Companies throughout time have found a multitude of ways to promote their businesses. From the earliest form, word of mouth to giant billboards on the front of buildings, to the electronic age of radio, television and now the world wide web. The methods have changed. However, the purpose remains the same in that a business must be visible to the whole world. Marketing on the internet isn’t exactly new, but even in the short time that the web has existed, the methods of advertising on it has evolved.
In the nineties, you would find out about a web site from magazine ads or television commercials. Then AOL came around and started doing something quite interesting. They introduced the idea of keywords. AOL would group like pages or business sites under a relevant keyword. Marketing on the internet today does something very similar, though much more advanced, to what AOL introduced.
SEO, or search engine optimization takes keywords to the next level. Search engines have spiders that scour the internet continuously for new content. If this content is written properly, it can earn a higher ranking in the search engine’s results. This in turn raises the associated website higher on the list of results. That means that more people will be likely to see the page in question. If that page is that of a business, then they will have more traffic and potential customers walking through their virtual doors.
Marketing on the internet consists of more than just SEO, there’s actual paid advertising, social media, and the oldest of them all, word of mouth. SEO just represents the biggest pay off for the price paid to get new customers interested in your small business.
Tim Hiller is a freelance writer that despised AOL, but is able to admit that they might have been ahead of their time when it came to marketing on the internet.