Monday, January 12, 2009

Balance Your Web Marketing Strategy

We’ll be the first to admit that what follows is not a scientific test.  However, we believe all SME owners and managers should develop their internet marketing strategy with the results in mind.

We googled a few internet marketing terms just to see what we would see.  Below are four of the six terms we searched and the number of results for each term:

Web marketing – 103,000,000

Internet marketing – 103,000,000

Web marketing search – 84,600,000

Internet marketing search – 54,000,000

When we searched the first term, “web marketing”, we were struck by the number of references to “search engine optimization/rankings/marketing” in the results.  

Any surfer would get the impression that web/internet marketing revolves around getting higher search engine rankings.

We added the word “search” to our original terms to get an idea of the realtionship between the two.  It's quite strong.

It should be.  If your site is not found when your customers search for businesses like yours, you are as good as invisible on the internet.

However, as vitally important as high search ranking are to your internet marketing strategy, no strategy can stand on search results alone.

We searched two other terms:

Web marketing conversion – 4,030,000

Internet marketing conversion – 3,720,000

Again, this is by no means a scientific test, but the overall trend it exposes is undeniable.  While at least 50% of internet/web marketing results included some reference to “search”, a maximum of 4% included a reference to “conversion”.  Even after randomly clicking on 25 to 30 of the results, references to conversion were found on the home pages of only two internet marketing web sites (all of the sites we visited had some reference to search engine optimization/marketing/seo, etc., on their home pages)

You can get all the traffic you want to your web site, but if you don’t convert them, it’s like being invisible again.  In fact, it may be worse.  At least if you’re “invisible”, you can take steps to become “visible”.  But, if you make the effort to get a customer to your site and then fail to convert them, there's a good chance they will not return - effort (and money) wasted.

The moral of the story: beware of an unbalanced emphasis on search engine results when choosing your internet marketing partner. 

By Stephen Da Cambra

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