The Shift to Search
Well by now most business owners know that in some form or fashion, the internet plays a role in their success. The internet has become the preferred method of consumers to research prior to making a buying decision. If a general consumer is seeking to purchase a digital camera, there are sites specifically dedicated to rating cameras. But what if the consumer did not know that site existed. They would use a search engine to seek out that information.
They would use Google, Yahoo, or MSN, and simply type in a few words like “digital cameras” or “best digital cameras”. Up would come the list of relevant sites, and away they go viewing the results until finding what they want. You do this yourself. We all do. So much in fact that “Search” is becoming the primary way to navigate the internet. Remembering URL’s is so 90’s, www.domain.com has been replaced with AOL keywords, and 3-4 word descriptors used as search queries.
Pontiac Knows Search
No where is this shift to Search better demonstrated then a recent Pontiac commercial. At the end of the commercial, the announcer does not speak aloud the domain, “pontiac.com“, nor does it appear on the screen. The commercial briefly shows a screenshot of the Google home page with the word “pontiac” in the search bar. A subtle image telling the viewer to simply search for the word, and you will find them. [View commercial] This is a powerful message as more and more internet users have forgotten or never knew that an address bar was the place to type in an exact destination. Essentially (to a growing number of consumers) you do not exist, unless you appear in search results.
Search Engine Optimization
So if consumers are searching for your business type, i.e. “pool remodeling in arizona” rather than your company by name “abcpools.com” it is important that your website appears when searched for. As an example, our prospects have no clue what our name is, yet they know what they want in a web design company. Hence we have tried to assist them in finding us, by optimizing (SEO) our website for top rankings for terms our desired prospects would search for.
This ranking, and many like it, bring a constant flow of warm prospects seeking our services. Many times our prospect has no idea that we exist until they see us listed at the top of a list they requested. Consumers are searching for you, but are you being found?
The investment in SEO is nearly mandatory now, as the niche’s are quickly being filled and the sheer numbers of competition provide a barrier of entry to any site hoping to get lucky. Consider SEO as a integral part of a website plan. No matter how nice it looks and how well in functions, you do not exist unless you appear in search results.