Google receives between five and seven billion queries daily and among those billions, 15 percent are new searches. Analysis is indisputable - people flock to Google and other search engines for news, shopping and information. Since a simple query is within reach of billions and searches are convenient, people begin with the Internet before they make a decision.
According to Jason Stambaugh, CEO of
, a full-service social media, marketing and web strategy firm, online searches cannot be neglected. If consumers are basing decisions on simple queries, then it's time for businesses to concentrate efforts on online experience and converting consumers when they're browsing the Internet. Search Engine Optimization is just that - online marketing focused on converting people from casual browsers to purchasers of products and services.
To kick-start a strategic SEO platform, Stambaugh suggests these when marketing online:
1. Start with your website:
Your website is a virtual storefront; it should be welcoming and well-organized so consumers and clients get excited about doing business with you. The same strategy exists for the web.
Your website may need a facelift. In web design today, less is more. Functionality is critical; you want people to click as few times as possible to make a purchase. Google and other search engines rank pages with this accessibility in mind.
2. More content, fewer images:
Content is the goldmine of your website, with the most descriptive and necessary images sprinkled in. Content and images are an inseparable team - overload on content and you bore people; overload on images and you don't say anything.
Determine the most concise and favorable way to present your business through text and let that be your content. Images provide visual representations of your business, which people will remember.
3. People are social:
People want to share, like and favorite parts of their lives for social groups to see. This is undeniably fantastic for businesses. It's easy to create buzz among groups, but you have to generate the buzz. When developing your website and brand online, develop your social presence as well. Create a Facebook page, a Twitter handle, a Google+ page and interact with as many groups and people as you can. The more interactive you are, the more likely people will stick around and share your product or service with their social circles.
4. User-friendly contact info:
Don't bury the most important information. Make sure your phone, email and fax information as accessible as possible. Also, consistency is key and will provide more authority. Google considers the consistency of your contact information among multiple platforms and websites - so don't deviate.
To expand contact information beyond your website, list your information on online directories and local pages: Yahoo Local, Google Places, Yellow Pages, etc.
"These strategies are just a start, but they are an integral part of a holistic marketing strategy for any business looking to get customers from the web," says Stambaugh.