At Turn The Page we get asked that question a lot………….. and it is essential for any business to understand this growing marketing channel. Here is a two part post giving a basic outline of online marketing.
The Importance of Online Marketing
Over the past 5 years the advertising industry landscape has changed dramatically. Online marketing has seen explosive growth with most other media sources standing still. Online marketing has grown because of its ability to reach consumers in an efficient and measurable manner. There are a range of advertising mediums available online that supply a sophisticated array of tools to track results. Unlike traditional media online marketing reaches potential customers across the complete buying spectrum:
97% of the US population says they go online to search for a product or service.
- 900 million active users on Facebook.
- 200 million tweets per day on Twitter.
- 2 billion searches per day on Google properties.
- 3 billion views per day on YouTube.
- 164 million blogs
These are impressive statistics that make online marketing a very necessary component for any business to succeed. The sheer volume of users also means that to receive benefit from online marketing it has to be done correctly.
The Basics of Online Marketing
The science of online marketing is driven by Search Engines. The top three are:
- Google (65% Searches)
- Bing (14% Searches)
- Yahoo (11% Searches)
When somebody makes a search online, they use a search engine or one of its partner sites. Search Engines index the internet gathering data on web pages, photos, videos, PDFs, blogs etc. This indexed data is stored in literally thousands of computers. When a search is made the index is queried using an algorithm that, for Google, has over 200 different components. The algorithm itself is a formula approximately 11 pages long.
Search engines really don’t perceive business websites or any other online property as their customer. The customer for the search engines is the person searching for a product, service or information, and the goal is to provide the searcher with the most relevant result for their search term. Online searches generally fall into 3 categories:
- Transactional (ready to make some sort of purchase)
- Informational (one degree of separation from transactional)
- Navigational (looking for a location or geographic feature)
In order to continually improve their results, search engines are constantly adjusting how they index their data and the make-up of their algorithm. These indexes and algorithms are different for each search engine; although Bing and Yahoo now share architecture. Google has completed 457 changes in 2011 to their search matrix and 53 just in April 2012.
Within the last year online search has changed dramatically with the evolution of smart phones, social media and geo location technology. People want something nearby; they are not interested in the most relevant result if it is 50 miles away. Google has, and is, updating its search to reflect this localization and is incorporating a social component into all search results.
Stay tuned for Part 2 next week from Turn The Page Online Marketing.