The Internet is now the number one choice for news as well as for information. 88 percent of economically active Americans are online today and 77 percent of them get their news online. Yahoo! News and Google News combined have the largest online news audience in the world today – even more than CNN or the BBC. With the Internet being so heavily used, as millions of searches are conducted online each day, it is crucial to have excellent search engine visibility.
Thirty years ago, more than 60 percent of young people read a daily newspaper, but now their first choice for news is the Internet. As early as 2001 more than 60 percent of the respondents to a survey by the Content Intelligence Group of Lyra Research chose the Internet for personal and special interest information needs, compared to 18 percent for magazines. When looking for work-related information, 48 percent of the respondents chose the Internet, and only 7 percent preferred print
By 2005 the trends were more obvious:
Television: network TV’s audience share has fallen by a third since 1985
Radio: listenership is at a 27-year low
Newspapers: circulation peaked in 1987, and the decline is accelerating
People who use the Internet daily, and go online for news, are heavily engaged in multi-channel shopping. Even if they purchase offline they use the Net to research the company, compare features and prices and chat with other owners to get their opinions about the product and the company.
This applies to business to business buyers too. A study of industry buyers showed that on-line procurement is on the rise. Business buyers like e-business for its convenience, 24/7 availability, and reduced susceptibility to errors.
34% of business buyers surveyed said e-buying makes the key procurement steps such as order, confirm, track, and deliver, faster and more certain than before. The biggest plus for e-buying is the way it improves the efficiency of their workday, said respondents.
If your website does not feature in the keyword searches that describe your industry or product, you are losing this business. One way to get visible on page one for a keyword search is to buy pay per click advertisements. And this route of least resistance is the one most businesses opt for. It’s quick and can get you results if the ad is well written.
But the long term strategy for search engine visibility is to work towards top placement in the organic or natural search results. There are several tools that can help you gain search visibility – a blog is one and an RSS feed is another. Optimized press releases can boost your organic search results too.
Download a whitepaper about the benefits of optimized press releases for search visibility and sales lead generation on our website.
Sally Falkow is President of Expansion Plus, Inc., and author of Website Marketing Strategy Ebook. She is an authority on Internet Marketing and search engine optimization strategies. For more information, visit http://www.expansionplus.com
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