Joe Meloni

Google recently reported that 88 percent of consumers reach a point, dubbed the Zero Moment of Truth, where they decide which product or service to buy before ever getting to a store.

In the past, consumers had fewer options in terms of businesses or stores to buy from. Now, the average consumer goes to 10.4 different sources before deciding on a single purchase, up from 5.3 sources in 2010. Product research usually begins with a web search, Google said.

Within seconds, a consumer can search a term and find 20 different websites containing the product he or she is looking for.

With this in mind, battling for strong search rankings and actively developing social content to engage shoppers across the web can help a business improve its SERP ranking and hold greater influence over consumers during their research. “Consumers have greatly changed the way approach decision making. As a marketer, have you kept up?” Google asks.

Implementing SEO campaigns has led businesses to improve their overall online visibility. Of course, businesses catering to the new model of buyers’ decision making should remember digital strategies require as much attention to quality as traditional forms of marketing – if not more because the internet is a cluttered, competitive space. Brafton recently reported that Google distinguished engineer Matt Cutts said that “SEO is not spam” in a video for Googlle Webmaster Help, which means working with quality content writers is key.