Millions of individuals use search engines every day to research anything from local movies to government policy. With such a ready-made audience, search engine marketing has become a billion dollar industry, yet some companies don’t feel they get an appropriate return on their search engine marketing investment. For the most part, the reason is simple – they may be spending a lot on advertising, but they aren’t targeting the audience in the right way. Search engine optimization has to take into account the distinct ways in which people use search engines and the Internet.

Although Internet users are reading the information online, their reading habits are very different from the way they read traditional print media. Understanding how people search on the Internet and what they’re looking for can help you engineer great search engine optimization for your website.

Search Engine Marketing For “Skimmers”

When people are searching on the Internet, they are looking for answers and want to find them quickly. If a search returns pages of possible sites to visit, readers will click through on several of them to find out more, but they won’t linger long on any one site. Rather than reading an entire page, they will scan each one to see if it is relevant.

To get their attention, you’ll need to be able to convey a strong message quickly. Using bullet points and subheadings to summarize your message is a great search engine optimization tactic. Separate summaries on the side of the page or at the top are also good internet marketing tools that give searchers the quick overview they’re seeking.

Search Engine Marketing For The Multi-Tasker

The majority of people doing Internet searches are multi-tasking. The top two activities people combine with searching are working (don’t tell the boss!) and watching television. Website marketing needs to take this trend into account. It’s one reason people are annoyed by unexpected sound effects or pop-up ads – they interfere with whatever else they are doing at the time. While it’s tempting to use pop-ups and ads in your search engine marketing in order to get people’s attention, you’re just as likely to irritate them, so use them sparingly in your search engine marketing.

Search Engine Marketing Via Social Media

Website marketing in today’s world has to take into account the possibility that millions of online users may never use a traditional search engine. Instead, social media applications like Facebook are increasingly a source of information. Individuals are turning to their network of friends for information, product reviews and guidance. It’s crucial to use search engine marketing that can easily be forwarded and linked in order to provide visitors with information in a social media setting. Set aside some of your search engine marketing budget to create a social media presence.

Search Engine Marketing – Targeting Loyalty

There’s a direct correlation between how often someone accesses the Internet and how loyal they are to specific websites. Heavy web users will visit the same three to five sites every day as well as doing searches or exploring new sites. They have found a comfort zone and prefer to stay within it until they need to move beyond these boundaries.

You can turn this kind of loyalty to your advantage in search engine marketing if you do some research. Discover the most popular sites of your target demographic, then create a presence there. You’ll be able to put your message in front of these same users multiple times, and familiarity breeds trust and loyalty. With the right search engine marketing, your site could make it onto searchers’ list of core sites to visit daily.

Search Engine Marketing – The Love-Hate Relationship With Blogs

Don’t use your company blog as a way to post obvious advertising. Just don’t. It’s fine to mention your product in some way, but if the bulk of your blog posts are thinly disguised website marketing tools, you will quickly lose credibility.

Heavy Internet users expect blogs that give them real, valuable information or valid opinions. Your search engine marketing can score big points and garner loyalty if your blog is interesting and informative while only incidentally mentioning what you’re trying to sell.