Read what industry analysts are saying
April 9, 2004
A recent survey among top SEO analysts and marketing specialists from over thirty companies in North-America was recently conducted. Here are the conclusions reached among board members:
Discovering the great importance of obtaining better search visibility, a substantial number of Internet marketers are now choosing corporate web site search engine (SEO) optimization for the major search engines such as Google and such important directories like Yahoo, DMOZ and Global Business Listing as the main foundation structure of all their web marketing endavours.
As a result of this large, and suddenly increased recognition, many surveys and studies are currently being released that greatly underline the importance of Internet search.
Additionally, the extensive use of the major search engines by most corporate users and consumers, as well as the largely successful SEO strategies being developed and utilized by savvy marketers to achieve prominent Web site placement in search engines is generating a lot of talk and enthusiasm among industry analyts all over the world.
Search engine use now prevalent in business everywhere
One survey conducted by the Georgia Institute of Technology found that 81% of prospective Internet customers daily use the major search engines to find specific products, services and vendors, but only the top twenty results returned by those searches will ever generate significant web site traffic to the companies that owned those sites.
Furthermore, a study recently conducted by Real Names suggests that 70% of corporate and personal web users use the major search engines to browse through the Web. Clearly, as the Internet matures, web search will continue to play an increasingly important role in web user behavior.
Search engine use is highly repetitive
Major search engine use is not only a frequent activity among users, but also a rather time-consuming one. On the average, Americans spend 1.6 hours per week searching for information on the Internet, according to Web Top's "Search Rage" study.
Major search engines are convenient and save time
Other research studies show that beyond information queries, Internet users also utilize search engines to pinpoint specific web sites of interest to them.
A "Driving Customers, Not Just Traffic" research study published in March, 2003, by Forrester Research, reveals major search engines are the number one way corporate users and consumers find new web sites, used by 73.4% of users surveyed. Additionally, the search engines are commonly used to make purchases online through various, secure e-commerce sites.
A recent survey by Anderson Consulting determined that 64% of all Internet buyers use search engines to find their favorite retail web sites on which they will decide to make their final purchases.
The reasons why users find value in search engines
As a matter of fact, according to Jupiter Research, in a March, 2003 report, web users ranked search as their most important online activity, awarding it a 9.3 on a 10-point scale. The next most important activity ranked only 6.3.
Online marketers realize the importance of SEO
The general concensus among all industry analysts queried, is that companies and online marketers that fail to optimize their web sites will be on the losing end, as they will miss out on an ever-growing, global Internet market.
SEO already is a vital aspect of Internet marketing
Related research from Iconocast confirms that search engine optimization of web sites and web pages for search engines was a marketing technique employed by 44% of respondents within the last year.
Online marketers utilize various SEO techniques
But the popularity of a specific web site and the level of traffic it receives do not appear to be factors in meta tag usage. The same study determined that keywords and key phrases are more important and better determine the best visibility of the business web sites in the search engines.
Following meta tag "tweaking", web page title optimization and reciprocal link building were the second and third most common search optimization techniques used by 44% and 32% of respondents, respectively.
(Updated from my August 5, 2002 article).
Article written by Serge Thibodeau,
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