Search Engines are the Key

Internet Business Coaching:  The Critical Importance of Search Engines to Any Online Business

If you’re not optimized, you’re losing customers, clients, readers.

 

by Cameron Powell, Feroce Coaching

 

Search engines are arguably the most efficient, most cost-effective, form of marketing and advertising on the Internet.

 

An NPD Group study demonstrated that search engine listings result in six times more sales on average than an equivalent number of visitors from banners ads. That means visitor to visitor, you’ll make six times more money on search engine listings than on banners.

 

Why do search engines yield so much higher conversion rates (converting visitors to purchasers)?

It’s as simple as it is beautiful. By the time a visitor reaches your site through a search engine, she’s already made four critical decisions.

1. To use the Internet to do her research
2. To use a search engine
3. To use a particular set of keywords
4. To choose from among millions of offered search results

This is the ideal visitor, the ultimate target prospect, the summit of qualified buyers – ready to buy, knows what she wants, typed in the search term she wanted – but how do you get her to your site to complete this very motivated transaction?

 

Search Engine Optimization (a.k.a. “SEO”):

• is less expensive than any form of effective marketing – aside from thorny email campaigns that can make even opt-in customers feel spammed
• reaches far more people
• increases web site traffic more than any other thing you can do
• brings far more targeted, qualified customers to your site – ready to buy
• yields higher conversion rates (rate of visits to purchases) than any other form of marketing
• is critical brand-name maintenance for entrenched products – or market-share acquisition by new entrants
• you can’t afford not to – on the order of 90% of consumers with web access use the Internet in deciding to make purchases, and up to 85% of consumers use search engines to find solutions and vendors.

 

Cost and Yield of SEO versus Other Marketing

Independent studies show that effective search engine optimization and positioning provides longer-lasting traffic and revenue increases than most other forms of online advertising.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: NPD Group, Overture


 

 

 

 

 

Source: NPD Group, Overture

Superior Branding Awareness

A recent study showed that 56% of online consumers online actually expect to find the top name brands in the top listings of search engines, and more than 33% of consumers actually assume that the brands that do appear at the top of the listings are the top brands in the category. In other words, an up-and-coming brand has a tremendous opportunity in exploiting SEO, while a leading brand can give up massive mindshare by ignoring SEO. Companies of all stages of maturity, from start-up to market leader, cannot afford to ignore SEO.

The top three search engine listings generate a significantly higher degree of aided and unaided brand awareness compared to banner ads:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: NPD Group, Overture

What’s more, consumers view search engines as untainted by commerce and advertising. This is one reason that pay-for-placement on Google or Overture is less effective; most people know they didn’t earn their spots at the top and trust them less than a site that was so relevant that it did. Accordingly, consumers who find a website through a search engine are much more likely to have a favorable opinion of that site:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: NPD Group, Overture

Many SEO customers report that SEO services were so successful in convincing site visitors of the site’s relevance that the visitors bookmarked the site – and kept coming back!

So you think you’re already doing Search Engine Optimization?

“Intentionally launching a Web site that could not be found in any of the major search engines would be a lot like opening a mail-order business and not publishing your phone number.” — iProspect.com

It’s not likely. Try your own test. If you pass it, contact us for some much more pertinent tests.

Type the type of product or service you sell (not the brand name) into all the major search engines. Does your website come up in the top 5? Top 30? (i.e., the first three pages on Google).

Now try your brand names – is your site among the top spots, or do you see only trademark infringers, or even your own affiliates, outmaneuvering you?

If you’re not listed within the first 2-3 pages of search results (the top 10 to 30 results), you’re out of luck. Studies show most search engine users have neither the patience nor the time to wait for more than 3 pages of search results. In fact, anecdotal evidence suggests that after the first 3 search results, the likelihood of drawing visitors falls dramatically. And did you know that many web site developers use technologies that may prevent search engine spiders from indexing them? Is yours?

Moreover, are you updating your SEO at least monthly? Too many companies think SEO is something you do once and forget about, even though SEO requires frequent and consistent tracking, analysis, and assessment. Why? Because search engines change their algorithms constantly – you could start out #1 and fall prey to obsolescence very quickly; your website will undergo changes, necessitating adjustment to your SEO strategy; customers will change the way they query or the terms they use, or search for new features; new products and services will arrive; and speaking to customers in new foreign languages may become critical to your company’s expansion.

Contact us to learn more about Internet business coaching.

The best, top Internet Business Coaches online serve clients in Los Angeles, San Francisco
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