Understanding Context and Its Future Role in Online Marketing

In the next few years, context is going to be the next big thing in online marketing. For now, most marketers have their hands full with producing awesome content for their websites and social media pages to even think about what doing SEO in the proper context means, but Google is silently making its way toward another explosive change that will again alter the way businesses do their marketing.

What do we mean by context? What is Google doing that’s going to make context such an important thing? And exactly how is this going to affect our marketing?

Okay, first things first, although this may sound off-tangent to you at first. You know Siri? That witty, oftentimes funny artificial intelligence software Apple has installed into the iPhone? Google has come up with something similar, although in a lot of ways, Google Now, which is installed in the latest Android 4.0 smartphones, is very different from Siri. When you turn on Google Now, it begins to aggregate all the information about you it can find on your accounts in all Google properties. From all that information, it tries to predict the things you need to know and presents them to you even you without searching for them.

Let’s say, for example, that you’re planning to fly to Indonesia in December and you take that down in your Google Calendar. Google Now sees this information and begins to look for December flights to Indonesia and presents them to you. Once you have chosen and booked your flight, Google Now will begin searching for hotels in the area that have available rooms during your stay. When you arrive in Indonesia, your phone will detect your location through its GPS and Google Now will check the weather conditions and the traffic status in the area. By the time lunch rolls around, your phone detects the time and suggests restaurants within the vicinity that you can check out.

Google Now anticipates your needs based on the time, location and situation. To put it simply, it relies on your context as the smartphone user to give you what you want. So what’s with all the fuss? For one thing, there is a growing number of smartphone users in the entire world. And for another, smartphones are quickly overtaking desktop computers when it comes to devices used for accessing the Internet. In other words, more people will be searching for businesses based on context rather than plain, old SEO.

Does this mean you should stop producing useful, interesting content for your market and start focusing on how you can get your business into their smartphones? Probably not. SEO as it is will most likely remain a substantial part of online marketing in the future. There are, however, major adjustments to be made. What are these adjustments?

Google+ is yet to play a major part in SEO. Critics have called it out for not being able to compete against major social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, but people like Ed Dale believe Google+ is more than just a social networking site. It pays to get your business on Google+ now that it is still early, as well as get your happiest customers to post rave reviews about you on your Google+ Local listing.

Moreover, Internet marketing is going to a very social affair. Have you noticed lately that a search for a business comes up not only with its official website but also its Facebook and Twitter pages? In the near future, your website’s credibility in Google’s eyes is based not simply on on-page and off-page SEO factors but the depth of social interaction that you participate in. This means the more people like, share and tweet about you, the more likely it is that your business will show up on a user’s smartphone.

What does this all mean for the businessman who owns a brick-and-mortar store? It means getting yourself on Google+ will not just drive online traffic to your website. It can also drive physical foot traffic to your store. It can send information to your clients about your business when Google Now senses the need for this information. It can also perform after-sales marketing tasks for you by presenting your buyers with related products and services that they can buy to enhance their first purchase.

These, and more, are what Google Now can do for you. Want more information? Give us a ring. We’d be happy for a chat.

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