What is the most popular way for consumers to find a website? They find it by using a search engine. A search engine is a program that searches documents on the internet for certain keywords and then lists the results on a page. The most popular search engine is Google (49%), followed by Yahoo (24%), MSN (10%), AOL (6%), ASK (2%), and several others (9%). Since Google and Yahoo alone comprise ¾’s of all searches, it is important to target them the most.
As a business owner, you need to consider the following;
75% of people in the US use search engines on a regular basis.
56% of all Americans use one every day.
40% of all searches are for a local businesses or services.
54% regularly use the internet instead of the yellow pages to find local products and services
92% of all local searches will eventually convert into a sale
A sale. That means revenue, and for a business owner that is what its all about. You cannot, simply cannot, ignore these statistics and continue to do well in business in the future.
How can you ensure your business do well in the search engines? You do well by having an optimized website and by promoting your site correctly. Most businesses have terrible websites that are not optimized and are not promoted properly. Finally, most businesses do not understand that website promotion is a process. While immediate positive results can be obtained, it is far better to promote your site for the long term.
A process you say? Yes, a process. The search engine operators take great pains to ensure that their customers, the people doing searches, are obtaining the most relevant, timely, and accurate information that the search engines can provide. That is how they make their money and how they stay in business. The search engines are purposely making it difficult to game their system. Like a casino operator, they don’t want you to win big, time after time. But like a gambler in a casino, if you have a system, and you use it properly, then over the long term you will be a winner.
One final note. A key area of website promotion that many local businesses ignore is the listing of their business in Google Local Maps and the Yahoo Business Directory. It is easy to list your business and if you want local consumers to find your business when they do a search it is imperative that you do so.
What is this process, this system, that I am speaking of? It is called Search Engine Optimization or SEO for short. What SEO means is that your website is designed and configured properly so that it ranks well in the search engines.
Our next post will discuss how this is done.