If you own or manage a business, you most likely had an Ah-Ha moment when you realized your web site needed to be a major part of your business model. Maybe you discovered your competition had incorporated a successful online marketing strategy long ago and was now increasing their market share, maybe even acquiring some of YOUR customers. Or, maybe you attended a seminar and found out that according to Google ten thousand people searched for your product or service last month (but your web site was no where to be found).
As an e-commerce entrepreneur and an SEM (search engine marketing) Consultant, I know firsthand that the most important objective is to first drive consumer traffic to our web sites. And, the best method to accomplish this is to capture online consumers while they are actively searching for your product or service on the search engines, at the very moment they are desperately trying to find YOU.
This is where it begins to get fuzzy to most senior executives and managers. Although many have heard the term SEO (search engine optimization) , very few really understand the influence SEO has on an organization’s success in today’s web 2.0 climate. In brief, if your web site is not optimized for search engine traffic, your chance of success online is like competing in a bicycle race without wheels .
So what is SEO? It would take about 100 pages to really answer that question. In a nutshell, SEO is working your web site until it ranks in the top 10 or 20 positions for your most profitable keywords. But, you can think of it as a “moving target”. An organization’s SEO strategy must adopt and adapt to the latest changes in the SEO industry, such as the constant changing of the search engine algorithms (which determines how a web site is ranked for keyword searches). That is why many companies are now hiring full time SEO Managers or Full Time Consultants to manage and monitor their web site’s optimization success, on a continual basis. While SEO is still alien to many managers, some understand the dynamics of SEO. For example, although your site is ranked #1 for the keyword “Ophthalmologist New York” , you could wake up in the morning after a “Google Dance” and find your web site ranked #100 for that same keyword search. OUCH that hurts (I know)! Such a devastating experience is why good online marketing consultants insure their clients do not “put all their eggs in one SEO basket”.
Nevertheless, explaining SEO and other online marketing techniques is often a challenge. For an SEO consultant, developing an elevator pitch is like the President trying to deliver the State of the Union address in a 30 second commercial. SEM Consultants intimately understand that a competitive SEO strategy is critical to an organization’s success today more than ever. But, to convey that message to a senior manager or owner who is lackadaisical about the benefits of a strong online marketing program, like SEO, is almost always the biggest challenge.
As a matter of fact, some “traditional marketing professionals” don’t understand the significance of (or consequences of not) adopting an effective online marketing program. Recently I attended a Providence Chamber meeting and met a Marketing Consultant who said to me “Google? That’s just for consumer to business, it’s not for B2B”. I realized this was coming from a source of fear of the technology. However, that statement also summarized the risks of hiring a marketing consultant in today’s technology driven environment.
In my next blog I will discuss 5 questions to ask an SEO consultant before hiring him/her.
Meanwhile, this morning I read this great article about the SEO industry and the growing demand for skilled SEO and SEM consultants. It was no surprise to read that other SEO consultants have to turn away projects and be more selective in what projects to accept. We recently have expanded our reach and accepted two projects from the west coast. Take a few minutes to read this highly enlightening article.
Follow my Internet Marketing Success Tips (at least two each week) on Twitter
Boston eMarketing Solutions
Kevin Conway is owner of Boston eMarketing Solutions providing expert Internet Marketing Solutions to success minded businesses.