Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of maximizing the amount of traffic your website receives from Search Engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing. SEO's goal is to increase the number of people who can find your website when searching for your type of products or services. The key phrase there is searching for your type of products or services. SEO is about highly qualified, targeted marketing - which is the best kind. Occasionally I talk with clients who aren't convinced SEO is an important aspect of their overall website strategy. But it should be one of the most important marketing strategies for any business.
Here are some interesting facts for you to ponder.
One study found that on average 41% of all traffic to websites came from Google (that doesn't include Yahoo! or Bing). The range for each site was 12% to 84%. Ignore SEO and you are closing the door to a significant number of highly qualified prospects.
A 2008 PEW Internet Study revealed that 49% of internet users use a Search Engine on a typical day (as opposed to occasional use) - nearly as many as use Email on a typical day (60%). That percentage has likely gone up since 2008.
A Nielsen survey found that Search Engines were the number one resource for finding local business information. Here are the percentages of people who use various resources (people were allowed to select more than one):
- Search Engines - 74%
- Print Yellow Pages - 65%
- Newspapers - 44%
- Print White Pages - 33%
- Television - 29%
Of the total survey group, 86% said they have used the internet to find a local business. 80% said they have researched a product or service online and then made their purchase offline from a local business.
SEO helps your website get indexed in Search Engines with the best content so that when people look for your products or services, your site comes up in the results. If your site can't be found by those using Search Engines, you are likely missing out on the vast majority of your target market.