Does Search Engine Marketing Really Work
There is a great deal of hype around search engine marketing. Many firms are bombarded with sales pressure and advertisements to use search engine optimization (SEO) and other online marketing tools. But is there any real benefit to using search engine marketing?
For ages there has basically been just one marketing approach, which was outbound marketing. This entailed nothing more than “hanging a shingle” and placing some ads in the local phone directories. This approach would “hopefully” attract a person or a business which would generate a lead. Unfortunately, outbound marketing was nothing more than casting a net in murky water – you never know if you will catch anything.
Search engine marketing, on the other hand, provides much better odds for firms to get qualified leads that will convert to customers. This newer “inbound marketing” technique has proven to be very effective and with a higher ROI than traditional marketing.
- Examine the type of potential client that you would prefer to attract. Consider income level, geography, and other demographics. Build a “target audience profile” from this information.
- Use the target audience profile to build a series of keywords and phrases that this target client may use to search for your business. Search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and others have tools to recommend keywords or you can develop your own.
- Create online content that leverages these target keywords and phrases. Make sure your web site, blogs, e-books, social media and other online avenues use these keywords.
- Monitor your search rankings when using these keywords and determine if your ranking improves. This would mean your firm would be more likely to appear towards the top of search results.
- Tune your keywords and phrases on a regular basis to make sure you capture the most successful terms and discard the keywords that are no longer applicable. With this information you can then leverage PPC (pay-per-click) advertising and other options to increase the number of leads.
- Review the types of leads that come in from online prospects. Note any increases or decreases in the quality of leads, and be prepared to adjust online keywords when necessary.
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