Miyamoto Musashi was a famous Japanese swordsman and philosopher who believed that mastering one skill could lead to a deeper understanding of all things. His reflection, “If you know the way broadly you will see it in all things,” means if you have a deep understanding of one thing, you can apply that knowledge to other areas of your existence. This sentiment holds true in today’s digital age. By knowing the digital landscape broadly, you can see connections and similarities between seemingly different things and use that knowledge to improve your understanding and navigation of the digital world.
The year 2023 has been a whirlwind of bustling businesses and major shifts in digital advertising and marketing. Staying abreast of emerging technologies is paramount, and understanding the vision of the companies behind the technologies provides clarity for forging our path forward. Google and Meta are the two brands that directly have an impact on digital marketing. Both are demonstrating their driving path forward is focused on artificial intelligence (AI) and shifting their resources to efficiently facilitate AI integration.
Google is securing cloud contracts with the public sector of the government that require IL6 security clearance from the U.S. Department of Defense. The benefit of having IL6 clearance is not only the increased cybersecurity, but it also permits Google to partake in a $10-billion contract with the U.S. Pentagon called the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract. IL6 compliance also naturally adds robust security within the Google platform.
Google users can expect to see more security parameters, which is good news in a world of cybersecurity threats within the U.S. and abroad. This endeavor is an expensive undertaking for Google. The processing needs of AI will place even more pressure on its already huge demand for processing chips. By overhauling its search ranking system, Google can incorporate AI and eliminate wasted resources serving content that does not resonate with the user. It’s an arithmetical win-win for all.
Google’s interest in efficiency serves us all well from an organic search perspective. By utilizing AI to serve more personalized Google search results, our content will be more likely matched with the ideal consumer. When you search on Google, the engine often supplies you with “chips” like shopping, maps, videos or news that you can select or tap individually to refine your results. Google is adding a new chip called Perspectives. Google is highlighting personal experiences related to the user’s search, like forum posts or short videos on social media.
Cathy Edwards, a v.p. leading Google search at Google I/O, offers her insight: “We know that users really like coming to Google for authoritative information. We also know that they’re looking for those human voices, those authentic perspectives. The core search results page will have a blend of both.” Businesses that provide content on social media and video will benefit from this update.
The reporting mechanisms were updated as Google Analytics 4 (GA4) replaced Universal Analytics. The overarching signals from Google are embracing quality over quantity. The update changes the reporting and enables more advanced details of the visitor. Here is a checklist of the top, easy-to-enlist tasks that streamline your website and ensure it appeals to the new criteria.
- Streamline your navigation so that a new visitor can easily navigate through a natural funnel of information. Reduce the number of clicks it takes for the visitor to find information.
- Look for pages that are not generating traffic from visitors. If the page has not been updated in a long time, it may be outdated and no longer relevant to your target audience. You should update the page or remove it from your website.
- If you have multiple pages that contain the same content, you should consolidate them into one single page. Duplicate content can hurt your website’s SEO.
- Build backlinks from high-quality websites. Backlinks are other sites that link to your website.
- Create social media content that generates shares and engagement.
- Ensure your website passes mobile speed tests.
In March of 2023, Mark Zuckerberg shared the following with Meta employees: “Our single largest investment is in advancing AI and building it into every one of our products. We have the infrastructure to do this at an unprecedented scale and I think the experiences it enables will be amazing. Our leading work building the Metaverse and shaping the next generation of computing platforms also remains central to defining the future of social connection. And our apps are growing and continuing to connect almost half of the world’s population in new ways.”
Zuckerberg has labeled 2023 as the company’s “Year of Efficiency.” Meta’s use of AI in ad targeting offers a potential game-changer.
Machine learning algorithms sift through user data, predicting preferences and aligning those with relevant advertising. Companies can leverage this by offering detailed and up-to-
date product catalogs on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, complete with high-
quality visuals and context-driven descriptions. Moreover, AI-targeted advertising can lead to smarter budgeting. Instead of widespread campaigns, businesses can focus on users most likely to require their services or products, effectively reducing wasteful spending. Companies can even target potential customers in the research phase, fostering brand recognition early in the decision-making process.
As both Google and Meta race to become AI forerunners, we should operate from a mindset of quality, efficiency and personalized service. The kitchen and bath industry has some major advertisers including The Home Depot, Lowe’s and Amazon vying for the top advertising spots on Google. It can be difficult for smaller companies to compete financially for search terms like “kitchen cabinets.” Organic traffic to websites (free) is the best quality for visitors in terms of length on the website and conversion rates for smaller businesses. A combination of social media advertising and a healthy update of your website is a path to consider for the near future. ▪
Denise Grothouse has an extensive background in international business, branding and marketing. She specializes in digital and social platforms and integrating them with traditional marketing and branding strategies in the kitchen and bath industry. She is the founder of Perfect Six Marketing and director of public relations for HeroPlex.