Have you ever heard the quote, “You can’t do today’s job with yesterday’s methods and be in business tomorrow.” This is the superlative for today’s business economy. Nowadays, even if companies world-wide are cutting costs, they are still looking for creative, high-impact immerging and reliable marketing strategies. When it comes to making the most of marketing dollars, the rules of the marketing game have changed forever. Regardless of whether you are a corporate conglomerate or a small business that’s just getting started-the internet cannot be ignored as a powerful resource and marketing tool.
In fact, according to a recent survey about marketing budgets for 2009 and 2010, conducted by btobonline.com, a magazine for marketing strategist published by Crain communications Inc, almost 43% of the 500 companies that participated said that their budgets in 2009 went down by a significant margin over this year. However, despite the decreases, 65% said that their online marketing budget was increasing this year, which shows the shift of marketing budgets from the more traditional methods over to an online medium.
“We are seeing an ongoing secular shift from traditional to online media, as marketers recognize that ad dollars invested in interactive media are effective at influencing consumers and delivering measurable results,” said Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau. “In this uncertain economy, where marketers know they need to do more with less, interactive advertising provides the tools for them to build deep, engaging relationships with consumers-the experience marketers’ gain from this will deliver dividends, especially after the economy turns around.”
However, it is more than just online advertising that drives traffic to a site or makes up an online marketing campaign. Troy Bohlke states that things have evolved. “Now a marketing campaign doesn’t just focus on advertising. You have to focus in search engines, social marketing, blogging, article marketing, link connections, etc.,” Bohlke says. “All of these play a vital role in determining a marketing campaigns’ effectiveness.”
While the answer may vary slightly depending upon the size of the ad budget, the Forbes 2009 Ad Effectiveness Survey says marketers of all sizes should start with search engine optimization (SEO). According to this survey, 48% percent of marketers said that SEO was the best method for generating conversions online. More than one-half of marketers with budgets over $1 million also agreed. In fact, in 2007 only 19% utilized SEO as part of their online strategies, and as of 2009 now 39% of businesses are including it. Email and e-newsletter marketing (46%), and pay-per-click/search marketing (32%) were also ranked as important tools in conversion, as seen in the Forbes Survey.
What is Search Engine Optimization? It is the science of increasing traffic to your Web site by improving the internal and external factors influencing ranking in search results. It is mostly technical in nature and includes Web programming expertise combined with business, persuasion, sales and a love for competitive puzzle-solving.
SEO marketing is the instrumental key to promote your company’s visibility, credibility and sales. In fact, it has been said that a business serious about success cannot afford not to do it. The question is how? And who will do it for you in an effective way, but also in a cost effective way?
If you do all this right, you will have a website capable of maintaining desired revenue goals, while achieving high rankings in the organic sections of search engine results pages. Creating a website does not just involve technical skills, or copywriting, or links, or search engine submission, it involves an intricate blend of more than 200 variables woven into the fabric of a website.
Bill Gates once said, “The Internet will help achieve friction-free capitalism by putting buyer and seller in direct contact, and providing more information to both about each other.”
Troy Bohlke with the exact same train of thought states that, “Considering that 8 out of 10 consumers these days find the companies they eventually do business with online, there is so much work to be done on driving victors to the site and then converting them to consumers. Our firm is 100% directed to this,” explains Bohlke. “Especially if SEO is changing on a daily basis, then companies need to rely on someone who is dedicated to SEO.”