Many marketers, especially b-to-b marketers, have long considered SEO (search engine optimization) to have an oozy sensation to it, or maybe to have that voodoo-like aura.
SEO is more than ten years old now. At first, it was indeed a technical, complicated thing: trying to figure out – and stay ahead of – the search engines.
Compared to SEO, online “advertising” seems to be easier for marketers to embrace. Maybe more trusted. No snake oil. For example, PPC (pay per click) ads have always been pretty straightforward: make an ad and get visits to your website. (I know, there’s a bit more to it.)
Good b-to-b marketers ensure that SEO and PPC work in concert; these marketers know the value of marketing integration. And they add a lot of SEM (search engine marketing) into the mix. They also integrate their marketing with their sales efforts. Good idea. Too bad more marketers don’t understand that.
Back to SEO: why is b-to-b SEO still treated as a third cousin with H1N1? “Stand clear!” I can’t tell you how many business-to-business marketers I meet, who dismiss SEO as unnecessary. Yet they readily admit in the same breath that their website is underperforming!
Here are a few FACTS you should know about SEO, or search engine optimization:
1) Optimization is not voodoo: it’s a defined set of technical and non-technical things you need to do to your site to make it “found” by the search engines. Search engines have rules; you need to play accordingly.
2) SEO is not expensive: it does not (in most cases) mean a re-design of your website (design is always costly).
3) A website that is optimized works as a website should: it organically (without PPC) draws visitors who are looking for the company’s products or services. Why do you think some sites are always on top, and others on page 17? It’s not luck; it’s skill.
4) SEO should be a key component of your marketing plan. And it’s not SEO-and-we’re-done … it’s ongoing content management work (not difficult; you just need a bit of creativity.)
5) “Don’t try this at home” … SEO experts are called “experts” for a reason. It’s like going to a specialist if you have a problem; you want the right people doing the work. Most firms that list “seo” in addition to 15 other things they do (especially design firms), do not truly know SEO. This is based on personal research; call me for details.
6) SEO is measurable: search engine by search engine; keyword phrase by keyword phrase. This allows you to track results and modify on the fly.
7) SEO does take some time, but it’s not bad: expect to see initial meaningful results in 90-120 days, and some very nice results – if you pay attention to content management – within six months.
The bottom line with SEO is this: it’s a proven, non-voodoo, mandatory tactic for business marketers.
For more info on SEO, go here.
If you’re in the Minneapolis area, go here.