If you’re trying to take advantage of search marketing to promote your business, you may end up feeling like an actor in the original Star Trek series playing three-dimensional chess. It is at once familiar and strange, made up of simple parts, but leading into a labyrinth of complexities. And in both 3D chess and digital marketing there’s no doubt who will come out ahead—Mr. Spock in the one case, Google in the other.

So when top search marketing experts gathered in Seattle this past weekend for the MozCon event—hosted annually by SEO software development company Moz—the speakers presented an arsenal of high-tech tools and data-driven strategies to improve search results. But they also reminded the audience what’s at the heart of search: a person looking for answers. The founder and CEO of Moz, Rand Fishkin, summed up this theme. Despite their obsession with analytics and algorithms, “Content marketers are the most empathetic marketers. We spend our time thinking, ‘what does our audience want?’”

Compare two scenarios: a small business owner on an important sales trip who’s laptop died the night before a presentation versus a retiree on a fixed income looking for a gift for a grandchild. Both may search for “low price computers for sale near me,” but their mindset as they type and their feelings about the results may be completely different.

For optimal search marketing, you need to understand the “why” behind each search. There’s always going to be a gap between what someone searches for and what they actually want—the opportunities to set yourself apart exist in that space. Take advantage of it by writing copy and using keywords that focus on transformation, rather than need; benefits, rather than features; and testimonials rather than statistics. Take a chance with your content and don’t be afraid to fail…a lot…in order to find a message that hits home with the customers.

And while it’s tempting to think you already know what your customers want, it’s important to remember that you are not your customers and cannot think for them. Instead of relying on customer profiles, ask them what they wish they could do, what worries or frustrates them. As Google’s AI and ranking algorithm gets more advanced, it is more and more capable of recognizing and promoting human stories over sales pitches, so search marketers can turn that to their advantage while simultaneously presenting content that gets to the heart of the matter.

Have ARTÉMIA by your side as you make your first move in the 3D chess game of search marketing. We understand the complexities of the game, but, more importantly, we’ll help you see the players as the real humans they are, each with their own real needs.

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