Surveys show that 85% of Internet users find websites through search engines. 98% of people searching for something online never go past the first page of search results. These powerful statistics show how crucial search engine visibility is when it comes to connecting with your local customers.
Most people today go straight to the search engines to find local businesses. So naturally, this should be a major focus when it comes to marketing. Google.com, Yahoo.com, and Bing.com are the three largest search engines in the world – Google being the largest.
In fact, there are approximately 250 million searches for products and services performed per day on Google alone. You probably understand how the search engines work if you use a computer. But just in case you don’t, here’s a brief description of how Internet search engines work.
People go to their search engine of choice and enter a few words to describe what they’re looking for in the search box. These are called “keywords.”. The search engine returns results based on those keywords. The person doing the search scans the list of results to complete their search. Obviously, the higher ranking websites receive the most attention, so this is where you want to be.
There are several different types of results that come up in the Google search engine:
- Sponsored/Pay-Per-Click Ads – ads that you pay for
- Google Places – free local business directory
- Organic Results – websites that rank naturally (also free)
Your goal as a business owner should be to own a high-ranking spot in all of them. Organic (natural) search result listings receive 85% of all clicks, as opposed to only 15% for Pay Per Click (PPC), so shoot for organic rankings even if you decide not to do PPC.
The higher the better… Since 98% of consumers don’t go past page one when doing searches, you at least want to be on page one. So, how do you boost your search engine rankings to attract new customers? Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Many of the methods discussed here are considered “search engine optimization (SEO).” Some business owners shy away from SEO thinking it’s some huge monster that’s going to eat them alive. However, SEO is something that can help them generate more leads, customers, and sales for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising methods.
SEO is a process of optimizing a website to improve search engine rankings. In a nutshell, this is the process of getting traffic to your website. This is achieved through “on-site optimization” and “off-site optimization.”
On-site optimization should include the keywords that your business would like to rank for as well as a few other key components. Keyword research is the most crucial part of the SEO process because the keywords you target mean everything. Get it right and you will see major results!! Get it wrong and it will be a waste of time, energy and money.
You can do keyword research in the Google Keyword Tool. Simply enter your main keywords into the tool and review the results. The results will show what keywords people are searching for and how many times each keyword is searched for each month. This is powerful information for you because now you know what keywords to target in your SEO campaign.
Off-site optimization involves getting relevant backlinks to your website as well as establishing a strong presence spread out all over the Internet. This includes articles, press releases, videos, Facebook, Twitter, and any site other than yours. The more you have out there, the better.
All of these sources will contain a link back to your website will help your website rank higher in the search engines as well as giving you stronger online visibility. You can even create a network of “mini-sites” for your business that targets different keywords and link back to your main website.
SEO is one of the most important ways to improve your profits while reducing your advertising costs. While you can try to do SEO yourself, most businesses opt to hire a professional SEO firm to help them achieve faster results.