UK has the distinction of being worlds most developed e-commerce market- a distinction earned in part due to its impressive per capita online sales [$869 for the year 2013] and in part as a consequence of a mammoth increase in retail market size and shares. This increase in online purchasing has been accompanied by a comparable increase in consumer awareness and online reviewing. With these facts in mind it becomes evident that the appearance of authenticity online [that is cultivated by having a consolidated web presence and an easily accessible repository of information pertaining to services provided] is as imperative in driving traffic to your business as the quality of services you provide.
Close to 80-90% of users in the UK use search engines to check online reviews/ company websites to determine whether they will purchase from a seller or not. SEO, search engine optimization, refers to the practice of planning and altering the design and approach of online endeavors to accommodate and maximize their interactions with search engines. SEO isnt just a technical strategy, it is an important tool for marketing, one that is increasingly becoming imperative to effective advertising and sales. Businesses that have chosen not to engage in SEO in the past- usually owing to apprehension born of a lack in understanding are being forced to engage with it for fear of becoming redundant.
Heres some reasons why your business needs to start SEO to stay on top of the game. The growing market share of search engines. The single most popular way for consumers to access businesses today is via a targeted online search on one of the few major search engines. Analysis has revealed that the top few results of any google search retain over 40% of the searchers- which gives these pages a significant competitive advantage. The click through rates fall dramatically after this, with all pages ranked under 7 averaging at less than 4% a piece. Pages that do not make it into these ranks fail to retain any traffic and, irrespective of how well they are designed, fail to meet their purpose. Such a failure is all encompassing as it affects the revenue from advertising and the return on investment of other marketing and branding endeavors. Imagine if someone were to search the word shoes on their machine and the first result that their search yielded was BOATS?
The importance of association cannot be overstated when it comes to the creation of a lasting and lucrative brand identity. And what better way to solidify the your brand in the specific niche that you serve, than to have search engines associate your product/service with any mention of this niche. A link of this kind is potent not only in that it assists in creating new associations in the mind of consumers who were previously unaware of your presence, it is also a sure-fire way of ensuring that this association is reinforced through multiple channels. As the previously discussed statistic on click-throughs in searches demonstrates, the ranking, and consequently the order of appearance of an object on the result page of a search is the factor that determines if that object retains traffic or remains unseen.
SEO salvages this knowledge to increase visibility by simply increasing the rank and therefore the position of a website to increase its visibility to a consumer online. If a consumer is unsatisfied with the online presence and accessibility of a seller online [especially if the transaction happens to be for low to high end retail products] the likelihood is the consumer, if he/she is capable of availing of another choice, will in fact proceed to do so. Consumers are fast developing aversion to businesses that are invisible online- a trait that has been tied up to their perception of quality of service and credibility of the serving establishment.
Such an invisibility can cost businesses in the short term in sales and in the long term in branding and perception. With the increasing market share of search engines and the influx of new consumers into the online market every day, the online marketplace is a major driver of traffic and a distinguishable presence in the same is a fool proof method to increase foot fall in physical and virtual marketplaces. Advertising- both in traditional media and online, is only successful if the interested consumer is successful in finding the business that has been advertised. Since most consumers tend to turn to search engines to resolve queries or follow up on interesting advertisements, being easily searchable is imperative in converting the advertisement into actual sales. A failure to do so can drastically reduce the efficiency of the advertisement and reduce the conversion ratio. For these reasons, your business needs to be looking into SEO today!