Last week I was making the drive from Phoenix to Tucson to meet with clients, and decided to put on some Madonna music in anticipation of her upcoming Super Bowl appearance. In between “Hung Up” and “Material Girl,” one of her lesser-known songs (and one of my favorites), “Get Together” came on. I was struck by how some of the lyrics of that song resonated with me in terms of the sales cycle for organic SEO services. The first lines of the song are:
“(There’s too much confusion)
(It’s all an illusion)
(there’s too much confusion)”
which made me start to think about how difficult it must be for business owners to determine what their online marketing needs truly are. My clients, for example, are mostly small to medium businesses and when we first started working together they were trying to sort out what kind of online marketing they needed, and from what marketing firm. In Phoenix alone, there are over 100 locally owned online firms that offer SEO, in addition to numerous national SEO companies with a presence in the Valley, such as FindLaw and Yodle. While each Internet marketing firm has a different name, their pitch and their promises sound very much the same. Catch phrases like “don’t pay until you place,” or “we guarantee first page placements,” and “you will get a flood of business from our service,” is very appealing to business owners because it sounds risk free. Yet, many of my clients have tried these types of “risk free” services only to discover that these online marketing firms are optimizing for long tail, low competition keywords, or are really a pay-per-click company disguised as an organic SEO company. The hard earned money they put into their campaigns with these “risk free” marketing firms did not bring them the return on investment they were hoping for.Confusion and illusion—is the reality that many business owners face when choosing an Internet Marketing company, because they simply do not have enough industry knowledge to be able to tell what company does legitimate link building campaigns, and what marketing firm can deliver on their promises. What questions should business owners be asking to uncover the right online marketing professionals for their business?
Another line in “Get Together” that reminded me of my industry and our sales cycle is the line:
“Do you believe that we can change the future
Do you believe I can make you feel better?”
because I really do believe in the power of online marketing done properly. I have seen first-hand the powerful effects that an SEO campaign has had on my client’s businesses. Increased traffic to their sites, leads to increased phone calls and product orders, that result in new offices opening, new hires at the company, and future profit forecasts that are much higher than before their work with us. While SEO is not the only form of marketing a company can do to generate leads and traffic to their website, it is an important component of any online marketing strategy. SEO itself is a more laser targeted marketing technique when compared to traditional marketing services because of its focus on search engine queries for products or services by consumers looking to buy. The future of our clients companies is brighter because they are paying money for effective marketing tactics by a reputable SEO firm, and bringing new customers into the fold of their company. Our marketing firm, and other ethical and aggressive SEO companies, can really help to make our customers “feel better” by bringing them a trackable return on investment and can help to make the future of their company much brighter. How does Helix House as a company, as well as other reputable Internet marketing providers, match up with potential clients to show them the value of our services and the positive effects SEO could have on their business?
The final part of Madonna’s song “Get Together” that reminds me of the SEO industry is:
“If it’s bitter at the start
Then it’s sweeter in the end”
because SEO is not a quick and easy marketing strategy. Good SEO takes a lot of time, a high amount of skill, and a large link building team to gain first page rankings for competitive and high volume keywords. Results oriented SEO firms will also charge a higher price in order to generate real returns for marketing dollars spent, which means that businesses will pay a sizeable amount of money before seeing a return due to the long cycle of growth that it takes before getting first page placements on the major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. This waiting period is the bitter, anxious period for most of my clients, particularly the ones who have never done SEO before, or who have had bad experiences with this marketing strategy in the past. Yet, for the vast majority of our clients, doing an SEO campaign does get “sweeter in the end,” because after putting in time and money, their campaign starts to pay off with increased traffic, increased phone calls and product orders, and an increase in new clients using their services. This is because they are more visible through their online marketing campaign to the people who need the services our clients can provide. So, as an SEO provider, what can be done in order for potential clients to see the end goal of increased visibility as valuable enough to forgo making money off the service for the first 4-6 months?
In this article, I have asked three questions of my readers, and I would like to answer them now so that they can use this as a resource when choosing an Internet marketing firm for their business. They are:
Let’s start by answering the questions in order.
What questions should be asked to uncover the right online marketing firm for their company?
Reputable SEO companies will have no problem proving the return on investment that they are generating for their clients. They should also never give any sort of “guarantee” to clients for first page placements, as this is a promise that can never truly be kept, particularly for very competitive keyword terms. Great SEO firms will also be very transparent in terms of educating their potential clients on how their SEO strategy works, give clients a variety of options, offer multiple data reports, and provide a wide array of quality links on a regular basis. Questions to ask to make sure that an SEO company does indeed fit these criteria include:
How does Helix House as a company, as well as other reputable Internet marketing providers, match up with potential clients to show them the value of our services and the positive effects SEO could have on their business?
These next two questions that I am answering are the most difficult because they are questions that everyone in the Internet Marketing industry, and most businesses in general, struggle with. How do you get people to “buy into” your business? I think the answers lie in implementing a few key processes into your marketing and sales strategy.
As an SEO provider, what can be done in order for potential clients to see the end goal of increased visibility as valuable enough to forgo making money off the service for the first 4-6 months?
This is a really tough question, and not one that has an easy answer. What I can provide are tips that have worked for our company that might work for others as well.
I hope that you found this article helpful, and I encourage you to pass it along if you did to others who you think would enjoy or learn from it. As always, I welcome questions or comments, and look forward to posting something again soon to share with our loyal and new readers.