SEO and Social Media Necessities in Modern Online Marketing

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In the evolving world of marketing and advertising, it’s important to stay on top of the game in terms of technology. Although vinyl records and hand-crafted design are making a comeback, technology — especially social media — in the marketing world is here to stay. And yet, despite the fact that 70% of the U.S. population has a social media profile, it isn’t social media that drives the most traffic to business? websites, but search engines.

In 2012, Google completed a total of 100 billion searches per month, a result of 93% of Internet users beginning their online experience with a search engine. But if search engines are the #1 driver of online traffic, beating out social media by a whopping 300%, how can businesses market themselves efficiently to ensure they?re among the first results?

Introducing Search Engine Optimization, otherwise known as SEO.

SEO services are marketing techniques that operate around search engines? processes. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing filter web content through an algorithm of keywords, links, titles, and reputations to provide their users with the best results available. SEO utilizes these filtering strategies to increase a business’s marketability by making its website as simple as possible for a search engine to process. This can be done by structuring web content a specific way to make it search engine-friendly, using specific keywords and phrases, or increasing the use of outside links to a website. The easier a website is to process, the more likely a search engine will produce that website as a viable result for Internet users.

A marketing agency looking to increase its online traffic and visibility might utilize search engine optimization by including specific keywords in their web content and online article titles to make themselves rank first as a search engine result. For instance, if my business specializes in office supplies, using keywords such as ?office,? ?office supplies,? and ?copy paper? on my website might make it easier for search engines filtering web content for office supplies to find my business more efficiently. However, keywords like “buy office supplies online” would work even better.

It?s also important to build links to a business?s website from other legitimate websites; search engines interpret these links as feedback. The more feedback a website receives, the more popular it will appear to a search engine, therefore increasing a website?s visibility and popularity.

Of course, search engines aren?t the only way to increase online traffic. While an Internet user?s first experience is most often with a search engine, it’s crucial not to completely write off social media as an influential source of web traffic. More than 50% of the U.S. population use more than one social network, which means even if a business falls short of the web traffic offered to them by search engines, they?re still receiving web traffic. In 2016, Facebook was the number one social network used by small businesses, and the results speak for themselves: brand marketers have seen a 74% increase after investing only six hours per week into social media.

Whether you choose to work with SEO or social media marketing, or both, an online presence is a necessity for all businesses both big and small — 57% of consumers as of 2016 have reported a more positive view of businesses with good online reviews.

If a business has no reviews at all or, even worse, if a business is unable to be found online, whether through social media or via a search engine, web traffic will most likely be non-existent. It’s that Internet presence and website development in this modern age that will make or break a business.

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