What Is Search Engine Marketing?

Why Is Search Engine Marketing Important?

Search engines are the starting point for most people when they're looking for something on the internet. This is why the most popular websites are search engines and web portals with search functions.

There are many statistics that illustrate the importance of search engines as a method of attracting traffic on the internet:

  • 24 percent of marketers said that over three-quarters of their traffic came from search engine referrals. [CyberAtlas Research]
  • Nearly 60 percent of students reported using a search engine when picking an online retailer. [NACS]
  • Study found that 55 percent of online purchases were made on sites found through search listings. [NPD Group]
  • Search engines were used by 86 percent of users in Switzerland. [Wemf AG Research]
  • Over 80 percent of internet users reach sites through search engines. [Forrester Research]
  • Nearly 48 percent of websites depend on search engine listings for the majority of their traffic and over 70 percent of all websites generate at least 20 percent of their traffic from search engine listings. [NetGambit]

Personally, over 90% of my network of websites' traffic comes from search engines. So you can see just how important search engines are as a source of visitors

What Is Search Engine Optimization?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves making webpages more search engine friendly to promote them as the most relevant solutions for the search engines' users.

The improvements can mean the difference between achieving top rankings, which can result in thousands of monthly visitors, and being lost in oblivion.

All too often SEO is an after-thought for most site owners and web designers. SEO should play a major part of a website, even before it's built. You should incorporate SEO in the planning stage, during the design process and after the site is launched.

Search engine optimization can and should play a major part in the decisions you make in the following areas:

  • Domain name
  • Site structure
  • Structure of your site network
  • Site design
  • Site navigation
  • Site topics
  • Headings
  • Sub-headings
  • Page content
  • Links
  • Site usability
  • Site accessibility

Search engine optimization is basically about following search engine rules. If your webpage fits the criteria that a search engines are looking for in determining the most relevant webpage for a search query, it will reward you with a top ranking.

Search engine optimizers simply modify webpages to fit these criteria. They give webpages a better chance of being selected by the search engines as the most relevant page for a particular search query.

Web pages that aren't designed with search engine optimization in mind can quite innocently break a rule that search engines consider as spam. One example is using a Meta refresh tag to redirect visitors to another page. Search engines will either ignore or throw out the offending page.