-- iProspect Study Finds These Fortune 100 Online Retailers Have Damaged Their Ability to be Found in Search Engines by Shoppers --
ARLINGTON, Mass. – November 15, 2001 – As more and more shoppers turn to the safety of the Internet as their mall of choice, online holiday sales are expected to increase by 43 percent this winter to reach $10 billion (NetRatings, 2001). However, according to a recent study on the Web site visibility of Fortune 100 companies published by search engine positioning professional services firm iProspect™, these massive online retailers who include such notable names as The Home Depot, Kmart and CVS, may not be ready.
The study finds that all Fortune 100 retail companies use technology that hinders their Web site’s ability to be found in the major engines – the one place their audiences will be looking for them as the holiday season approaches. As a result, these companies could lose billions of dollars in revenue.
“Clearly, this holiday season, being found in search engines matters,” said iProspect CEO Fredrick Marckini. “Online shopping behavior is changing rapidly – consumers are becoming more familiar with the Internet. Moreover, they increasingly rely on search engines and less on banner advertising and email promotion to find content on the Web. In light of current social and economic conditions, more people are looking to the Web for their holiday shopping needs. As a result, it’s more important than ever that online retailers be found in the top-30 search matches in the major search engines if they wish to take their piece of the pie this year. Unfortunately, these Fortune 100 companies appear not to recognize the importance of being found in search engines.”
For example, one of the nation’s most successful home improvement retailers, well known for carrying a large selection of outdoor yard equipment, cannot be found in a single major search engine on queries for “snow blower.” Another company, a well-known consumer goods retailer that offers a wide variety of electronic products is almost impossible to find on queries for the keyword phrase “video games.” Similarly, a very familiar consumer retailer and online pharmacy cannot be found in any major search engines on searches for “beauty products.”
iProspect’s study also reveals that 83 percent of Fortune 100 retail Web sites do not even employ something as simple as a keyword meta tag, an HTML statement that helps search engines classify and rank Web pages in search results. This not only affects a Web site’s placement within search engine results, it also has implications for internal search within a site. Two-thirds of the Fortune 100 retail companies employ a site-based or internal search engine. Without keyword meta tags, these site-based internal search tools are not likely to deliver relevant results. This translates to lost business because if consumers cannot find the product information they are looking for, they will try another site.
iProspect’s research into the Fortune 100 retail companies is part of a larger study on the Web sites of the Fortune 100. The study concludes that very few of these companies have implemented any kind of search engine positioning as part of their online marketing strategy. As a result, many of these sites are lost among the Internet clutter and almost impossible for people to find when searching for anything other than a company or brand name. The study demonstrates the tremendous opportunity available for Fortune 100 retailers to improve their online visibility and increase their holiday sales dramatically by connecting with consumers looking to make online purchases.
“Being found in the major search engines is simply a must-have component of a complete online marketing campaign,” said Marckini. “If companies invest in building a Web site, the very next investment needs to be in search engine positioning. Without it, Web sites are not connected to the high-traffic core of the Web, and the thousands of keyword queries in search engines will lead interested shoppers to their competition. What else could be more damaging to a company than losing qualified, interested shoppers to its competition?”
For information on how to obtain a copy of the Fortune 100 study, please visit the iProspect Web site: www.iProspect.com.
Founded in 1996, by Fredrick Marckini, iProspect is a national leader in search engine positioning and optimization services for Fortune 1000 companies. iProspect helps a wide array of businesses improve their online presence and promote brand recognition through increased visibility across all of the major search engines and directories. The Company counts many of the most successful companies on the Web as clients, including Sharp Electronics Corporation, 3M, The GM Card and Medtronic. iProspect is located in Arlington, Massachusetts and can be reached at (781) 641-5700, via e-mail at email@example.com or on the Web at www.iprospect.com.
Senior Account Executive
Sterling Hager, Inc.