Clearly the performance of a website and its usefulness for a company cannot be judged solely on the quantity of website visitors. A local business, for example, may have little use for a high quantity of visitors from distant locations. It is thus important, when utilizing analytics, to look at several forms of data to establish exactly how the website is being used by consumers. I will discuss more on web analytics at a later date.
For a website to perform and be measured, it must first draw users to the site. For it to begin to work as a lead generation tool, it needs to become available to the masses by ranking as high as possible on organic search engine results. Popular search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing are where the vast majority of consumers go when they are looking for information on new products or specialty products, such as heath foods. In fact, “97% of consumers use the Internet to research products or services in their local area”, yet only “5% of retail sales happen online” (McGee, 2010). Even more specifically, “90% use search engines, 48% use Internet Yellow Pages, 42% use comparison shopping sites, and 24% use vertical sites” (McGee, 2010). Another study by Hedger (n.d.) demonstrated that “half of all online purchases are preceded by multiple product-specific searches.”
Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the art of optimizing a website so that search engines not only recognize it but consider it a better source than others, is crucial to improving a site’s propensity to rank higher on non-paid (organic) search engine results. SEO can be done in a variety of ways, is inexpensive, and can have a major impact on how many visitors a website receives (Macomber, 2012).
Macomber, L. (2012, April 6). Now that it’s built, how to ensure your website is found. Northern Colorado Business Report, 17-26 (2p). Retrieved on May 17, 2012, from Business Source Complete.