Small Biz News is your FREE Newsletter offering up to date tips and trends for Marketing your small business on the Internet.

January 2006

In this Issue

Organic SEO Return On Investment:  SEO Independent Research Results

Local Searches:
Don't Miss Local Marketing Opportunities

First Things First:
Writing Effective Copy for your Audience is the first step in Internet Marketing and SEO

Small Business Resources:
Resources for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Readers' Corner:
Feedback, Ideas, Questions & Answers and more...

Past Articles:
Small Biz News Archives

Return to DavidWilliams.Biz Home Page


Here is your FREE monthly issue of SmallBizNews - a brief and informative Internet Marketing Newsletter offering up to date tips and trends for effectively marketing your Small Business on the Internet. To manage your SmallBizNews Newsletters, ask questions or change your subscription status simply see the subscription details at the bottom of this email.

Be sure to check out past issues of SmallBizNews for other Internet Marketing ideas as well. We invite your ideas, comments and suggestions.

SEO Return On Investment

Internet Marketing ROI - Independent Research

SEO Independent Research Results - Finally, Some Long Awaited Support


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 optimization.


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 Interactive.


Independent Research on Return On Investment from Internet Marketing



The Writing Is On The Wall

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:

  • Search Engine Optimization - $8.50 per new customer

  • Yellow Page Advertising - $20 per new customer

  • Email Marketing - $60 per new customer

  • Direct Mail Campaigns - $70 per new customer

Acquisition costs for television and radio advertising were not available, due in part to the inability to track ROI.

Piper Jaffray also reported on the costs associated with lead generation:

  • Search Engine Optimization - $0.29/lead

  • Email Marketing - $0.50/lead

  • Yellow Page Advertising - $1.18/lead

  • Banner Advertising - $2.00/lead

  • Direct Mail 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.


It found:

  • The most 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 cost effective).

  • The value of search engine optimization has proven itself to be a "must-do," when it comes to lead generation in all industries.

  • Paid Search 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?


David Williams Provides Organic Search Engine Optimization


SEO Using Only Approved White Hat Tactics


Local Searches - Are You Missing Local Customers?

I 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 campaigns.


Local Search Marketing provides you, the business owner, with the most targeted and cost effective customer acquisition opportunity.

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 intent.

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 thinking.


The Kelsey research group published these statistics and trends:


  • 74% of households use the Internet as an information source when shopping locally.

  • Approximately 45% of local searches had a buying intent.

  • The 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.)

As 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 come from.

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:

  • Google Local

  • Yahoo Local

  • and so on...


These complimentary features of local search and a little initiative on your part and you'll be well on your way.

Be Sure to Capture Local Traffic on Your Web Site

Optimize your site for
Local Customers

Writing Effective Copy

Effective copy writing is the first step to promoting your web site in your internet marketing endeavors.


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.

Writing Effective Copy for Your Clients
Write for Your Prospective Clients First

Small Business Resources

US Small Business Administration What's New? has been incorporated into Before launching your business, be sure to check on specific laws and regulations in your area.

Small Business Administration

A wealth of FREE information, regulations and forms for Small Business Owners every where. Small Business and Self-Employed One-Stop Resource.

Readers' Corner


"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? " Sandy - Canisteo, New York


Dear Sandy,

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 "Jagger" Update).


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.


We 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 AND SEO Firm. If I've already put this much thought into it - imagine how hard I would work for you if I was paid :)


Thanks Again for visiting us!


Past Issues SmallBizNews Articles

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