SEO as a marketing strategy
One of the most important uses of SEO is its employment as a marketing strategy for businesses and entrepreneurs. Having better visibility and rankings on search engines can make all the difference in the success of a business when it comes to getting ahead and having an edge in today’s competitive market, on the internet. A simple way to understand this is to think of the internet as a network of roads and the search engines being the main highways through which drivers navigate their route and discover places that have something to offer them. The search results on say Google or Yahoo! are like sign posts on a highway – they show you what is where and give you access to places you might not even know existed.
There is an old problem in philosophy, which goes something like this: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound? This relates to marketing on the internet in a surprisingly relevant manner. An entrepreneur could create a very attractive, relevant and user-friendly website offering content that is even in demand. But if there is no way for consumers (in this case users) to know about it and find access to it, it is like that proverbial tree which falls in a forest without making a sound. Thus, when it comes to e-commerce, traffic is the currency of a business’s success on the web.
The more people find your page, the more they are likely to become frequent visitors and convert into consumers of whatever your website has to offer, whether it is a service or a product or whether you are simply selling information.
Search engine optimization is a way to enhance your relationship with search engines, to be seen as much as possible. Using our previous metaphor, it means to make as much sound as possible. Investing in SEO is quickly becoming an integral part of the marketing strategy of businesses, groups and individuals alongside other methods, which take up the bulk of the marketing budget, such as advertisements, endorsements, social media marketing etc. The reason for this is very simple – experience. Investment in SEO pays off and businesses/organizations witness significant results popularity and revenue after making SEO a part of their marketing strategy.
However, there is a downside to too much reliance on SEO for generating traffic and revenue, since search engines are in a constant process of altering their algorithms, and evolving their system of crawling and ranking. This is the reason why SEO, when used as a marketing tool, turns out to be an endeavor requiring constant vigilance and analysis. But the pros far outnumber the cons, which is why statistics and trends in e-commerce are starting to bear testimony to the effectiveness of SEO as a marketing tool.
With over 40,000 searches on Google each second, we can conclude that search engines can bring much higher volume of visits than direct traffic. This shows what an important source of attracting consumers the search engine arena has become. So a website that is not optimized for performing well in search engines is losing half of its potential traffic already.
Essentially, search engine optimization is a part of internet marketing, and as such it overlaps with other forms of internet marketing, such as paid advertising and social media marketing. For example, when it comes to paid advertising, SEO helps you create landing page that will affect the outcome of paid advertising. When it comes to social media marketing, it is said that social media send so-called social signals that might affect search engines when determining ranking. Even though this might be the case, what we know for sure is that when you use a search engine to look up a certain query, you will see the results from social networking websites, especially if those are popular accounts with lots of activity and lots of followers. Therefore, you will frequently see the results from Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks ranked high in the search result page, which supports the fact that social media marketing can also help you improve visibility of the website on the internet, fulfilling the same goal as SEO.