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A study of impact of search engine optimisation to internet marketing strategy

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Abstract

This research aims to explore free search engine optimisation (SEO) and social media plug-ins and compare their performance in increasing incoming web traffics. We create three publisher websites: the normal website without any SEO installed on it, the customised website with basic SEO configuration and social media plug-in, and the customised website with advanced SEO configuration and social media plug-in. We run and trace the website log for four and seven months. Our findings show that SEO plug-ins is capable to increase traffic to publisher website. Social media plug-in provides additional benefit to bring traffic, however, the traffic is less significant compared to the one from search engine. These findings have implications to the following: 1) the organisations need to pay attention on the way they organise information in their website; 2) the introduction of search ability aspect for measuring service quality for web application.
Int. J. , Vol. x, No. x, xxxx 1
A Study of Impact of Search Engine Optimization to
Internet Marketing Strategy
Achmad Nizar Hidayanto*
Faculty of Computer Science,
Universitas Indonesia
Kampus UI Depok
Indonesia
Email : nizar@cs.ui.ac.id
*Corresponding Author
Moch. Sidhki Adha
Faculty of Computer Science,
Universitas Indonesia
Kampus UI Depok
Indonesia
Email : sidhki@gmail.com
Meganingrum Arista Jiwanggi
Faculty of Computer Science,
Universitas Indonesia
Kampus UI Depok
Indonesia
Email : meganingrum.arista@gmail.com
Tisha Melia
Faculty of Computer Science,
Universitas Indonesia
Kampus UI Depok
Indonesia
Email : tisha@cs.ui.ac.id
Abstract: This research aims to explore free Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and
social media plug-ins and compare their performance in increasing incoming web
traffics. We create three publisher websites: the normal website without any SEO
installed on it, the customized website with basic SEO configuration and social media
plug-in, and the customized website with advanced SEO configuration and social media
plug-in. We run and trace the website log for 4 and 7 months. Our findings show that
SEO plug-ins are capable to increase traffic to publisher website. Social media plug-in
provides additional benefit to bring traffic, however, the traffic is less significant
compared to the one from search engine. These findings have implications to the
following: (1) the organizations need to pay attention on the way they organize
Copyright © 200x Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
Author
information in their website, (2) the introduction of search ability aspect for measuring
service quality for web application.
Keywords: search engine optimization, search engine marketing, SEO, SEM, social
networks, google tools, internet marketing, service quality
5 Analysis
As we explained in the methodology, we run two experiments to analyze the performance
of our configuration. We have installed the Google Analytics in order to collect statistics
that we need to analyze the performance of our configuration. Our interest is to see
number of web visits in our websites as an indicator of popularity of a website. The more
popular the website, the possibility of customers to buy the products will be higher.
5.1 Results of Our First Experiment: Normal vs Customized Websites
Our first experiments try to compare the performance of normal website and customized
website. The customized website is configured by including social media plug-ins and
basic SEO plug-in such SEO image friendly, all in one SEO, SEO tagger, and keyword
selection. We run our websites for four months. Based on data that we have collected, we
can see some data includes web visit, origin country of the visitors, etc. Table 1 shows the
number of web visit to the both websites during the four months.
Table 1 Number of visits to our websites
No Month The Number of Visit
Customized Website Normal Website
1 Month I 0 0
2 Month II 261 0
3 Month III 335 86
4 Month IV 219 47
Total 815 133
Table 1 shows that by using basic SEO and social network plug-in, tracing to our
websites during four months showed that the configuration can increase number of visits
to the website around six times, with average number of visit per day around 1.2 for
normal website and 7 for customized website. Moreover, the customized website needs
one month to be recognized and visited by the customers, whereas the normal website
needs around two months to be visited by customers. This result confirms that the use of
basic SEO and social network websites make the website to be recognized faster than the
website without any customization.
We also examine our website content ranking in the Google search engine. We found
that the contents of customized website obtain higher ranking in the Google search engine
than the contents of normal website. For example, normal website only has one content in
the first rank in the Google search engine, whereas the customized website places its two
contents in the first rank. Table 2 summarizes the comparison of normal website and
customized website in term of the position of their contents in the Google search engine.
For the sake of simplicity, we show only the comparison for the top-5 rank in the search
A Study of Impact of Search Engine Optimization to Internet Marketing Strategy
engine. This confirms that by using appropriate keywords, our website will be more
recognized by search engines.
Author
Table 2 Number of contents in a particular rank in the search engine
Rank in Search
Engine
Number of Contents in the Rank
Normal Website Customized Website
1 1 2
2 3 8
3 2 6
4 7 10
5 4 14
We also recorded source of web visits for our customized website. We classify source
of web visits whether it comes from search engine, social networks, and others as can be
seen in Table 3. From the table, it can be seen when we only use basic SEO, then the
social networks attract more users than search engine. It seems that the basic SEO
configuration cannot place our website contents to high ranking in search engine, thus
customers may visit other websites with higher ranking, given keywords related to our
website contents. Social media, in other hand, is capable to inform our website in the
network. Customers that may be satisfied with our website, have role in spreading our
website contents in the social media. Thus the impact is greater than the impact of basic
SEO configuration in increasing customer’s traffic to our customized website.
