In theory, marketing is simple; get your product in front of as many potential customers as possible. In practice; it gets complicated, very complicated. With the world’s population fast approaching 8 billion, the good news is that there are more potential customers than ever before, and there are also more ways to reach and connect with them. The bad news is that most of those people aren’t your ideal customers, and a lot of the available marketing channels simply won’t reach your ideal customers, or won’t do it efficiently and cost effectively.
Enter SEO. In simple terms, the goal of SEO is to make your business visible on the internet by helping your ideal potential customers find you. Every second of every day, 34,000 Google searches are done1, and not all of them are for pictures of cats. In fact, according to Search Engine Land’s recent Local Consumer Review Survey, 85% of people use the internet to find local businesses. Can you think of a more qualified customer than one that is actively looking for you? I can’t either. That is the power of search technology.
Unfortunately, you are not the only business that is (or will be) competing to be found on the internet. A Google search for “dry cleaner New York” brings up 37,500,000 results. Of those results, only 10 will be on the first page. A full 42% of all people searching will click on the 1st result, and only 10% of people will even look past the 1st page2. This should give you an idea of just how much competition you are facing to be on that coveted 1st page. As they say in SEO, “if you aren’t first, you’re last.”
You cannot buy, plead, or negotiate your way into that all powerful first page. You cannot get there by knowing the right people. Google stakes their reputation on the quality and integrity of their search results, and they do not play favorites. They even penalized themselves when a marketing campaign for their Chrome browser violated their quality guidelines3. The only way to reach that lucrative 1st page and put your business in front of all those potential customers is through SEO.1http://www.quora.com 2http://www.dougdemercurio.com/1-on-the-first-page-of-google 3http://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-penalizes-chrome/38469/