Optimization and Search Engine Marketing both have the same goal, which
is to help visitors find your website. Ten years ago there was probably
nobody searching online for your product or service. Five years ago,
there may have been a couple of dozen people looking for it in any given
week or month. Today, in 2005, you can be sure that there are many
people actively seeking your products or services each and every day
through the search engines. Can they find you there?
According to a Fall
2004 report by http://www.comscore.com/ nearly 40% of all internet
connections in the United States are now broadband, "always on", high
speed internet access. As this becomes the norm, there is also a steady
merging or "convergence” going on between our computers, our cel phones,
and even our television sets. Pretty soon, we'll all have access to
worldwide information in the palm of our hands at any given moment. Do
you think that might affect how customers are going to look for you?
It's never been more
important to be listed in the Internet search engines and directories
than it is right now. I see websites that have been around for years
and never even been submitted to any search engines. (I've also seen
sites get penalized by the search engines for improper or "over
submission", so don't rush out and do it!).
Yet some of these same
businesses will pour hundreds or thousands of dollars each month into
local Yellow page advertising because they believe it to be the most
effective form of advertising. Well, phone book use has been steadily
declining over the past 10 years, and it's not bouncing back any time
Why would anyone open
up a big heavy book, when they can just click and type "West Los Angeles
plumber" and find immediate phone numbers? Online, they can also find
maps, hours, prices, and even sound clips and informational videos.
With high speed Internet now available in most metropolitan areas on cel
phones, you can forget about it!
For some businesses,
being on page one of the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages) will be
more valuable than having a full page ad in the Yellow Pages ever was.
Those thick phone books are going the way of the dinosaur, I guarantee
it. Ten years from now, how cost effective will it be to publish, print
and distribute these books when nobody uses them or wants to advertise
in them anymore?
Your business probably
has a website already, and that's a good start. But are you ahead of
the curve in your industry nationally? How about locally? If you're
selling Rolex watches or male potency pills, you're admittedly behind
the 8 ball, but if you're a local business person, take stock in your
future today. Make some time to check out your competition. Go to
Google or Yahoo and search for your product or service in your city or
state. How many total results come up, and are you or your competition
in the SERPS?
Compare those well
ranked websites with the largest most expensive listings in the Qwest
Dex (or your local) Yellow pages. Are the same companies at the top of
the search results that have the largest print ads? I'll bet they're
not. You might be surprised that some of the biggest industry names in
your city are practically nowhere to be found in the search results. Of
course this isn't true for all industries, but it still is for most of
them. This opens a huge window of opportunity for the savvy business
owner. Properly diversifying your marketing dollars to include your website will
simply have the best ROI (Return On Investment) for your company’s