89% of Consumers Use Search Engines to Make Buying Decisions

How do your customers discover you? Maybe through a friend of a friend. Maybe at a trade show. Maybe by reading a brochure.

Of course, they may also discover you through Internet search. 89 percent of consumers surveyed used search engines to make their buying decisions according to the Fleishman-Hillard 2012 Digital Influence Index. A snappy print ad may plant the seed, but it’s a safe bet that your newest customer looked you up online before committing to buy.

The good news: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can help you be in the right place, in front of the right customer, using the right words on their computer, tablet or phone, at the right time.

Connecting customers to you on their terms.

By learning a little about SEO via our QuickStart Guide to Search Engine Marketing, you can ensure that potential customers find YOU, and not just your competitors.


The easiest place to start is your own website.

Customers search using Google, Bing, or Yahoo, looking for a key need that you might fulfill. Customers type in descriptive “keywords,” – maybe rubber gaskets, custom trailers or commercial real estate – and a search engine like Google crawls, looking through millions of websites to return a page of results. The order of these search results matters. A study by Chitika, an online advertising network, found that moving from the second result to the first can almost double the traffic you receive for that keyword.

Where your company falls in the list is largely determined by your popularity and content. High up? Second page? At a glance, Google is looking to see how many sites link to your website and if your content includes relevant keywords that match what a visitor is searching for.


  1. Know your customers. We don’t always know exactly what the customer wants. But we can continue to learn about their perspective. Ask current customers how they found you; what they value about your service. It’s likely that some of these keywords will translate when you plant them on your page.
  2. Know your competition.  What are your competitors doing well? What keywords are they using? What sites are linking to them?  Do some searches on your own, or ask us about a competition report.
  3. Know your keywords. The old-school trick to SEO was dropping artful terms into your own website, to drive search results simply through overwhelming clutter. That no longer works. By tailoring your webpage content to a few keywords and keeping your descriptions short and simple, you’ll make search and discovery simpler for your customers.
  4. Keep measuring results. We love SEO because it’s easy to monitor. A newspaper ad may take days and weeks to wrap up its effect, but with SEO, we can see results as they happen. Google Analytics is a great tool for seeing what phrases customers used to find you, how many, what works and what doesn’t.
  5. Keep experimenting. SEO keywords and your web presence are constantly evolving. So are the search engines. If search terms aren’t working, you can target others. You may even discover it’s fun to review phrases, and you may learn more about your customers’ preferences.


In the time it took you to read this article over 6 million Google searches have been conducted.

Download our QuickStart Guide to Search Engine Marketing that walks you through boosting your business’ online profile to drive more traffic your website. These starter steps will help you position your business for SEO, and should also serve as a road map for your future online marketing efforts.

Let us know how it works for you! And feel free to share these simple tools with others!

If you have questions, please give us a call at 1-888-865-8511 or email us at



"Having worked with multiple design and marketing agencies, I can say that Dan and the Imagemakers staff have provided a true partnership that businesses need to be successful."

Eric Tabor
Vice President - Marketing
ISG Technology & Twin Valley Telephone
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