Think back twenty years and how different it was to launch a business at that time. If you were in retail, you needed to send out mail to your local market, find niche customers by advertising in magazines, or do a general blast with a big ad in the local newspaper. Now when people launch a business, they pretty much just focus on the Internet and how to grab as much targeted traffic as they possibly can.
Hold up a yellow pages book in front of an audience and ask ‘how many of you have used this book in the past 60 days to find something?’ and you usually won’t see anyone’s hand go up. Show the same audience a picture of Google’s home page with the search bar and ask the same question. Almost every hand goes up. Sure, some will use Yahoo or Bing search, but most everyone in the room will use the search function of their favorite search engine at least once a month, if not several times each hour.
The way we do business has changed, just as where we do business has changed. The Internet has created a different playing field, or battle field if you may. It was designed to be egalitarian where every company has the chance to be the best in their niche, regardless of budget. But, it is hard to legislate equality and companies have found ways to advance their marketing agendas with something called search engine optimization. There is search engine marketing as well and that depends a lot on budget and the talent of the individual that wields the tool. The algorithms that the search engines use are programmed to be fair and to apply the same rules fairly across every business niche, but smart people will always find a way to improved upon their position no matter what the formula says.
So to play by the rules in 2015, you have to have an optimized site. One that is mobile friendly. One that answers the searchers question so they don’t leave your site too quickly without ‘engaging’. One that plays by the rules of good site architecture and keyword density and every small nuance imaginable just to get an edge on the guy down the street. It is still a game of building a better mousetrap, except this one is digital.