There is simply no denying that search engines are a dominating force on the Internet. Millions of people search online for their topics of interest every single day. In fact, statistics reveal that in June of 2003 alone, 5.5 billion searches were conducted online. That was 5.5 billion searches in just one month! This number has now increased exponentially.

However, it is important to note that people aren't just looking for information. Reports reveal that 25% of all online purchases originate from search engines. It is therefore crucial that your site gets the best possible position in the searches for your keywords.

It is important to bear in mind that according to Market Position, a whopping five million pages are added to the Internet every single day. So if you plan to outrank your growing competition, you need to keep constant tabs on changes to how the search engines rank Web sites. However, you should also know that statistics show that most Web surfers never search beyond the top 30 results they receive! So getting ranked 43rd in Google is almost as bad as not getting ranked at all!

With that in mind, it's clear that top-ranking positions in the search engines for the terms most frequently searched by your target audience should be the goal of any savvy site owner. And to achieve that goal, you must keep your finger on the pulse of the search engine industry.

Lest you need more convincing on the advantages of SEO, here are some studies and statistics to dispel your doubts:

  • A study from IMT Strategies demonstrate that a company’s presence on relevant search engines is the most important medium for maintaining high brand awareness – more important than the printed media, radio or even TV commercials.
  • The same study also revealed that search engines were the most popular medium for finding websites (46%). Random surfing and word of mouth share second place at 20% each.
  • An NPD Group study concludes that placements on search engines are 2 to 3 times more effective for achieving sales than banners.
  • The study also showed that 92% of online users making a purchase over the Internet use search engines to find the relevant website
  • A Direct Marketing Association survey found that search engine optimization/positioning was evaluated by webmasters as the single most important activity for generating traffic to the website (66%), followed by e-mail marketing (54%).
  • According to MediaMetrix, search engines are the “busiest” and most used websites on the net.
  • A study carried out by the NPD Group showed that more than twice as many of those asked could recognize the names of the companies in the top three placements of search engines as compared to recognizing companies which used banners.