Online shopping is experiencing a rapid growth in Australia; eBay alone has reported that an item is purchased every 15 seconds via the Internet. Even with those impressive figures Australia is still several years behind the UK and US for online internet sales. The Australian Institute of National Statics published that the current national internet sales for Australia is totaling $143 billion annually. Some internet markets are experiencing huge national and international growth; their online revenues have increased by up to 40%. A growing trend that is expected to change the market is the use of mobile internet. Reports from the first quarter of 2011 show that 25% of mobile internet users are shopping online. This is a great advantage for any business prepared to change the way it markets and sells its products or services.
When a consumer uses their mobile or laptop internet on the go, 88% will use Google’s search or Google Maps to visit a business directly or order from them online. It’s becoming increasingly important for any business to appear highly in Google’s search, for the products they stock or services they provide. The way in which a business achieves this is by SEO (Search Engine Optimization); they will choose the search terms and Keywords they want to improve in Google’s search, then often use a reputable SEO company to work on the search terms on their behalf.
Many small business owners will think that SEO is just for large businesses, but that’s just not true. Consumers are searching for hairdressers to florists, mechanics to fish and chip shops. When researching the American internet market it becomes clear that American consumers are searching for products or services using Google’s search; 95% of US sales online are from businesses positioned on the first page of Google’s search for the consumers relevant search term. This is an insight into the future of the Australian internet market in the coming years. As this change in purchasing rapidly takes hold in Australia, Australian businesses will be forced to adopt internet sales and marketing strategies like SEO, or risk losing future customers and sales to businesses overseas who have a stronger internet sales strategy.
Some businesses will choose to market their business using Google’s paid listing, which is paying Google to be advertised on the first page for certain search terms. Each time the company’s website is visited via a paid advertisement the company pays Google a fee; this form of advertisement is for a business looking for a small short-term increase in profits, but will never fulfill the expectations of a long advertisement campaign. With 77% of search users choosing organic over paid listing when searching, and 67% choosing organic search when purchasing, it’s clear that the most effect way and profitable way is SEO.