At the same time computers were finally getting around to fulfilling their promise and making life easier for everyone, they were also helping to create a brand new industry designed to take full advantage of these new opportunities. The advent of search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and other companies to replace the ubiquitous yellow pages that people consulted when they were looking for a business meant there was a new way to target customers. And so begat the world of search engine optimization.
The name does a perfect job of explaining exactly what the field is. By following trend and capitalizing on popular keyword searches, social media conversations and the now ever present hashtag, companies can help their clients create a marketing platform that is designed to reach out to the people most likely to be interested in their services. This is done through a variety of materials, all of them centered around such services as keyword analysis, website text creation and press release production.
This direct marketing allows customers to maximize their return on advertising investment. Instead of relying on mass mailings, general billboards and print advertisement, with a goal of saturation and hoping that two to three percent of the people seeing these advertisements will respond, search engine optimization turns the process around. Instead of a business looking for customers, it enables customers to go looking for a business.
There is a science behind this process that is important to understand. Many people think that all they need to do is flood the internet with materials that repeat their name or the name of their business over and over again. The search engine companies are well aware of that intention. This is why they have strict guidelines that must be followed when the materials are being created. If there is an article that has too many topical keywords in it - for instance, "vacuum cleaner sales" - the search engines will recognize that whatever the source material is reflects not a genuine article but rather a piece of spam, and will be rejected. Of course, the flip side is that if the keywords appear too infrequently, the source material will not appear in the search results.
Search engine optimization helps companies fully embrace all the possibilities of computers, the internet, and the burgeoning presence of social media on our lives today. By being able to use these opportunities to their full advantage, they will help poise the company to be a leader in the 21st century.
Jack Terry is a freelance writer who focuses on small businesses and marketing in the new century. http://www.teamwildflower.com/