I spend a lot of time visiting with existing and potential clients about Search Engine Optimization Services. I enjoy the learning their experiences; horror stories mostly! I’m fascinated by the depth of information many have on the subject yet the lack of understanding as to what it is, let alone how it works and more importantly, what they need.
Google Trends paints an interesting picture of people’s perspective on SEO. According to Google, approximately 90% of their audience refers to such services as SEO vs. Internet Marketing.
Some of this audience understands the difference, I suggest most don’t and think they’re the same. The comparison is further distorted due to the fact that “SEO” gets 10 times the search volume thus those offering these services call what they do “SEO”.
Wikipedia defines SEO as “the process of improving the ranking of a website on web search engines.” Internet Marketing is defined as “is a form of marketing and advertising which uses the Internet to deliver promotional marketing messages to consumers.” Wiki expands that by adding “It includes email marketing, search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing, many types of display advertising (including web banner advertising), and mobile advertising.”
It’s curious to me how “SEO” is rarely included in the Internet Marketing conversation and why SEM is. They truly go hand-in-hand. Put simply, if your SEO team is not in constant communication with your SEM team, you’re not maximizing your budget.
Even more mind-boggling is the topic of Conversion Optimization. A fairly strait forward concept for a retail organization, you either get orders or you don’t. For services organizations, manufactures and others, why justify the cost without understanding and optimizing for conversion? I believe most do it because of fear. They’re simply afraid to stop spending the dollars in fear of a drop in traffic; i.e. CYA.
The sad fact is most companies exceed their budget building their website and consider SEO as an afterthought. Now, in the precarious position of having spent their budget they summon more money to market it. Enter the SEO company providing a magic waive of a wand to identify keyword opportunities, optimize pages with tags (<title>, <description>, <h1>), build back links, and make your traffic grow! All justified by overloading you with Google Analytics, keyword ranking reports, and a monthly call to discuss them.
It feels like they’re really busy, they’re your “partner”, right? The reality is they charge you a monthly fee, spend an hour or so reviewing the automated reports and then conduct the call to tell you all the things you should be doing to improve your ranking and get more traffic. Read SEO for Dummies or a similar book and you can do this yourself for a fraction of the cost.
When was the last time you had a conversation with your SEO company about?
- Products and Services
- Target Audience
- Audience Segmentation
- Sales Funnel
- Lead Generation
Not to mention the technical construct of your website and how it may be prohibiting you from ranking in the first place.
These are the conversation I like to have. A holistic approach; inclusive of SEO, Internet Marketing, Conversation Optimization and Customer Relationship Management.
If you’d like to have this conversation, let’s chat!