When it comes to getting new online business, it can be easy for a company or online firm to make the mistake of just ploughing all of its money or marketing budget into SEO, thinking that this is the one and only route to success and that nothing else matters.
This could not be further from the truth and although some SEO firms might think you should spend every penny you have with them, the good SEO people out there will definitely advise you that just going for SEO should not be your only concern, as there are still other methods of getting business and you should be exploring these as well.
When it comes to having a marketing budget, I would agree that the days of paper advertising are probably over for many online businesses, but there can be no doubt that if you are a localised trade, there are still people that will look in local papers for your services. This is also the same for local directories that are delivered through your door and although it could be said that these are slowly fading away, it is important to remember that there is still a generation living in the UK that simply have no desire to use the Internet, and these shouldn’t be forgotten.
If we are to focus on just online marketing, SEO should be a major focus of your online spend, but there are other things that you should also look at to drive traffic, including:
- Google Adwords (Pay Per Click)
- Email Marketing
- Google Places / Bing Local Places
- Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn And Google +
- Video Marketing
So, straight away, without even massively thinking about it, we have 5 other online marketing activities that we should be looking at alongside Search Engine Optimisation.
SEO is of course where, in my opinion, you should spend most of your focus and budget, but you should also be making sure that you invest in some of the others above. Pay Per Click is an excellent traffic driver if set up correctly, because a well targeted campaign will result in sales, as long as you have everything sound on your website.
SEO takes time and it is fair to say that these days you should be thinking of 3 – 6 months to start seeing results and probably even longer before you get stable results that you can begin to rely on.
Google can and does change the goal posts at any time, the introduction of Penguin and Panda proved that, and also EMD to a degree, so relying on just one source of traffic is commercial suicide for any business. Relying on one source of business is not the ideal for any company and the same has to be applied online, you have to keep your options open and try to make sure that you are doing as many things as you can to drive those sales for your business.
As an avid SEO’er, I have seen the results that you can get from a decent campaign and this should never be underestimated, but I have also seen the success you can get from Pay Per Click, email marketing and social media, so you should be thinking about an all around online marketing campaign, rather than just putting all of your eggs into the SEO basket.
By Ian Spencer