A very interesting exercise is to plot the graph of search demand for the term “SEO” versus “Web Design” using Google Trends www.google.com/trends . I have done this below:
We can see in the graph that, for the first time, at the end of 2008, demand for “SEO” now exceeds that of web design. This is in contrast to 2004 when “web design” had 550% more demand than “SEO.” The gap has been closing steadily ever since and at this point the early adopters of 2004 have been well and truly caught up with by the laggards with all camps now realising the importance of SEO. Broadly speaking, in 2004 many SMEs were still getting to grips with the internet and thinking about getting their own site up and running; many SMEs had no sites in 2004. Hence the demand for the term “web design” as most companies felt that they needed to get some form of online presence. Having worked in a small web design agency throughout this period, I saw first hand many companies getting websites set up because they felt it was the “right thing to do” but never really integrated their websites into their core marketing strategy. The site, very often, sat there with no cohesive plan to generate traffic, measure this traffic and drive conversions through the site. This has now all changed with every company now fully realising the potential that exists in the whole SEO / online marketing space. Companies know without ever seeing any graph that their target market has shifted away from traditional product / service sorting tools such as Golden Pages and onto Google, Bing and Yahoo. Accordingly, those who set up their sites in the early part of the decade have started to ask in the latter part “how the hell do we make this site generate more business for us!” Hence, the demand for the term “SEO.”
Interesting aside: See how Facebook has gone into overdrive from mid 2008 and not looked back.
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