Top Three Ways to Prepare for the Search Engine Future

Search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) has been on the top of advertisers' priority lists for a while now. These have historically been the primary and least expensive ways to drive traffic to a Web site. But what if you're among the top search results and the traffic doesn't come? Microsoft's new Bing "Decision Engine" is starting to change the landscape for search engines. It's goal is to push relevant, quality content directly through to the user, keeping traffic from clicking off.

So what can you do? With search engines shifting from delivering relevant topic-related results to delivering actual content, it's something to think about. We have a few suggestions. Here are the top three ways to prepare for this paradigm shift in the role of search engines.

1. Quality Over Relevance
For a long time, Advertisers have optimized the content on their Web sites to match keywords and phrases that audiences were typing into search engines. The name of the game was relevance, and it was achieved by planting the keywords and phrases strategically within page titles, navigation, H1 tags, etc.

Reduce Bounce
But was the content matching what audiences were really looking for? Finding your Web site from a keyword search is only the first step. Whether a user stays around for longer than a few seconds after that is what matters. Knowing your audience and delivering content that's likely to engage them is the important second step, but now it's part of the first as well.

Be Better Than The Next Guy
Search engines are going to be feeding the actual content from your Web site to the user, alongside similar content from competitor Web sites. You have one chance to attract a user's attention, engage her in your message, and make her want to see more. The content pushed through on the search engine has to be succinct but hard hitting. Be aware of what your competition is up to and make an effort to one up them.

In part two of this three-part blog series, we'll discuss the second top way to prepare for the search engine paradigm shift: Keep Content Fresh.

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