Rule of Thumb | SEO is not a dirty word… or is it?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a term that has been in the vocabulary of internet marketers almost since the inception of the World Wide Web. In my opinion it is emphasized much too often for local websites.
Lately internet marketers are contacting “Brick and Mortar” businesses promising to get them on the first page of Google. Why should you care if you are on page 1? All you really want is more customers right?
Authors Note: SEO plays only a small part in your overall marketing campaign.
Here’s why you should care.
- Right now your customers are looking for what you have to offer online.
- Many Yellow Page books are being used as door-stops or for height on a child’s chair.
- The first listing on a Search Engine Results Page [SERP] gets the lion’s share of the number of clicks. Depending on the source this is as high as 60%. The second listing gets only 10–15% of the clicks and the remaining listings diminishing greatly.
- Probably 98% of searchers will not go to the next page of listings.
- Your profits depend on your Google ranking.
- nternet Marketing is testable. You can see the results of experiments quickly. In the old days of Direct Mail each piece of mail could be coded. Sometimes with a PO box number on the return envelope or codes that a prospect would give to the call center when calling an 800-number.
- This way the marketer could gauge the responsiveness of the marketing piece. He could send out pieces that had different headlines or price points. These were called split tests and were the most effective way to test a market and with that information roll out the most effective campaigns.
- Direct Marketing on the internet adds the power of instant feedback. No longer must the pre-campaign testing take weeks or months. Now that work can be done in a matter of hours if you know what you’re doing.
- I know internet marketers who make $1,000,000 a year. But I met someone who makes $1,000,000 per month. What does he do, you ask? He teaches internet marketers how to optimize their split testing and they gladly pay him what he’s worth.
As a corollary to the last point SEO is trackable.
- You can track where your customers are coming from or where they go after visiting your site.
- You can track how long they are on your site and which pages they visited.
- This means you can see where there are log jams where visitors are not interested or are confused. You can do something about it right away.
- You can track which visitors are new and which are returning customers. This is done with cookies.
- You can track how many people open your email messages.
- You can track just about anything… and in real time.
Compare all this to traditional marketing.
- Newspapers are dying and so are their advertising revenues.
- Same thing with classifieds in magazines.
- Interesting tidbit… Niche magazines are proliferating.
- With the advent of DVR people can watch TV without commercials.
- The Yellow Pages used to be the place where people searched for a particular product or service. No longer.
- Will Yellow Pages even be relevant in the next decade?
- Direct Mail is getting more and more expensive.
So when you hear the term SEO don’t run and hide. Use it to get more customers, more Return on Investment, more profits…
Even though the internet changes very quickly… the principles of SEO don’t. Don’t expect to get to the first page of Google overnight. Don’t expect to stay there without continued work and maintenance.
SEO is ongoing. Once you establish yourself as an authority in your type of business it gets easier to maintain, so “Keep it up, Bunky.”
Just remember that SEO is not the only thing you need to do to stay ahead of the pack on the internet.