Search engines and directories are used universally to find information on the Internet. These portals are among the most highly visited sites on the Web. Each day, consumers enter 200 million queries at major search engine sites. Nielsen/NetRatings reported one out of three Americans visit a search portal daily. That's a lot of qualified users who could be looking for information on your products and services.
Research shows that more than 90 percent of U. S. corporate Web sites are not correctly optimized for search engines despite in-house efforts. Worse yet, marketers spends less than 1 percent of their marketing budgets on optimization (that from CyberAtlas Research). This doesn't make sense when professional search engine optimization can boost site traffic substantially.
What Do Search Engines Offer?
Until fairly recently, search engine text links were posted free upon crawler indexing or submission because of ethical concerns about separating editorial content from advertising. But the landscape changed rapidly as the need for search engines to monetize their business models became apparent. Search engines and directories now offer various forms of paid inclusion, paid submission and paid placement options in addition to their free listings, which take longer to appear in databases.
Basically, search engines provide two advertising vehicles: keyword media buys and search engine text links.
These engines and directories are delivering qualified users to Web sites. If you own an e-commerce site, the chances are that your site was submitted to search engines and directories by an in-house technician, and you didn't get listed as prominently as you would like. This is where a reputable search engine optimization company can step in to seed those search engine links, delivering the qualified users you want to attract. Such a campaign can cost $1,000 to $10,000 or more per month, depending on the size and complexity of the Web site.
Where Does Traffic Come From?
Why is it so important to be correctly listed in search engine and directory databases? Because most users will find you through these search portals. Research has proven this time and again. The strongest evidence lies in the number of unique visitors shown for search engines in the Media Metrix Top 50 Web Properties report, which is tremendous.
For instance, recent Jupiter Media Metrix numbers of unique visitors to search sites show more than 345 million unique visitors in the month of August 2001. While all these users weren't searching for Web sites (some got stock quotes or weather reports), the good majority went searching for information at AOL (78.5 million), MSN (67.4 million), Yahoo! (64.7 million), Terra Lycos (38.8 million), Excite (28.7 million), Google (16.6 million), Ask Jeeves (14.5 million), iWon (10.9 million), GoTo (10.4 million), LookSmart (8.6 million), and AltaVista (6.9 million).
If you're from Missouri, here's a sampling of research studies showing that substantial traffic comes from search engines.
The Ultimate Guerrilla-Marketing Tactic
An unsponsored, page-one search engine text link contains titles and descriptions targeted to the exact key phrase being searched by thousands of users looking for that specific information. That means search engine traffic to your Web site is prequalified, and users are predisposed to your marketing message because they were looking for you in the first place.
Cost-effective? You bet. Research shows that text links provide
branding, and recall of search engine listings is better than for
banner ads. Savvy CEOs and marketing managers are recognizing that
search engine marketing is not a luxury, it's a necessity. So don't
leave home without it.
November 20, 2001
Paul J. Bruemmer has provided search engine marketing expertise and consulting services to prominent American businesses since 1995. As Director of Search Marketing at Red Door Interactive, he is responsible for strategizing and implementing search engine marketing activities within Red Door's Internet Presence Management (IPM) services.
Copyright © 1998 - 2013 K. Clough, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Privacy