Table 3 Source of web visits of customized website
No Source Number of Web Visits
1 Search engine 256
2 Social media 329
3 Others 230
Total 815
Moreover, data from Google Analytics showed that visitors of customized website
coming from 28 countries, whereas visitors of normal website coming from only 12
countries. It confirms that incorporating social media plug-in and search engine
optimization offer wider access to customers.
5.2 Results of Second Experiment for Customized Websites: Basic vs Advanced
Configuration
As we have explained in the methodology, in the second experiment we compare the
performance of our advanced configuration with the basic one. In the advanced
configuration, we put more SEO plug-ins, particularly for building links and tagging
popular keywords related to a particular posting. We traced the web traffic of both
websites in the same period within seven months in the year of 2011.
Table 4 shows number of web visits and clicks for both customized websites. Data
from the table showed that our advanced configuration is capable to improve our basic
configuration. The popular keywords tag produced from Search Term Tagging 2 plug-in
indeed helps our website to be more recognized by user that try to find particular product
A Study of Impact of Search Engine Optimization to Internet Marketing Strategy
related to product that we have posted. In other words, the Search Term Tagging 2 plug-
in is capable to improve our website ranking, thus more traffic comes to our website with
order 8 times more than our basic configured website.
Table 4 also shows comparison of number of clicks of basic and advanced
configuration. The data was collected from Google Adsense as one of our affiliations. As
we have said in the concept of publisher, we receive earning according to Pay Per Click
(PPC) scheme. It can be seen that advanced configuration outperforms basic
configuration. This is not surprising as the more users visit a website, the more the
possibility of these users to click links in the website. Thus, there is a close correlation
between number of web visits and number of clicks. Therefore it is confirmed that in
order to have more earning for our publisher web, then we need to increase traffic to our
website to get more clicks from users.
Table 4 Comparison of number of visits and clicks between basic and advanced
configured websites
N
oMonth
The Number of Visits The Number of Clicks
Advanced
Config.
Basic
Config.
Advanced
Config.
Basic
Config.
1 Month I 2,932 1,013 9 1
2 Month II 2,681 1,265 89 5
3 Month III 3,494 704 53 3
4 Month IV 3,643 306 69 5
5 Month V 5,204 399 87 3
6 Month VI 4,278 332 95 0
7 Month VII 10,900 152 166 0
Total 33,132 4,171 568 17
Table 5 shows the source of web visits of advanced configured website. In our first
experiment, social media is capable to bring slightly more traffic than search engine.
However, in our second experiment, search engine outperforms social media. It brings
more traffic than social media with order about 90 times. In this configuration, the SEO
shows its superiority over social media. One possible cause of the low incoming traffic
from the social media, 45 visits per month in average, is that we only utilize a simple
technique of content sharing. Content sharing is only effective if users are already
interested in a product or the products are recommended by a certain social clique. A
better alternative than content sharing is needed to increase incoming web traffic through
social media in the context of affiliation programs.
Author
Table 5 Source of web visits of advanced configured website
No Source Number of Web Visits
1 Direct 4,418
2 Search engine 27,615
3 Referral 783
4 Social Media 316
Total 33,132
5.4 Implication to Service Quality of Web Application
Another implication of this study is related to service quality of web application.
Currently, the role of the website is not only seen as providers of information, but also
one of the means to deliver services of the organization. For example, Amazon online
bookstore sales books via the web.
In light of the role of an ever increasing web application, its service quality becomes
increasingly important. A popular framework for measuring quality of service is
SERVQUAL (Parasuraman et al., 1988, 1991) which measures the quality of service in
five dimensions:
Tangible: appearance of physical facilities, equipment, personnel, and
communication materials.
Reliability: ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately.
Responsiveness: willingness to help customers and provide prompt service.
Assurance: knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to convey trust
and confidence.
Empathy: care and individualized attention to its customers.
SERVQUAL can be modified to see the service quality of web application such as those
conducted by Fink (2002), Iwaarden et al. (2003), and Udo (2011). However, the
SERVQUAL framework is not intended to measure the easiness of information on the
web that can be searched by consumers (search ability). In the consumers’ side, they want
to find a product/service as easily as possible. The easier the consumer in finding the
information they want, the more satisfied customers on the quality of the web. In such
situation, providing tags which are relevant to any information posted on a web, of
course, will facilitate the information search process. Indirectly, this will certainly have
implications for the time-to-market of products/services offered by the organization.
Indeed, search ability is an important attribute that should be considered regarding
information in the web.
Taking into account the important role of the ease of finding information, we are
proposing to refine the SERVQUAL in order to measure the quality of services for web
application. The proposed model can be seen in Figure 7. Further efforts are needed,
particularly to validate our proposed model in order to make it applicable for measuring
the quality of services of web applications.
A Study of Impact of Search Engine Optimization to Internet Marketing Strategy
Figure 1 Proposed model for measuring service quality of web application
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