Regardless of product, service, or mission, few organizations can hope to succeed without a comprehensive marketing program. And no marketing program is complete unless it includes a vibrant online presence. But what makes online presence “vibrant”?
When an organization has a website that is easy to find, easy to navigate, and engages visitors in a manner that converts them to customers, it has an effective online persona . Sounds simple enough. However, if it was, all online marketing campaigns would be successful. Clearly they are not.
The key to success is, of course, online traffic and the key to online traffic is effective use of search engines. Consumers won’t become customers of a business if they can’t find that business. This is one of the most fundamental of search engine basics and is why so much emphasis is placed on search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO is a marketing tool that enables an enterprise to improve the online rankings and visibility of its website. In order to maximize SEO, businesses need a fundamental understanding of the following search engine basics:
- SEO drives traffic, increases rankings on search engines and enhances online visibility in an organic (non-paid) way, thereby reducing the need to rely on paid search engine marketing (SEM).
- Effective SEO requires identification of keywords consumers frequently use to search the Internet for a specific company, organization, product, service or resource.
- Correctly identifying, therefore, the words most commonly associated with an industry allows a business in that industry to include those words in the content it posts on its website. In doing so, it raises its rankings on search engines.
One of the search engine basics businesses often overlook is that successful online marketing requires more than simply maximizing results based on keyword usage. Additional factors to consider include:
- A website must be simple to navigate. Site architecture that search engines have difficulty understanding will not rank highly and, therefore, not attract much traffic.
- The website should load quickly.
- The site should be formatted for access via mobile devices.
- Search engines utilize proprietary algorithms that read online data to determine which results are most relevant to the search.
- Businesses are not given access to these algorithms, thereby preventing them from developing workarounds designed to circumvent the purpose of SEO.