Sometimes I am convinced George Lucas knew how the Internet would pervade our lives when he created the concept of The Force in his “Star Wars” movies.

After all, it is everywhere and sometimes it does seem all-powerful. It could even be described as having a dark side and an army of evil Darth Vaders doing its bidding. All we need is to attach the James Earl Jones voice and we are all set!

GoogleForceWhat got me thinking about the Star Wars references for the Internet was a couple of situations around the office this week where an Internet search was the first step someone took in resolving a problem. It got me to thinking about how much a part of everyone’s daily routine the Internet – particularly search – is and the lessons that holds for any company’s marketing efforts.

The importance and pervasiveness of Internet searches really make Inbound Marketing a powerful strategy.

In the first case, company president Greg Linnemanstons needed some quick assistance in preparing for a presentation. It was a last minute arrangement, so we did not have the usual time to prepare. First stop: a search of our partner HubSpot‘s help archives. With the right keywords, it took just a few seconds for us to get the framework of a solution prepared so that Greg could make his presentation.

True, we had an idea what we were looking for, but the power of the Internet made is possible for us to get the materials from their location in Massachusetts in just a few seconds.

The other example occurred just yesterday, and led to the blog posting by our public relations intern Jessica Bedore. Jess wasn’t scheduled to write a blog for Wednesday, but we asked her to fill a hole in our schedule. She had just a few minutes to come up with a topic.

A quick Google search and Presto! She found the example of how Princeton University used Inbound Marketing and Social Media to manage it’s annual reunion weekend. A great “real world” example.

The takeaway here is not just that the Internet is a powerful force in our lives. That conclusion is almost universal now. What was striking to me while thinking about it in retrospect was how it has become the starting point for finding solutions.

An estimated 164 million adults in the US alone use the Internet regularly, and nearly 70 percent of them are using it for an hour or more. What are they doing? An estimated 87 percent are using a search engine, about 78 percent are conducing product research and roughly 66 percent are buying a product or service.

Every day, millions of folks take the first step toward resolving a problem or filling a need – purchasing a new product or service – with an Internet search. That’s opportunity you and your business just can’t ignore.

But it’s not enough just to be on the Internet, you have to be there in the right way. If you are not on the first page when the search results come back, you have little chance of capturing that prospect.

Inbound Marketing is what positions you to take advantage of those Internet searches. It helps you:

  • Get found by optimizing your Website and it’s content so the search engines find you first.
  • Make sales by providing those prospects who get to your site with the information they need to make a purchasing decision.
  • Track and analyze your results so you can make adjustments to capture additional prospects and sales.

Done correctly, the next time someone sits down at the keyboard looking for a quick resolution to their problem, you can be who they find.