The spread of the internet has led to the digitization of billions of files, which can now be accessed in the internet through a number of search engines that are available to the end users (Beel & Gipp, 2010). Consumers searching the web using search engines will have a list of items that are listed in order of relevance to the search parameters or words that are used by the user. The large volume of data available on the net implies that content owners must structure their content in such a way that it is easily accessed and identified by the search engine to increase exposure by being ranked at the top of the search results (Barakat, 2014). To achieve greater access and visibility on the net, search engine optimization (SEO), which is the process of modifying a website in such a way that it is easier for search engines to crawl the site and index its contents, is frequently used by site owners (Beel, Gipp & Wilde, 2010).
Importance of SEO for corporate communicators
Corporate communicators need to not only pass information to consumers but they also need to hear what the consumers are saying so that they can optimize the message that is being delivered. With the pervasiveness of Google, which controls approximately two-thirds of search volume, the search engine has a big impact on the perception that people have on a brand (Quigley, 2013). Therefore, corporate communicators should develop use SEO to manage the image of their brand by ensuring that the message they want to communicate about their brand is easily accessible and highly ranked. This is because a majority of searchers rarely get beyond the first page and hence the consequence of not being in the first page is detrimental to a company’s image. SEO helps corporate communicators efficiently and cheaply get feedback from consumers on the efficacy of the message sent, hence helping them to institute intervention measures expeditiously if the message is not reaching the target.
Benefits of adopting a SEO-based strategy
The internet has moved the power to access and dissemination of information gradually towards individuals and hence, when disseminating information, it is important to keep in mind that information is only useful if it is relevant to consumers. Due to the ease of accessing high speed internet even in hand-held devices, there is an increasing tendency among consumers to ‘search’ for any information they may need. Adopting a SEO-based strategy enables an organization to tailor its information such that it is key word responsive, especially in relation to the searchers most popular key words. A SEO-based strategy ensures that an organization’s information is on the first page, which is crucial for visibility, considering that most searchers will only click on links in the first page and rarely proceed to the second page (Quigley, 2013). Therefore, SEO can help an organization to manage its image and increase revenue by ensuring that its information is the first thing that a searcher sees on the first page.
Tips for a successful SEO strategy
Foe successful SEO, an organization should use strong keywords and synonyms, which are then incorporated into the site in appreciable density and distributed throughout to increase the chances of positive marching (Ebrahim et al., 2014). The site should have a good and short title and spellings should be consistent throughout the site. The site should be registered and hosted with a competent ISP provider to reduce out times, and if possible, multiple servers should be used for hosting to ensure that there is no downtime.
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