You get only 2 seconds to convince your visitors about your relevance. If you fail, the visitor clicks the back button and leave your site for good. Here’s how you can stop it.
Unless you still live in the pre-internet era, you must have come across the phrase “search engine optimization” more often than not. In my five years of Internet marketing, I’ve come across a lot of people who have asked me what my job is all about. So I thought I should dedicate this post to people who still wonder if Search Engine Optimization is close to Rocket Science! This post is especially important for people who want to find a cost-effective alternative to promote their business.
What’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Alright, so Search Engine Optimization is essentially consist of two word phrases such as Search Engine and Optimization. Relax, I won’t explain things in a Wikipedia manner. Maybe, let’s discuss why a lot of people are using the Internet these days and how it impacts their day to day lives.
90% of the Internet users in your area use Internet for information and socializing. You can safely ignore the rest that don’t have any specific purpose for using the Web.
When it comes to information, it can be practically anything from searching for jobs to checking out the restaurants nearby. Similarly, there are tourists that want information on hotels, pubs and lodgings, travel agencies and so on.
Normal internet users (read information seekers) tend to use Search Engines (read Google, Yahoo, Bing) to find information on the Internet. They usually type in some words related their search queries and then hit enter. Google then shows results based on their search queries.
How Does Google Find Info for Your Search Queries?
Google can be defined as a database or storehouse of information. So what does it contain? It contains a lot of websites that offer information related to your search queries. When you search for any information using your search queries (called Keywords), Google takes those keywords and search information available within its database. In other words, it shows you those websites that have the terms (keywords) typed in by you.
How Does This Matter to My Business?
Well it does in a big way. Let’s assume, for a while, that you have a hotel and your potential customers are searching for “best hotels in Bhubaneswar”. Google will search for those terms within its database and serve them results (read websites) that match the keyword (best hotels in Bhubaneswar). Naturally, they will be prompted to visit those websites and select the one that appears appropriate to their needs.
Depending on whether you have a website for your hotel or whether your website is within Google’s database, those potential customers may contact you for your services.
You may choose to believe it or not, this is how some of your potential customers come to you. So if you don’t have a website in Google’s database, they will go to another hotel that has a website within Google’s database.
You may have a physical store, but it is your website that helps people find your local store. You may invest a fortune on traditional media channel including local radio channels, news papers and TV channels, but your advertisement won’t reach the potential customer base that use the Internet a lot.
Let’s face it, a lot of people of all age group use Internet extensively, thanks to the advancement of Information Technology. And don’t for the number of people that access Internet via their mobile phones. So practically, everybody is using Google to seek important information related to their day to day life. In other words, you potential customers are searching for your services more on Google and less on the news papers. Do you have a website within Google’s database?
How Can I Have My Website Listed within Google’s Database?
Now that you understand how vital a website is for your business, it’s time to discuss how you can make the most of your website by promoting it on Google and other search engines.
The process of listing your website within Google’s database is known as Search Engine Optimization (also known as SEO). Technically, the term ‘optimization’ means improving your website properties to make it Google compliant. Please, note that when I say search engines I mean both Google and other search engines. However, since a majority of the Internet users use Google to find information, you need to care more about Google.
The process of Search Engine Optimization consists of certain fundamental steps. Let’s talk about that in our next post. Feel free to leave your comments below or share this with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.