The internet has completely revolutionised the way people live. Ten years ago music, movies and games were purchased in high street stores. Today they can be downloaded or streamed from anywhere using hand held digital devices such as tablet computers or even mobile phones. We used to rely on phone books and yellow pages to find shops and tradesmen but today it is the internet where we find what we need. Shopping habit is also changing rapidly with internet driving more and more sales every year. People have become very used to buying and selling online through online marketplace and e-commerce portals such as amazon, ebay, taobao, lacartes and many others.
For businesses internet has become an important source of revenue. The running of an online business is not that different to running an offline business. A shop would invest a lot of money and time to get the right location – usually a busy location in the right town, where it can be seen by a lot of potential customers with genuine interests in its products and services. Online businesses apply the same principle and invest a lot of money and time to be seen by the right crowd – people with genuine interests in its products and services.
When people search for a particular product or service, they are expressing a genuine interest in that product or service so it is highly likely they would commit to a purchase. This makes search engine traffic highly valuable and it is why many online businesses allocate majority of their operating budget to search engine optimisation (also known as SEO) in order to appear at the top of search results for the right search keywords.
Businesses at the top of search results are looked at first so they have the best chance of making a sale. Getting to the top of search engine search results is the holy grail of online advertising. Search engines channel so much traffic every day they can literally drive millions of potential customers to a business. Therefore search engine optimisation or SEO is extremely important to any online business.
SEO refers to methods and techniques that can improve a website’s position in search results for the most relevant keywords. There is an entire industry devoted to SEO. They offer their expertise and services to help businesses increase their search engine traffic.
The main advantage of running an online business is the lower cost base because it doesn’t require any retail space. This leaves businesses with more money to invest in advertising and marketing. Business owners and webmasters should invest generously in SEO and think of it as the same thing as paying extra for a shop in the right location.