Internet marketing, or online marketing, refers to advertising and marketing efforts that use the Web and email to drive direct sales via electronic commerce, in addition to sales leads from Web sites or emails. Internet marketing and online advertising efforts are typically used in conjunction with traditional types of advertising like radio, television, newspapers and magazines. Internet marketing allows you to promote your products and services online at a lower cost than traditional advertising. It helps you grow your business because it provides qualified leads from potential customers who are looking for your products and services.
Most customers turn to the Internet to find what they need before they call or visit a store. Out of all local business searches, 86% follow up their search with a phone call or a visit to the store. Of those, 61% end up making a purchase.
A potential customer may not know your business name or Website address. Instead, they will type keywords into search engines to find the products they want. Effective use of Internet marketing can help your company show up on search engines, like Google® and Bing™ | Yahoo!®, when a potential customer is searching for your products and services.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results – often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.
As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. Optimizing a website may involve editing its content, HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. Promoting a site to increase the number of backlinks, or inbound links, is another SEO tactic.
The plural of the abbreviation SEO can also refer to “search engine optimizers,” those who provide SEO services.