This is the second in a series of 9 blog posts on Zen Search Marketing discussing the use of the 8 Fold Path philosophy in search marketing efforts.This series of blogs is by no means endorsing any religious viewpoint.
In Buddhism, Right View is considered the beginning and the end of the 8 fold path. It simply means to see things as they really are. To understand that things are both imperfect and impermanent. This understanding helps followers of the philosophy to avoid attachment, which is the path to suffering.
So, how can understanding right view and utilizing it in our marketing efforts help us become better marketers?
When you begin to plan a marketing initiative, whether it is a new landing page on a website, an email campaign or a home page redesign what is your main objective?
For many, the answer will probably be to increase traffic or improve the conversion rate on the site. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this way of thinking, it is flawed at the foundations. No matter how much you try to build upon it, you will never truly achieve the maximum returns for your efforts because you are focused too heavily on the bottom line.
And the bottom line doesn’t care about you.
The bottom line is just that…the bottom; and no matter how low it sinks it will continue to be the bottom.
Let’s talk about compassion for a minute.
Compassion is at the heart of all Buddhist teachings. When you consider the needs of others and place those needs above your own, everyone will benefit from this.
The Dalai Lama has said “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” This makes perfect sense. And not only does it make sense, it actually works – in life and in business. Businesses that care only about their bottom line and not the needs of their customers often make quick gains, but these companies always find a way to fail.
Maybe not now, but down the line they always will.
Impermanence & Imperfection
The world is not perfect; neither is the world permanent.
Your house is not permanent. It weathers away and will one day be rubble and then dust. Your car will one day be scrap metal. Every breath that leaves your body is a symbol of how impermanent even your life is.
In Buddhism none of this is seen as bad. It is not seen as good, either. It just is. We have no control over these things, so what is the point of stressing out about them.
The same can be said for search engines.
We have no control over how search engines determine which results they place on the first page of the SERPs. We also have no control over how often or how they change the way they do this. If the past year, with the Panda and Penguin updates, has taught us anything it is that search engines are as impermanent as anything else in the world.
And with results pages like in the image below (looking at #2 result here), one could argue that imperfect is also a proper term to use in this day and age.
Now, never you mind why I was searching for “woman finds ghosts in attic proof”, but the fact remains that Google decided that the new Naomi Wolf Vagina book was highly relevant.
Even with this result, however, the truth is search engines do a fantastic job of finding relevant information in their billions of indexed pages. So we just have to try ou best to make sure that the search engines understand just how relevant we are.
And how do we do this?
By going with their flow. Just like in life, where it is much easier to flow with it than fight, understanding how the search engines work, what they want and making the appropriate changes to conform is the easiest and best way to make sure that you are steady at the top of the results.
People will find ways to game the system. They always do. But these SEOs will always get knocked down sooner or later and then they will scramble to find a new way to cheat their way to the top. sometimes they will be ahead of you, sometimes they wont. But you will be steady because you have chosen to put your visitors needs (finding great information or products) ahead of your own (dominating the search results no matter the cost).
And this happens because you had right view the entire time.
Check back next week when we discuss right intention and how we can utilize that concept in marketing online.