Week Five – SEO & Google

8 Mar

Search engine optimization (SEO) and Search engine marketing (SEM) has become a strategic tool for organisations to promote and advertise online (Pan et al, 2010). As the majority on consumers in the western world these days tends to search for the best deals, products, ranges etc. online – SEO is an extremely important and critical tool for any company or products success.

When a consumer types a words or a phrase to search for a website or product – let’s be honest who really goes past looking on the first page on the Google search engine?! Therefore it is one of the most crucial marketing decisions for your company to reach the highest possible rank to ensure a high traffic to your site.

Murray (2005) mentioned how search engines are like an election process – all the website that exist are a candidate and each click on your link is a vote. This can be achieved by using Google as a marketing tool to reinforce your positioning for your website and link.

There are two main ways in which a company can go about presenting their companies link or URL to their webpage on Google. Firstly there is the natural search, which is free for any website to use. This works by identifying the content of the webpage and forming this into key words or phrases in which consumers would most likely to search for when looking for your company, therefore text within your site is key and pictures should have a tagline to be able to . The second is a paid for method, which would enable your site to reach the top of the page in the ‘ad’ section. As this method enables you to reach the top of the page after a search has been complete, seems like the most relevant option for the company to go with – however some consumers are aware of the ‘ad’ section and may avoid the links there totally.

The paid for option is extremely popular within organisations as it is an easy thought of route to increase traffic to either the official or a micro site. However I would like to argue, that when consumers are on the internet, this is either for one of two options: information gathering or entertainment. As this is personal times for the consumer to either relax or specifically searching for something – this may be perceived as a nuisance or an invasion of personal space while surfing the net. Although these paid for links are marked within the ‘ads’ box, it is not particularly clear and therefore may be clicked on by accident and result in annoying the consumer and creating a poor perception of your brand, product or company.

As Xiang et al (2010) mentioned search engine marketing can be extremely beneficial for tourist destinations. When searching for a holiday, either accommodation or travel, there is so many companies to choose from. When going on holiday last year to Santorini in Greece, I was searching for a Hotelto stay in, in a little town called Oia. This area is extremely popular with tourists and therefore when searching in Google ‘hotel Santorini’ millions of options came up. Having no idea which to choose I decided to ask a friend for recommendation, and she told me about a great Hotel call ‘Alexanders’. When it comes to booking a hotel, word of mouth is extremely trustworthy as you personally know someone who has visited before. When searching for this hotel in Google it came up as the top search, only if you typed in the exact name of the place. This hotel was absolutely amazing, but the manger mentioned that in the past few years bookings in the summer were not as strong as previous years. I believe that this company would have benefited greatly from Google ad words or even a google natural search for ‘Hotels in Santorini’ or ‘Hotels in Oia’. If the company was within the first page of the natural search I believe so many people would click through to the home page and from there been impressed by the website and reviews etc.

 

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