Search engine optimization, I believe, is simply the best and most effective type of marketing and will only increase with the current web trends. Where else to can you put yourself in front of only those that are genuinely interested and looking specifically for a product or service that you offer? Thanks to Google’s powerful search algorithms, they carefully determine what people want to see for each search term or phrase.
I was the webmaster for Wilson’s Motorcycles for a number a years, a prominent powersports dealership located in Fresno, CA. I’ll talk briefly about how effective SEO (search engine optimization) is and the perceived cost versus the ROI. Wilson’s Motorcycles (www.wilsonsmc.com) is a highly ranked listing among many Google searches within the motorcycle industry. For example, at this time no matter where you are in the nation you can Google “motorcycle shop” or “motorcycle dealer” and Wilson’s will show up on the first page, typically at the very top. Who knows how many dealerships there are across the nation. To be ranked at the top has truly been an accomplishment.
Traditional marketing you not only reach potential customers, but also those that have no interest or need for your product or service. There is cost involved in the production of material, time it takes to distribute, etc. Don’t get me wrong, it is effective and it works – for brand recognition. Compared to SEO, it just isn’t even close in ROI. Those who are reached with traditional marketing will probably come to your location, requiring the time of your staff, paperwork, and all other overhear costs associated with it. Compare that to someone that has found you online. They have come to you, they found you online so they are more willing to complete a transaction online, which in return requires fewer resources compared to that of in store.
There are many SEO companies that increase a websites pagerank for around $30,000 for a campaign that includes multiple targeted keywords. Sometimes the price is higher and sometimes significantly less. Depends on the scope of the SEO Marketing Campaign; how large the site is, how competitive the keywords are that are being targeted within the industry, whether it’s local or national, etc. Some basic SEO practices can be done by a business themselves if they use a content management system or have knowledgeable IT staff that is familiar with html. To make an impact on the web, hire a consultant and remember that nothing is guaranteed.
So who would want to spend that much on marketing online? Anyone that realizes they need to be competitive with online businesses and wants to continue to stay in business in the future. Being placed at the top of a search is just like having a prime business location in your city. Would you pay the extra cost to place your business in a good location? SEO will generate constant traffic to your website, which increases the number of potential customers that results in sales. If you sell anything through your website, SEO or PPC is a must.
There are many businesses that are at the top of their industry that do not even have a yellow pages ad or participate in any marketing other than SEO and PPC. It literally pays for itself time and time again. If you have a vested interest in the website of your business strongly consider an SEO marketing campaign if you are going to fund any type of marketing efforts.
Ray Holt is a Web Developer & Internet Marketer. He can be contacted by visiting www.holtis.com and inquiring about services offered.