Search engine optimization is one of the greatest internet marketing strategies in an advertiser’s reach these days. Given that the average individual is at least a moderate user of a smartphone or similar device, search engines such as Google or Bing! are heavily relied upon to gain information on everything from restaurant hours and movie trivia to scientific theories and mathematical equations. It was recently found that 4 of every 5 consumers made local searches on search engines, and between 80% and 90% were made on smartphones or a computer/tablet. One in three times that a search engine was used was right before the consumer visited a store. Search engine optimization is designed to take advantage of this prolific use of the tool by making sure that a particular website is one of the first listed results in order to increase online traffic to that website. It is essentially ensuring that search engines understand your website and frequently direct users to it.
Since its inception, SEO has proven to be quite an effective tool for organic (not paid advertisements) search engine results. In a recent survey, 48% of participants listed key word/phrase research as the search engine optimization tactic with the most impact. (Frequent website updates was identified by 34% of respondents.) Additionally, it has been found that the average word count on pages in the top 10 search results has grown by about one quarter. It was 975 in 2014, and up to 1,285 words in 2015.
If you want to make search engine optimization effective for your business, here are some facts to inform your online marketing opportunities. Google is by far the king of the search market world; in December 2015, it had 94% of the worldwide mobile (smartphone and table) search market share. To support your website’s results appearing at the top of the list, consider relevant content creation, both on your website and on other websites that link to yours. Relevant content creation was cited by 72% of marketers worldwide as the most effective search engine optimization tactic (from the June 2015 report from Ascend2). It can be used for both business to business and business to consumer marketing; research has shown that 86% of business to business marketers use content marketing, and 77% of business to consumer marketers.
Before you decide to launch a search engine optimization campaign to get visitors to your website, consider the quality of your website. It needs to be attractive while presenting the information in a format that is easy to access and understand. When given fifteen minutes to view content on a website, about two thirds of individuals would prefer to see something with a beautiful design than a plain website. It is just as important that all of the important information be clearly visible; 44% of visitors to websites will stop using a company’s website if there is no contact information or phone number listed. If a visitor reaches a company’s website from a referral site, 50% of them will seek to orient themselves via the navigation menu. Additionally, the website needs to be easy to access and load (both on a computer and smartphone). In a survey, 39% of participants reported they will no longer engage with a website if images are not loading or seem to take too long to load. If a website is poorly designed, 57% of consumers report they will not recommend that business and 40% say they have gone to a competitor’s website following a negative experience.
In consideration of the above information, search engine optimization is certainly an effective method for increasing one’s website traffic. Paid advertising is not nearly as effective; it drives just 10% of search engine visitors to websites (and 5% of social websites), while organic searches with search engine optimization drives 51% of visitors to business to business and business to consumer websites. Search engine optimization, and ensuring your website is well designed and provides all the necessary information, are the best things you can do to increase the success of your website, and therefore your company.