In today’s intense online marketplace, the fiercest means of promotion has to be through the natural listings one can achieve on major search engines. With between 80% and 90% of all website traffic originating from search engine results, it is obviously important to rise in the listings for your industry or focus. It is also a proven fact that around 80% of users choose to further refine their searches rather than browse the second page of results, making it essential to be listed near the top.

When Internet users look for information on the web, what do they do instinctively? They open Google, Yahoo, MSN Search or Ask, and type in a term that summarises their query: ‘Turkish holiday’ or ‘anti-allergy vacuum cleaner’ and click on the search button. The search engines then display a list of sites based on what they have judged to be the most relevant to your search. However, search engines aren’t entirely impartial; their search results can be swayed.

There are two types of results: the ‘natural listings’ – sites which the search engines have found that contain information that is relevant to your search; and sponsored links – sites that are listed because the owners have paid the search engines for the exposure. Natural listings make up the main part of the search engine listings and are normally flanked by the sponsored links.

This is where a search engine marketing (SEM) firm can help. MVI Search can help you focus your online message on a specific target market, choosing phrases and words that are most likely to be the terms your potential customer’s type in when searching for your website. We then use these ‘keyphrases’ or ‘keywords’ to add optimised content that has been written with a view to ‘impressing’ the software that search engines use to rate web pages. When your site is seen to contain worthwhile information pertaining to a specific search term your website begins to be ranked higher in the natural listings.

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