Every day, Google facilitates over 3.5 billion searches, which translates to around 1.2 trillion searches annually worldwide. To fully grasp how search engine optimization works, it’s beneficial to start from the very beginning of the process and understand what people are using search engines for as they tend to be broad and varied.

Shopping – As this one is the most relevant for marketing, it’s a great place to start. We’ve seen a trend in search engines creating their own shopping sites that pull products from other sites. Froogle, now called Google Product Search, and Yahoo! Shopping are great examples of these. Similarly, Amazon is an e-commerce company offering online retail and digital content, as well as local services through their daily deals and even grocery delivery through Amazon Pantry. It is the leading e-retailer in the United States and one of the most valuable brands in the world. Amazon stands as proof that all businesses must adapt to the online trend. Note that consumers cite ‘free shipping’ as their biggest incentive to online shop and choose a specific retailer. It’s tough, if not impossible, to compete with the larger retailers on price, but by offering free shipping, it can help you get an upper hand in your market.

Research – The majority of people use search engines for this purpose. Research is a very broad term in this sense. It could mean doing research for a paper or research on how to change your car’s oil. Often this also means comparing services and locations. If a consumer needs an oil change, they’ll might search for ‘oil change Nashville’ and make their decision based on a business’s proximity and price. Search engines tend to be more approving of research oriented sites, which is why we always encourage your business’s website to include great content and blogs. Those are factors that help search engines find your site more relevant, pulling you higher in rankings.

Entertainment – We’ve all gone online to see the latest YouTube sensation video or to find something to pass the time. There are a million ways to find entertainment online, such as games, reading about the latest celebrity gossip, and watching tv. Google likes to rank websites on relevance, which is why if you search for a video – even if it’s available on several sites – YouTube will most likely be the first one on the search results. That’s a great incentive to create your own channel on YouTube and post videos regularly. Even if a video is on your website, you’ll absolutely want it on the site that boasts over 1 billion unique user visits each month. Another fun fact about YouTube – over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube, which amounts to almost an hour for every person on Earth.

Learn more about getting your business higher in the search rankings for the keywords your customers are searching, either by using search engine advertising or through SEO and content marketing to increase your visibility.