the search engines. When you can get people excited/interested in your brand and sharing your content the search engines are bound to take notice.

  • Scott, good point. It’s not just about telling them the benefit of the service but how you will solve their problems AND what the result will be. It’s all about giving the customer what they don’t even know they want.

  • Google’s release of Panda and Penguin updates to bring quality SERPs is another example of how you can’t rely on search engine rankings alone. One should actually try to target customers rather than search engines. Penguin and Panda has brought the whole SEO field down on its knees.

  • well quite an enriched post by you..

  • It’s good advice. You have to think about SEO from the perspective of the people viewing your site or you’re forgetting why you started in the first place! It’s all about exposure, your bounce rate will be massive if you only focus on search results.