The name of the game in modern internet marketing is search engine ranking, no doubt about it. Consider what happens when a web user heads to Google and types in a search query. They are given a return set of results listed from most popular or most useful, all the way down through the least so. Most people click on the top ranked link in the organic search results, ignoring the sponsored results almost entirely. Consider further that Google receives nearly 70 percent of the online search engine market share. So, how can businesses get themselves highly placed in Google rankings to take advantage of all that can grant them? Firstly, businesses need to understand exactly how search engine ranking works. By utilizing search engine optimization in quality, regularly updated content company websites make themselves much more interesting to Google’s web indexing robots. Take for example a company that sells Amish style pies that they make at home. That company will want to take advantage of regularly used keywords that web users type into web searches. This makes the pie website more likely to pop up in a search engine. As the website generates more traffic and becomes known as genuine, its web ranking will improve. That is an oversimplification of the process but the principles are there. The fact is that nearly 60 percent of business to business marketers say that SEO has the largest impact on their lead generation for new customers. Further, these leads that are generated have a much higher close rate than outbound leads; 14.6 percent and 1.7 percent respectively. However, those are just the statistics for businesses. What about customers? What are they doing? Nearly 60 percent of consumers use a search engine like Google to research a product or service before purchase. That is over double the amount of people that go directly to a company’s webpage, over triple those that find them on social media. This highlights further the importance of search engine ranking. Businesses need to be utilizing SEO marketing to take advantage of that 60 percent of consumers. Consider the potential boost to their customer base. It is huge. This is not to say that social media and webpages are never directly useful for marketing purposes. Even Google uses twitter to build a following. In 2009, their first ever tweet said “I’m feeling lucky” in binary code. If Google uses social media, chances are it would be good for other companies to do so as well. However, the most important points to focus on in online marketing are SEO techniques and search engine rankings.
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