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SEO Return On Investment
For years I have
touted the value and long term return on investment from a well
designed website that utilizes white hat - organic search engine
But let's face it -
the majority of you don't truly know me so it is difficult for
you to know whether you can trust me when I offer free advice.
Many of you may have
been burned in the past and even more of you have probably been
so overwhelmed by SEO offers that you have come to view SEO
firms as less than reputable.
This is why I am
willing to go out on a limb and publish snippets from someone
else's article based on independent research that supports the
claims I have been making right along.
There are a few points I would argue with the author, Scott
Gardner, but it is the Independent Research he cites that is of
the greatest value. I hope you enjoy this article by Scott who
is the Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Fortune
Independent Research on Return On Investment from Internet
The popularity, convenience and usefulness of search engines
cannot be denied. Google and Yahoo are everyday information
sources, much like CBS, ABC and NBC. Search engine usage is
second only to email when it comes to the most popular
activities performed by Internet users (Pew Internet study).
Americans conduct more than 4 billion searches each month.
Some research indicates that "searching" may overtake email
as the number one action taken by an Internet user. As more
and more U.S. households not only hook up to the Internet,
but go high-speed, their online activities will increase;
thus reducing their exposure to television, print media, and
other channels used by traditional advertisers.
If your company
is accustomed to traditional advertising and behind "the
search engine curve," it is time to take action. Look into
the crystal ball of wireless communications and its ability
to put search in the hands of every cell phone user in the
world today! It's already here and on the brink of
explosion; if you're company does not ready itself, it will
be passed by.
Over the past couple of years, one of the most important
questions about the benefits of search engine optimization
(SEO) is the value and profitability it can yield for a
company. Fortunately, many reputable third parties have
conducted extensive surveys and released their findings for
public consumption; comparing search marketing performance
to other popular marketing and advertising vehicles:
According to research from Georgia Tech, 85% of Internet
users find websites and products through search engines. In
fact, nearly 55% of online purchases originate from search.
U.S. Bancorp's Piper Jaffray has estimated the average cost
to acquire a new customer is:
Optimization - $8.50 per new customer
Advertising - $20 per new customer
- $60 per new customer
Campaigns - $70 per new customer
Acquisition costs for television and radio advertising were
not available, due in part to the inability to track ROI.
also reported on the costs associated with lead generation:
Optimization - $0.29/lead
Advertising - $1.18/lead
Advertising - $2.00/lead
Campaigns - $9.94/lead
A July 2005 MarketingSherpa IT Benchmark Study received
feedback from over 800 IT marketers about the most effective
lead generation strategies out of 18 mainstream practices.
effective lead generation practice was in person
seminars/road shows (33% of respondents communicated it
was very effective).
The second most
effective lead generation strategy was search engine
optimization (28% of respondents communicated it was very
The value of
search engine optimization has proven itself to be a
"must-do," when it comes to lead generation in all
Advertising (or PPC) came in seventh in the study.
The sheer act of
a search is one of, if not, the most direct methods a
user/buyer can make. The customer is asking for your
product, service, or company offering. No other marketing
medium can provide this type of qualified buyer, in such
quantity. The ability to be in front of individuals who
are requesting information is a marketer's dream. Why not
make that dream a reality and organically position your
company's website atop the major search engines?
Using Only Approved White Hat Tactics
Local Searches - Are You
Missing Local Customers?
can't stress this enough - In May of 2003 we wrote, "Local Searches are
the untapped resource to drive local customers to your
business." And in October of 2003 Google debuted their
local search and launched local pay-per-click
Local Search Marketing provides you, the business owner,
with the most targeted and cost effective customer
Your prospective customers are searching more frequently for
businesses and services just like yours on the Internet.
Studies show that these customers have a serious buying
As a local business you need to figure out how to cost
effectively reach out to these customers and start the
business relationship. You need to do this even if you don't
have a web site yet!
The Internet has changed the way that customers are looking
for your business. 11 pound phonebooks are a thing of the
past and while people are still letting their fingers do the
walking - it's on a computer keyboard.
Face it - even cell phone users are performing searches for
goods and services on the fly - It is time to adapt our
The Kelsey research group published these statistics and
of households use the Internet as an information source when
Approximately 45% of local searches had a buying intent.
percentage of respondents who used yellow page directories
decreased from 75% to 62%. (If you have a yellow page ad, it
is time to consider buying a smaller ad and shifting your
marketing dollars to the Internet.)
local business owners you need to take action now. You need
to keep your existing customers, and gain new customers, so
you need to be found where they are searching. Local Search
Marketing is where your future clients and customers will
So where do you start?
Well, go back to the first paragraph of this article and
you'll notice that Local Searches are now over two years
old. It is still free to modify your listings with:
These complimentary features of local search and a little
initiative on your part and you'll be well on your way.
Optimize your site for
Effective copy writing is the first step to
promoting your web site in your internet marketing
We have recognized an increasing trend in search engine
behavior that will one day change the way web pages are
written and developed. Pages that used to rely heavily on
keywords and metatags to lure traffic will soon become a
thing of the past.
Trust me on this one as I go on the record to say that soon,
the search engines will look at and
review the written copy of the page to determine the page
relevance and value to the search query.
When this happens - Effective SEO will become what we have
been encouraging since day one. Always write for your
clients first - Content is Crucial and Content is King.
Write for Your Prospective
BusinessLaw.gov has been incorporated into Business.gov.
Before launching your business, be sure to check on specific
laws and regulations in your area.
A wealth of FREE information, regulations and forms for
Small Business Owners every where.
Small Business and Self-Employed One-Stop Resource.
"My Page Rank dropped and my SEO guy is saying it is not
his fault because our developer redesigned the navigation.
My developer says that navigation has nothing to do with SEO
and page rank. What's your opinion? "
Canisteo, New York
First let me
welcome you to SmallBizNews and thank you for subscribing.
Your "SEO guy"
could be right.
IF your developer
changed the hierarchy of folders and htm page names and the
search engines compared the revisions of the site with their
'cached' version of the site then your resulting page rank
drop is a result of the search engines not finding what had
been their previously.
On the other
hand, IF your developer changed only the menu order and all
the links still have the same anchor text (link names) and
targets (htm pages the links pointed to) I suspect something
else has occurred.
If you noticed
this Page Rank drop a couple of months ago it may have been
the result of search engine algorithm updates (i.e. Google's
If this is the
case then I recommend you meet with your SEO guy and your
developer and walk through the site, page by page, to
determine what needs to be done as a team to restore
your ranking in the search engine results.
Each of us has
specific gifts that were bestowed upon us and their is
nothing wrong with using different people to handle your SEO
Firm needs and Web Design/Development needs. The key is to
consult with both of them BEFORE making any changes to avoid
these problems in the future.
offer two great FREE Whitepapers for you to download and
employ as brainstorming tools. You can get your FREE Web
Site Planner and Getting Started Guide from
DavidWilliams.Biz on our
Free Whitepapers Page
And I would be
remiss if I didn't at least extend you an offer to serve as
both your Web Developer
Firm. If I've already put this much thought
into it - imagine how hard I would work for you if I was
Thanks Again for
(recent articles only - older issues have been removed)
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