SEO’s place in Internet marketing is firmly entrenched. No internet marketing campaign begins without a discussion about the SEO strategy. A few years back, SEO work comprised just a small percent of an Internet marketer’s job. Today, situation is much more different. This isn’t surprising considering the fact that there are more than 3 billion online searches every day and that’s almost double comparing with 2011. People use search engines to find more about the products and services that they need and research shows that they more or less view only the first page of a search engine’s results. This has lead to a high page rank being the holy grail of Internet marketing.
Research has proved that most users review only the top 3-5 results returned by a search term. Search engine technology has advanced to the point that in most cases, the top 3 results offer exactly what the user is looking for. This means that good results that show up in the 2nd page of results are usually ignored and never get much web traffic. Research has also shown that people are now used to filtering out the paid search results because of the distinctive colored box they appear in. Thus it is the challenge of every Internet marketer to reach the top of the rankings organically, preferably by using white hat optimization techniques.
In the early days of the widespread use of the Internet, it was easy for businesses to perform SEO for their websites on their own. Now SEO is a field all unto itself. The changes that happen in this industry are rapid and are directed by the search provider’s advances to combat spam in results. The work that is required is phenomenal and in most cases requires a team of people with specialized skill sets to achieve the targets set.
Further, these days SEO efforts are heavily affected by social signals. Social signals include retweets, Facebook likes and shares, reposts and other social networking site actions. Sending out the right image while online is often a full time task in itself. Businesses cannot afford to ignore this aspect as both positive and negative attention impact SEO efforts significantly. The prevalence of buttons on every site that lets you ‘Like’, ‘Share’, ‘Tweet’, ‘StumbleUpon’ or +1 the content lets search engines know what an actual human thinks about the content rather than taking only the opinion of a bot/crawler.
A few years back, search engine rankings did not take location into consideration. The first result for a keyword search would remain the same irrespective of the location the search originated from. Today, all search providers have in effect walled off the search results to pertain to a particular country by introducing country specific domains. Further, users who have location tracking services enabled get results that are localized and tailored to their needs. In this scenario, SEO efforts become a balancing act. Internet marketers need to optimize the websites after getting a clear understanding of the business local and international reach. This will have an impact on the relevant traffic the website receives. There are definitely more things on an Internet marketer’s plate to care of today but the SEO still constitute a lion share of his efforts.
Article written by Andrea Walters, a freelance writer for www.globalx.net – The Nation’s Lowest All-Digital Price Provider. Click here for more info about Globalx.
1. The State of SEO and Internet Marketing in 2012 – Aug 20, 2012
2. Banner blindness – Wikipedia