I once heard that the typical member of a seo agency contemporary industrialized society receives as much knowledge in a day as someone who lived 100 years ago would have in a year. This covers anything from T-shirt slogans to traffic signs, websites, SMS messaging, newspaper headlines, and commercials. The list is endless. The fact that people’s attention spans are increasingly shorter and that most people think they are busier than ever is not unexpected.
To conduct business effectively, one must be able to recall names, dates, numbers, phone numbers, email addresses, and all other corporate and client information, which is nearly impossible given the current information overload. We utilize tools because they help us remember things and find information. My company manages most of our customer relationship management data using Salesforce.com. For email management, I use Microsoft Outlook. I use search engines to find things online, whether goods, services, or information.
In using search engines, I’m not alone. Not at all. A total of 6.4 billion searches were made in March 2006. An average of 128 billion search results are displayed to Internet users in a single month, assuming that each user views an average of two search results pages, each of which contains 10 search results. Due to their widespread use and widespread acceptance in modern culture, the word “Google” is now a verb in the dictionary.
The vast amount of material that is accessible on the internet is effectively filtered by search engines. This free users from having to sift through several irrelevant web pages in search of information that is actually valuable or interesting. There is a lot of filtering to be done because, in 2004, Google’s index contained more pages than there were people on the planet, a startling figure of more than 8 billion. Internet users would drown in a sea of irrelevant information and annoying marketing messages if search engines weren’t available because there is so much content available.
Users of search engines receive search results that point them toward pertinent content on top-notch websites. “Relevant” is the keyword here. Search engines must ensure they deliver results pertinent to their users’ searches to gain and maintain market share in online searches. They accomplish this by keeping databases of web pages, which they create by gathering data automatically with the use of software programmes known as “spiders” or “robots.” Search engines employ sophisticated algorithms to evaluate websites and web pages and rank them for pertinent search terms. These algorithms are regularly revised and jealously guarded. In addition to copy, inbound links, website usability, and information architecture, Google considers more than 200 distinct criteria when evaluating websites.
This ensures that users of search engines get the information they need, not necessarily the material that advertisers want them to see. A large brand’s official website, as well as other websites, blogs, consumer review sites, online articles on Web 2.0 sites, and press releases on news syndication channels, will likely be among the search results you receive if you enter the brand’s name into Google. Of course, brand names do not appear in all searches. In contrast to “The Peninsula Hong Kong,” the bulk of searches are for non-brand keywords, such as “Hong Kong luxury hotel.” Results pages will also include numerous key phrases that are service- or product-specific instead of brand-specific.
Paid search, often known as pay-per-click or PPC, and organic Search Engine Optimization are the two main methods for guaranteeing that a website displays prominently on the major search engines for pertinent keywords (SEO). Because internet users are four times more likely to click an organic search result than a PPC ad on the same results page, organic SEO typically produces the best long-term results and the best return on investment of the two. In a MarketingSherpa survey conducted in September 2006, 68.7% of US marketers said SEO produced the best ROI for product promotion. In another post, I’ll go into much more detail about paid and organic search.
To fully utilize the potential of marketing through major search engines, businesses that conduct business or engage in online marketing should consider finding a balance between the two approaches.
The importance of search engines can be attributed to the growing amount of control over the online information consumers can access about businesses, products, and services. Today, being easily found on Google, Yahoo, and MSN is just as crucial for marketing as having a solid print and broadcast media presence, a successful traditional direct marketing strategy, and other factors. As people and organizations start to rely more heavily on search engines to find the goods, services, and suppliers they need, their value to modern businesses will only increase.
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