The Search Engine Value Proposition

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From 1999 to 2007, Web site traffic grew by 500 percent, and Internet commerce is expected to increase through 2009, with world retail sales estimated to approach $60 billion.
Business-to-business sales are estimated to surpass $600 billion.
As Web pages continue to proliferate, companies wanting to remain competitive will have to employ even more aggressive search engine optimization and Web design strategies...
especially if they are looking to complement and improve the impact of their traditional advertising and marketing efforts.
As e-commerce matures, there will be increasingly less patience with new business models the do not show a clear path to profit, in addition to realistic and cost-effective customer acquisition cost.
Search engine optimization may be the most reasonable customer acquisition strategy available for Web-based businesses.
The numbers Tell the Story So let's see just how search engine positioning stacks up against other media, both in results and relative costs for customer acquisition.
Online advertising reports provide some interesting data on banner advertising.
Various conversion metrics show that click-throughs and other conversions have hovered below 1 percent, with some variance depending on the time of day and the day of the week.
This means you can expect just a single click-through for every 100 banner impressions.
For every 1,000 banner impressions, you will probably get only 10 visitors.
Some have argued that users who see banners ads but don't act on them are at least developing "brand impressions.
" Well, guess what? Until the brand impressions convert to purchases, they do nothing for your bottom line.
Although 1 percent to 2 percent conversions rates have long been acceptable for direct mail and catalog advertising, neither medium is quite as ephemeral as the Web.
Many individuals deposit their direct mail right into the trash, although an equally large number of them will browse a catalog many times before discarding it or placing an order.
There is no equivalent lag time on the Web.
Individuals don't linger; as soon as they make the next click, they are off your site and heading for another destination.
Unless your surfer bookmarks the site or makes a purchase, the probability of return and purchase declines.
Some research has shown that people will return to a site at a later date if they are interested, even if there is nothing to assist their memory.
The typical users at home visits 10 sites per month and views 664 pages.
While at work, users visit 29 sites per month and views 1,387 pages.
With so many sites actively competing against each other to obtain a share of customers' attention, the chances that you will cut through the substantial clutter are slim.
If you think these visitors will remember your site, its URL, and content without some assistance, dream on.

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