Guest post by Melanie Durango With the dynamic nature of the internet & the constant variations & changes in search engine algorithms the reality is that Internet marketing has to be a flexible activity. Search patterns are constantly changing as Internet users modify their online behaviour and search engines (and social media sites) evolve to deliver enhanced customer experience. As a result online marketers need to respond with a flexible dynamic approach which adapts according to latest best practice. Whether you take care of online marketing within your own business or use an external internet marketing company, it’s important to realize that what works well today might not work as well next week. You must be ready to adjust your campaigns to match user behaviours.
Organic Search still more Important than Paid Search The Company User Centric recently performed another study on search results favoured by Internet users. The outcome indicated yet again that users still overwhelmingly prefer organic search results. Regardless of search engine, it appears that most users still skip the paid results, and see the organic listings as being more relevant to their search query. So Search engine optimization (SEO) should still be considered a fundamental part of any internet marketing strategy. As search engines evolve their ability to deliver users with increasingly relevant search results is constantly improving. As a result a big part of SEO is about understanding how search engine like Google determine the relevancy of a website to a particular topic.
This however is a moving target so again SEO should be considered a dynamic art Users Rely on Search Engines Less for Finding Specific Websites Another trend emerging that Forrester Research points out, is that Internet users are relying less on search engines to find specific websites. While you might find that users rely on search engines to look for brands, reviews, products, and general information, they are less likely to use a search engine to find a specific website. This is partly due to the fact that users are becoming ‘better’ at using the internet and will go straight to a web address (if they remember it). Coming up with a memorable web address for marketing purposes is therefore becoming more important. Google themselves have said that the current exact match domain name preference is something they are going to be looking at. In the future they are far more likely to favour the creative approach to domain names rather than the ‘what you see is what you get’ approach which has worked well in the past (from a straight Google ranking perspective).
Social media sites are also having an impact on search engine activity and offering another route for users to find content, company websites etc. The power of user recommendation and referrals is also fairly strong within these sites. It’s important to find out which social media sites are most frequented by your target audience, and develop a strategy to interact in these places, placing content, engaging in discussion etc Using Metrics to Measure Results The importance of metrics to any online marketing effort is obviously paramount. Campaigns should have set key Performance indicators whether they are related to SEO, paid online ads, social media marketing etc. What is even more important is that web marketers act on these metrics and be prepared to adapt and change strategies, if something is no longer working.