Internet Retailers Lose Sales by Ignoring Search Engine Optimization—Oneupweb Study Shows

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Oneupweb, a leading search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing (SEM) firm, today published its second study of leading companies’ search engine optimization usage. This second study, a comprehensive review of the first 100 companies profiled in Internet Retailer Magazine’s Top 300 Guide, reveals that only a dozen use SEO well, and more than a third aren’t using SEO at all. The study, available free at Oneupweb.com under the, “Articles,” section, discusses risks those retailers face in ignoring search engine optimization benefits: lost sales, lost market share, brand equity erosion, increased marketing costs and reduced profit margins.

Oneupweb, a leading search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing (SEM) firm, today published its second study of leading companies’ search engine optimization usage. (Its first study reviewed SEO usage on FORTUNE 100 sites.) This second study, a comprehensive review of the first 100 companies profiled in Internet Retailer Magazine’s Top 300 Guide, reveals that only a dozen use SEO well, and more than a third aren’t using SEO at all. The study, available free at Oneupweb.com under the, “Articles,” section, discusses risks those retailers face in ignoring search engine optimization benefits: lost sales, lost market share, brand equity erosion, increased marketing costs and reduced profit margins.

“Yet again, Oneupweb shows how companies can use search engine marketing to get ahead in sales, profit and brand equity, and how few are doing it,” explains Oneupweb president Lisa Wehr. “Companies ignoring SEO—even well-recognized brands—are giving their business to competitors. It’s the Internet equivalent of building a beautiful store and locking the doors.”

The study identifies four levels of SEO participation: well-optimized sites, moderately-optimized sites, nominally-optimized sites and those sites not optimized at all. After reviewing each site for signs of optimization, Oneupweb searched for the retailer in Google and Yahoo! search results.

“Customers expect to see the retailers they know, when they search,” says Wehr. “If those companies are out-of-sight in the results listings, then they are out-of-mind when customers buy.”

As expected, well-optimized sites placed higher on search engine results pages than those who only used basic SEO tactics or overlooked it altogether. The study also discovered that some Internet retailers purchase pay-per-click ads to get visibility on keywords for which they aren’t optimized.

“These companies pay for visibility in sponsored listings or advertising, while abstaining from natural listings or editorial coverage,” says Wehr. “Our most optimistic guess is that they recognize the value of being listed, but they don’t know how to go about natural or editorial optimization.”

The report outlines the long and short-term benefits of search engine optimization as they relate specifically to retailers. Oneupweb uses examples to demonstrate its theories, making it easy for readers to understand what SEO can do for them. Additionally, the study identifies three trends that will keep the heat up and make optimization increasingly a necessity.

“By next year, Oneupweb hopes the number of well-optimized sites will have doubled,” says Wehr. Oneupweb works hard to teach marketers about search engine optimization through articles like this study, Oneupweb’s recent release of a similar study of FORTUNE 100 sites, case studies, and other articles, which are all available on the Web site. Plus, Oneupweb participates in marketing events like its sponsorship of the Search Engine Strategies conference in Chicago, December 13-14. Companies and their advertising and public relations agencies can learn more about the Internet Retailer study and read additional information by visiting Oneupweb.com or calling 231.271.8700.

About Oneupweb:

Oneupweb is an award-winning, industry leader of world-class search engine optimization and marketing services including management for many of today’s leading companies. Oneupweb specializes in tailoring custom strategies that include natural search engine optimization, paid inclusion, pay-per-click and conversion tracking designed to deliver superior return on investment. Clients include Unisys, Equifax, Motorola, Broyhill, Kimberly-Clark and many others. Since 1996, Oneupweb has pioneered groundbreaking services backed by new technology created to maximize client visibility and customer acquisition within the world’s top search engines. Named to BtoB Magazine’s “Who’s Who 2004” list for search and voted the “Top Search Engine Marketing Firm” by ClickZ in 2003, Oneupweb is a privately held company located in Michigan. For more information on Oneupweb, please contact 231.271.8700 or visit oneupweb.com

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Rachel North
ONEUPWEB
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